Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir (/də ˈboʊˌvwɑːr/; French: [simɔn də bovwaʁ] (listen); 9 January 1908 – 14 April 1986) was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist and social theorist. Though she did not consider herself a philosopher, she had a significant influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory.
De Beauvoir wrote novels, essays, biographies, autobiography and monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues. She was known for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism; and for her novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins. She was also known for her lifelong relationship with French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.
Simone de Beauvoir
De Beauvoir in 1967
Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir
9 January 1908
|Died||14 April 1986 (aged 78)|
|Alma mater||University of Paris (B.A., M.A.)|
|Partner(s)||Jean-Paul Sartre (1929–1980; his death)|
Nelson Algren (1947–64)
Claude Lanzmann (1952–59)
Simone de Beauvoir was born on 9 January 1908 into a bourgeois Parisian family in the 6th arrondissement. Her parents were Georges Bertrand de Beauvoir, a legal secretary who once aspired to be an actor, and Françoise de Beauvoir (née Brasseur), a wealthy banker's daughter and devout Catholic. Simone's sister, Hélène, was born two years later. The family struggled to maintain their bourgeois status after losing much of their fortune shortly after World War I, and Françoise insisted that the two daughters be sent to a prestigious convent school. De Beauvoir herself was deeply religious as a child, at one point intending to become a nun. She lost her faith in her early teens and remained an atheist for the rest of her life.
De Beauvoir was intellectually precocious, fuelled by her father's encouragement; he reportedly would boast, "Simone thinks like a man!" Because of her family's straitened circumstances, de Beauvoir could no longer rely on her dowry, and like other middle-class girls of her age, her marriage opportunities were put at risk. De Beauvoir took this opportunity to do what she always wanted to do while also taking steps to earn a living for herself.
After passing baccalaureate exams in mathematics and philosophy in 1925, she studied mathematics at the Institut Catholique de Paris and literature/languages at the Institut Sainte-Marie. She then studied philosophy at the Sorbonne and after completing her degree in 1928, she wrote her diplôme d'études supérieures (roughly equivalent to an MA thesis) on Leibniz for Léon Brunschvicg (the topic was "Le concept chez Leibniz" ["The Concept in Leibniz"]). De Beauvoir was only the ninth woman to have received a degree from the Sorbonne at the time, due to the fact that French women had only recently been allowed to join higher education.
De Beauvoir first worked with Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Claude Lévi-Strauss, when all three completed their practice teaching requirements at the same secondary school. Although not officially enrolled, she sat in on courses at the École Normale Supérieure in preparation for the agrégation in philosophy, a highly competitive postgraduate examination which serves as a national ranking of students. It was while studying for the agrégation that she met École Normale students Jean-Paul Sartre, Paul Nizan, and René Maheu (who gave her the lasting nickname "Castor", or "beaver"). The jury for the agrégation narrowly awarded Sartre first place instead of de Beauvoir, who placed second and, at age 21, was the youngest person ever to pass the exam.
Writing of her youth in Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter she said: "...my father's individualism and pagan ethical standards were in complete contrast to the rigidly moral conventionalism of my mother's teaching. This disequilibrium, which made my life a kind of endless disputation, is the main reason why I became an intellectual."
From 1929 to 1943, de Beauvoir taught at the lycée level until she could support herself solely on the earnings of her writings. She taught at the Lycée Montgrand (Marseille), the Lycée Jeanne-d'Arc (Rouen), and the Lycée Molière (Paris) (1936–39).
During October 1929, Jean-Paul Sartre and de Beauvoir became a couple and, after they were confronted by her father, Sartre asked her to marry him on a provisional basis: one day while they were sitting on a bench outside the Louvre, he said, "Let's sign a two-year lease". Though de Beauvoir is quoted as saying, "Marriage was impossible. I had no dowry", scholars point out that her ideal relationships described in The Second Sex and elsewhere bore little resemblances to the marriage standards of the day. Instead, they entered into a lifelong "soul partnership", which was sexual but not exclusive, nor did it involve living together. See "Personal life" below.
Sartre and de Beauvoir always read each other's work. Debate continues about the extent to which they influenced each other in their existentialist works, such as Sartre's Being and Nothingness and de Beauvoir's She Came to Stay and "Phenomenology and Intent". However, recent studies of de Beauvoir's work focus on influences other than Sartre, including Hegel and Leibniz. The Neo-Hegelian revival led by Alexandre Kojève and Jean Hyppolite in the 1930s inspired a whole generation of French thinkers, including de Beauvoir and Sartre, to discover Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.
De Beauvoir's prominent open relationships at times overshadowed her substantial academic reputation. A scholar lecturing with de Beauvoir chastised their "distinguished [Harvard] audience [because] every question asked about Sartre concerned his work, while all those asked about Beauvoir concerned her personal life." Beginning in 1929, de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre were partners and remained so for fifty-one years, until his death in 1980. De Beauvoir chose never to marry or set up a joint household and she never had children. This gave her the time to advance her education and engage in political causes, to write and teach, and to have lovers.
Perhaps her most famous lover was American author Nelson Algren whom she met in Chicago in 1947, and to whom she wrote across the Atlantic as "my beloved husband." Algren won the National Book Award for The Man with the Golden Arm in 1950, and in 1954, de Beauvoir won France's most prestigious literary prize for The Mandarins in which Algren is the character Lewis Brogan. Algren vociferously objected to their intimacy becoming public. Years after they separated, she was buried wearing his gift of a silver ring. However, she lived with Claude Lanzmann from 1952 to 1959.
De Beauvoir was bisexual, and her relationships with young women were controversial. Former student Bianca Lamblin (originally Bianca Bienenfeld) wrote in her book Mémoires d'une jeune fille dérangée (English: Memoirs of a Disturbed Young Lady), that, while she was a student at Lycée Molière, she had been sexually exploited by her teacher de Beauvoir, who was in her 30s at the time. In 1943, de Beauvoir was suspended from her teaching job, due to an accusation that she had seduced her 17-year-old lycée pupil Natalie Sorokine in 1939. Sorokine's parents laid formal charges against de Beauvoir for debauching a minor and as a result she had her licence to teach in France revoked.
De Beauvoir published her first novel She Came to Stay in 1943. It is a fictionalised chronicle of her and Sartre's sexual relationship with Olga Kosakiewicz and Wanda Kosakiewicz. Olga was one of her students in the Rouen secondary school where Beauvoir taught during the early 1930s. She grew fond of Olga. Sartre tried to pursue Olga but she rejected him, so he began a relationship with her sister Wanda. Upon his death, Sartre was still supporting Wanda. He also supported Olga for years, until she met and married Jacques-Laurent Bost, a lover of Beauvoir.
In the novel, set just before the outbreak of World War II, Beauvoir creates one character from the complex relationships of Olga and Wanda. The fictionalised versions of Beauvoir and Sartre have a ménage à trois with the young woman. The novel also delves into Beauvoir and Sartre's complex relationship and how it was affected by the ménage à trois.
She Came to Stay was followed by many others, including The Blood of Others, which explores the nature of individual responsibility, telling a love story between two young French students participating in the Resistance in World War II.
In 1944 de Beauvoir wrote her first philosophical essay, Pyrrhus et Cinéas, a discussion of an existentialist ethics. She continued her exploration of existentialism through her second essay The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947); it is perhaps the most accessible entry into French existentialism. In the essay, de Beauvoir clears up some inconsistencies that many, Sartre included, have found in major existentialist works such as Being and Nothingness. In The Ethics of Ambiguity, de Beauvoir confronts the existentialist dilemma of absolute freedom vs. the constraints of circumstance.
At the end of World War II, de Beauvoir and Sartre edited Les Temps modernes, a political journal which Sartre founded along with Maurice Merleau-Ponty and others. De Beauvoir used Les Temps Modernes to promote her own work and explore her ideas on a small scale before fashioning essays and books. De Beauvoir remained an editor until her death.
The Second Sex, first published in 1949 in French as Le Deuxième Sexe, turns the existentialist mantra that existence precedes essence into a feminist one: "One is not born but becomes a woman" (French: "On ne naît pas femme, on le devient"). With this famous phrase, Beauvoir first articulated what has come to be known as the sex-gender distinction, that is, the distinction between biological sex and the social and historical construction of gender and its attendant stereotypes. Beauvoir argues that "the fundamental source of women's oppression is its [femininity's] historical and social construction as the quintessential" Other.
De Beauvoir defines women as the "second sex" because women are defined in relation to men. She pointed out that Aristotle argued women are "female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities", while St. Thomas referred to woman as "imperfect man" and the "incidental" being. De Beauvoir asserted that women are as capable of choice as men, and thus can choose to elevate themselves, moving beyond the "immanence" to which they were previously resigned and reaching "transcendence", a position in which one takes responsibility for oneself and the world, where one chooses one's freedom.
Chapters of The Second Sex were originally published in Les Temps modernes, in June 1949. The second volume came a few months after the first in France. It was quickly published in America due to the quick translation by Howard Parshley, as prompted by Blanche Knopf, wife of publisher Alfred A. Knopf. Because Parshley had only a basic familiarity with the French language, and a minimal understanding of philosophy (he was a professor of biology at Smith College), much of de Beauvoir's book was mistranslated or inappropriately cut, distorting her intended message. For years, Knopf prevented the introduction of a more accurate retranslation of de Beauvoir's work, declining all proposals despite the efforts of existentialist scholars. Only in 2009 was there a second translation, to mark the 60th anniversary of the original publication. Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier produced the first integral translation in 2010, reinstating a third of the original work.
In the chapter "Woman: Myth and Reality" of The Second Sex, de Beauvoir argued that men had made women the "Other" in society by application of a false aura of "mystery" around them. She argued that men used this as an excuse not to understand women or their problems and not to help them, and that this stereotyping was always done in societies by the group higher in the hierarchy to the group lower in the hierarchy. She wrote that a similar kind of oppression by hierarchy also happened in other categories of identity, such as race, class, and religion, but she claimed that it was nowhere more true than with gender in which men stereotyped women and used it as an excuse to organize society into a patriarchy.
Despite her contributions to the feminist movement, especially the French women's liberation movement, and her beliefs in women's economic independence and equal education, de Beauvoir was initially reluctant to call herself a feminist. However, after observing the resurgence of the feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, de Beauvoir stated she no longer believed a socialist revolution to be enough to bring about women's liberation. She publicly declared herself a feminist in 1972 in an interview with Le Nouvel Observateur.
In 2018 the manuscript pages of Le Deuxième Sexe were published. At the time her adopted daughter, Sylvie Le Bon-de Beauvoir, a philosophy professor, described her mother's writing process: Beauvoir wrote every page of her books longhand first and only after that would hire typists.
Published in 1954, The Mandarins won her France's highest literary prize, the Prix Goncourt. The book is set after the end of World War II and follows the personal lives of philosophers and friends among Sartre's and de Beauvoir's intimate circle, including her relationship with American writer Nelson Algren, to whom the book was dedicated. Algren was outraged by the frank way de Beauvoir described their sexual experiences in both The Mandarins and her autobiographies. Algren vented his outrage when reviewing American translations of de Beauvoir's work. Much material bearing on this episode in de Beauvoir's life, including her love letters to Algren, entered the public domain only after her death.
Published in 1964, A Very Easy Death is an autobiography of De Beauvoir's experience with her aging mother. It is a reflective and retrospective review about the author's aging mother during her struggle with cancer. The book was originally published in French and later translated into English. The book outlines De Beauvoir's time spent with her mother as she was in the hospital with cancer. The novella brings up questions of ethical concerns with truth-telling in doctor-patient relationships. It also has been examined as a teaching tool for families in the time of paternal death-watch, as it is nicely articulated.
De Beauvoir wrote popular travel diaries about time spent in the United States  and China and published essays and fiction rigorously, especially throughout the 1950s and 1960s. She published several volumes of short stories, including The Woman Destroyed, which, like some of her other later work, deals with aging.
1980 saw the publication of When Things of the Spirit Come First, a set of short stories centred around and based upon women important to her earlier years. Though written long before the novel She Came to Stay, de Beauvoir did not at the time consider the stories worth publishing, allowing some forty years to pass before doing so.
Sartre and Merleau-Ponty had a longstanding feud, which led Merleau-Ponty to leave Les Temps Modernes. De Beauvoir sided with Sartre and ceased to associate with Merleau-Ponty. In de Beauvoir's later years, she hosted the journal's editorial meetings in her flat and contributed more than Sartre, whom she often had to force to offer his opinions.
De Beauvoir also wrote a four-volume autobiography, consisting of: Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter; The Prime of Life; Force of Circumstance (sometimes published in two volumes in English translation: After the War and Hard Times); and All Said and Done.
In the 1970s de Beauvoir became active in France's women's liberation movement. She wrote and signed the Manifesto of the 343 in 1971, a manifesto that included a list of famous women who claimed to have had an abortion, then illegal in France. Some argue most of the women had not had abortions, including Beauvoir. Signatories were diverse as Catherine Deneuve, Delphine Seyrig, and de Beauvoir's sister Poupette. In 1974, abortion was legalised in France.
Her 1970 long essay La Vieillesse (The Coming of Age) is a rare instance of an intellectual meditation on the decline and solitude all humans experience if they do not die before about the age of 60.
In an interview with Betty Friedan, de Beauvoir said: "No, we don’t believe that any woman should have this choice. No woman should be authorised to stay at home to bring up her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one. It is a way of forcing women in a certain direction."
In 1981 she wrote La Cérémonie Des Adieux (A Farewell to Sartre), a painful account of Sartre's last years. In the opening of Adieux, de Beauvoir notes that it is the only major published work of hers which Sartre did not read before its publication.
After Sartre died in 1980, de Beauvoir published his letters to her with edits to spare the feelings of people in their circle who were still living. After de Beauvoir's death, Sartre's adopted daughter and literary heir Arlette Elkaïm would not let many of Sartre's letters be published in unedited form. Most of Sartre's letters available today have de Beauvoir's edits, which include a few omissions but mostly the use of pseudonyms. De Beauvoir's adopted daughter and literary heir Sylvie Le Bon, unlike Elkaïm, published de Beauvoir's unedited letters to both Sartre and Algren.
All Men Are Mortal (French: Tous les hommes sont mortels) is a 1946 novel by Simone de Beauvoir. It tells the story of Raimon Fosca, a man cursed to live forever. The first American edition of this work was published by The World Publishing Company. Cleveland and New York, 1955. It was adapted into a 1995 film of the same name.All Men Are Mortal (film)
All Men Are Mortal is a film based on the novel All Men Are Mortal (1946) by Simone de Beauvoir. It was directed by Ate de Jong and released in 1995.Bad faith (existentialism)
Bad faith (French: mauvaise foi) is a philosophical concept utilized by existentialist philosophers Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre to describe the phenomenon in which human beings, under pressure from social forces, adopt false values and disown their innate freedom, hence acting inauthentically. It is closely related to the concepts of self-deception and ressentiment.Being in itself
Being-in-itself is the self-contained and fully realized Being of objects. It is a term used in early 20th century continental philosophy, especially in the works of Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and the existentialists.Equality feminism
Equality feminism is a subset of the overall feminism movement that focuses on the basic similarities between men and women, and whose ultimate goal is the equality of the sexes in all domains. This includes economic and political equality, equal access within the workplace, freedom from oppressive gender stereotyping, and an androgynous worldview.Feminist theory seeks to promote the legal status of women as equal and undifferentiated from that of men. While equality feminists largely agree that men and women have basic biological differences in anatomy and frame, they argue that on a psychological level, the use of ration or reason is androgynous. For equality feminists, men and women are equal in terms of their ability to reason, achieve goals, and prosper in both the work and home front.Equality feminism was the dominant version of feminism following Mary Wollstonecraft's "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman" (1792). Wollstonecraft made the case that women's equality to men manifests itself in education and worker's rights, and further produced a proverbial roadmap in order for future women to follow in terms of activism and feminist theorizing. Since then, active equality feminist include Simone de Beauvoir, the Seneca Falls Convention Leaders, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Coffin Mott, Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, and Gloria Steinem.
While equality feminism was the dominant perspective of feminism during the 19th and 20th century, the 1980s and 1990s brought about a new focus in popular feminism on difference feminism, or the essential differences between men and women. In opposition to equality feminism, this view advocates for the celebration of the "feminine" by focusing on traditionally viewed female traits, such as empathy, nurturing, and care. While equality feminists view human nature as essentially androgynous, difference feminists claim that this viewpoint aligns the "good" with male-dominated stereotypes, thus sticking within the patriarchal framework of society.Facticity
In philosophy, facticity (French: facticité, German: Faktizität) has a multiplicity of meanings from "factuality" and "contingency" to the intractable conditions of human existence.Feminist existentialism
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. Existentialism is a philosophical and cultural movement which holds that the starting point of philosophical thinking must be the individual and the experiences of the individual, that moral thinking and scientific thinking together are not sufficient for understanding all of human existence, and, therefore, that a further set of categories, governed by the norm of authenticity, is necessary to understand human existence. (Authenticity, in the context of existentialism, is to recognize the responsibility we have for our existence.) This philosophy analyzes relationships between the individual and things, or other human beings, and how they limit or condition choice.Existentialist feminists emphasize concepts such as freedom, interpersonal relationships, and the experience of living as a human body. They value the capacity for radical change, but recognize that factors such as self-deception and the anxiety caused by the possibility of change can limit it. Many are dedicated to exposing and undermining socially imposed gender roles and cultural constructs limiting women's self-determination, and criticize post-structuralist feminists who deny the intrinsic freedom of individual women. A woman who makes considered choices regarding her way of life and suffers the anxiety associated with that freedom, isolation, or nonconformity, yet remains free, demonstrates the tenets of existentialism. The novels of Kate Chopin, Doris Lessing, Joan Didion, Margaret Atwood, and Margaret Drabble include such existential heroines.Hélène de Beauvoir
Henriette-Hélène de Beauvoir (6 June 1910, Paris – 1 July 2001, Goxwiller) was a French painter. She was the younger sister of philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. Her art was exhibited in Europe, Japan, and the US. She married Lionel de Roulet.When Hélène de Beauvoir lived in Goxwiller, a village near Strasbourg, she became president of the center for battered women. She continued painting until she was 85. Her paintings were related to feminist philosophy and women's issues.Les Deux Magots
Les Deux Magots (French pronunciation: [le dø maɡo]) is a famous café in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris, France. It once had a reputation as the rendezvous of the literary and intellectual élite of the city. It is now a popular tourist destination. Its historical reputation is derived from the patronage of Surrealist artists, intellectuals such as Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, and young writers, such as Ernest Hemingway. Other patrons included Albert Camus, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, Bertolt Brecht, Julia Child, and the American writers James Baldwin, Alison Machin, Chester Himes, Charles Sutherland, and Richard Wright.The Deux Magots literary prize has been awarded to a French novel every year since 1933.Nancy Bauer (philosopher)
Nancy Bauer is an American philosopher specializing in feminist philosophy, existentialism and phenomenology, and the work of Simone de Beauvoir. She was recently Chair of the Philosophy Department at Tufts University and is currently Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Philosophy as well as the Dean of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts. Her interests include methodology in philosophy, feminism, metaphysics, social/political/moral philosophy, philosophy of language, phenomenology, and philosophy in film.Passerelle Simone-de-Beauvoir
The Passerelle Simone-de-Beauvoir (initially known by the provisional name of passerelle Bercy-Tolbiac) is a bridge solely for pedestrians and cyclists across the Seine River in Paris. It is the 37th bridge on the Seine to Paris. It is located between the bridges of Pont de Bercy and Pont de Tolbiac and links up the 12th and 13th arrondissements of Paris. Its nearest Paris Metro station is Quai de la Gare.Roman à clef
Roman à clef (French pronunciation: [ʁɔmɑ̃n‿a kle], anglicised as ), French for novel with a key, is a novel about real life, overlaid with a façade of fiction. The fictitious names in the novel represent real people, and the "key" is the relationship between the nonfiction and the fiction. The "key" may be produced separately by the author or implied through the use of epigraphs or other literary techniques.Created by Madeleine de Scudéry in the 17th century to provide a forum for her thinly-veiled fiction featuring political and public figures, the roman à clef has since been used by writers including Sylvia Plath, John Banville, Truman Capote, Simone de Beauvoir, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Jack Kerouac, Victor Hugo, Blaise Cendrars, Philip K. Dick, Bret Easton Ellis, Jay McInerney, Naguib Mahfouz, John McGahern, Charles Bukowski, Malachi Martin, Saul Bellow, Hunter S. Thompson, James Joyce, and Djuna Barnes.
The reasons an author might choose the roman à clef format include satire; writing about controversial topics and/or reporting inside information on scandals without giving rise to charges of libel; the opportunity to turn the tale the way the author would like it to have gone; the opportunity to portray personal, autobiographical experiences without having to expose the author as the subject; avoiding self-incrimination or incrimination of others that could be used as evidence in civil, criminal, or disciplinary proceedings; and the settling of scores.
Biographically inspired works have also appeared in other literary genres and art forms, notably the film à clef.She Came to Stay
She Came to Stay (French, L'Invitée) is a novel written by French author Simone de Beauvoir first published in 1943. The novel is a fictional account of her and Jean-Paul Sartre's relationship with Olga Kosakiewicz and Wanda Kosakiewicz.Simone de Beauvoir Prize
The Simone de Beauvoir Prize (French: Prix Simone de Beauvoir pour la liberté des femmes) is an international human rights prize for women's freedom, awarded since 2008 to individuals or groups fighting for gender equality and opposing breaches of human rights. It is named after the French author and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, known for her 1949 women's rights treatise The Second Sex.The prize was founded by Julia Kristeva on January 9, 2008, the 100th anniversary of de Beauvoir's birth.
Julia Kristeva, philosopher, is the head of the Simone de Beauvoir prize committee.According to the organizers:
The prize is awarded every year to a remarkable personality whose courage and thoughts are examples for everybody, in the spirit of Simone de Beauvoir who wrote: "The ultimate end, for which human beings should aim, is liberty, the only capable [thing], to establish every end on."Sylvie Le Bon-de Beauvoir
Sylvie Le Bon-de Beauvoir is the adoptive daughter of Simone de Beauvoir. She is a philosophy professor. The meeting between the two women was recounted in the book Tout compte fait, which Beauvoir dedicated to her.
Le Bon was one of a number of young women that de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Satre cared and provided for. The two met in 1960, when Le Bon was 17 and de Beauvoir was 57. The relationship between them was, in Le Bon's words, "carnal but not sexual".De Beauvoir legally adopted Le Bon in 1980, making her the sole executor of her will.After the death of Simone de Beauvoir in 1986, Sylvie Le Bon-de Beauvoir published several volumes of letters:
Lettres à Sartre - an anthology of the letters between Simone de Beauvoir and Sartre
Lettres à Nelson Algren
Correspondance croisée (Simone de Beauvoir and Jacques-Laurent Bost)
Anne, ou quand prime le spirituel (republication of Simone's first novel)The Blood of Others
The Blood of Others (French: Le Sang des autres) is a novel by the French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir first published in 1945 and depicting the lives of several characters in Paris leading up to and during the Second World War. The novel explores themes of freedom and responsibility.The Mandarins
The Mandarins (French: Les Mandarins) is a 1954 roman à clef by Simone de Beauvoir, for which she won the Prix Goncourt, awarded to the best and most imaginative prose work of the year, in 1954. The Mandarins was first published in English in 1956 (in a translation by Leonard M. Friedman).
The book follows the personal lives of a close-knit group of French intellectuals from the end of World War II to the mid-1950s. The title refers to the scholar-bureaucrats of imperial China. The characters at times see themselves as ineffectual "mandarins" as they attempt to discern what role, if any, intellectuals will have in influencing the political landscape of the world after World War II. As in de Beauvoir's other works, themes of feminism, existentialism, and personal morality are explored as the characters navigate not only the intellectual and political landscape but also their shifting relationships with each other.
The British novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch (in the Sunday Times) described The Mandarins as "a remarkable book, a novel on the grand scale, courageous in its exactitude and endearing because of its persistent seriousness".The Second Sex
The Second Sex (French: Le Deuxième Sexe) is a 1949 book by the French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir, in which the author discusses the treatment of women throughout history. Beauvoir researched and wrote the book in about 14 months when she was 38 years old. She published it in two volumes, Facts and Myths and Lived Experience (Les faits et les mythes and L'expérience vécue in French). Some chapters first appeared in Les Temps modernes. One of Beauvoir's best-known books, The Second Sex is often regarded as a major work of feminist philosophy and the starting point of second-wave feminism.Violette (2013 film)
Violette is a 2013 French-Belgian biographical drama film written and directed by Martin Provost, about the French novelist Violette Leduc. It was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
Recipients of the Austrian State Prize for European Literature
Recipients of the Sonning Prize