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“... There will be many who will find it significant that Anne Whitmarsh, beginning a careful and detailed study of Simone deBeauvoir with a section called ‘Biographical Notes’, should make the first entry read, ‘1905 21 June: Jean-Paul Sartre born in Paris’, and the last: ‘1980: Death of Sartre ...”
“... heard the good news?’ called out the one, the former head of a prestigious college. ‘Sartre is dead.’ The other, a well-known and distinguished man about French history, was delighted. According to his own account, the two of them then enacted a little dance or jig to express their pleasure. The occasion may be ...”
“... Has anyone ever written a satirical account of the first meeting between Simone deBeauvoir and Sartre? In an age when victims long to be mocked, in a country where satire is an essential part of the cultural heritage, and with two principals who have together inspired much controversy and aroused much dislike, the apparent absence of ridicule must be significant ...”
“... In an uncharacteristic moment of playfulness during her affair with Nelson Algren, Simone deBeauvoir called herself his ‘frog wife’. Although it echoed his tough-guy slang about their Paris-Chicago romance, the phrase has the ring of feminist fable. Like Hans Christian Andersen’s little mermaid, whose story Beauvoir wept over as a child, the frog wife is a changeling, unlike other women; pebbly and awkward, she cannot wed the prince ...”
“... Early in 1947 Simone deBeauvoir made her first trip to the United Sates. The Cold War was beginning and, like Sartre, Camus and the rest of their circle, she was searching for a third-camp alternative to Stalinism and American imperialism ...”
“... the Spirit Award. Skinny in my T-back, I got Most Valuables. Swimming mostly hurt. My shoulders are still big from this. The chrome-look figures on the trophies were crudely modelled. Some trained artist hunched at her rotating pe...”
“... On these two sacred monsters, the tally of evidence is still incomplete: there’s another volume of the translation of Lettres au Castor et à quelques autres to come, and Quintin Hoare has translated only two-thirds of the Lettres à Sartre. But you could already tabulate the chronologies into a glorious, full-colour-coded spreadsheet jigsaw, mapping the stories from the Sartre biographies (Annie Cohen-Solal, John Gerassi, Ronald Hayman) over those from the Beauvoir biographies (Deirdre Bair – very much the best; Claude Francis and Fernande Gontier, Margaret Crosland ...”
“... critics. The overall purpose of the book, however, is to commend one kind of criticism and to denigrate others. In Max Beerbohm’s Seven Men there are actually portraits of six men; the seventh is Max. Similarly, The Company of Critics really has 12 subjects-the 11 to whom chapters are devoted and Walzer ...”
“... In June 1946 Simone deBeauvoir was 38. She had just finished The Ethics of Ambiguity, and was wondering what to write next. Urged by Jean Genet, she went to see the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, on show for the first time after the war ...”
“...Simone deBeauvoir had to change her original title for When things of the spirit come first, because it had been unexpectedly pre-empted by the Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain. The new title which she picked (Quand prime le spirituel) was a simple variant of the other (Primauté du Spirituel), and the difference has in any case become insignificant in the English translation ...”
“... The category of the Other,’ Simone deBeauvoir declared in the opening pages of The Second Sex, ‘is as primordial as consciousness itself.’ No doubt she was right. But it is hard to believe that the term has ever had such intellectual currency as it has at present ...”
“... of us.’ In the novel clothes propel the narrative of Orlando’s passage through time and gender. In Mrs Dalloway the green dress is in effect a character, an expression of what Woolf described in her diary as ‘the frock consciousness’ of life. She took considerable care about ...”
“... as a Nouveau Romancier, or part of the Nouvelle Vague, or an habituée of the Flore, or the Deux Magots, or wherever else it was fashionable to go that season. But she was in the habit of leaving the door of her apartment on the Left Bank open from dawn until dusk. Home, she thought, ought to be open to the outsi...”
“... is fiftysomething if you start counting from The Second Sex, and, like Toril Moi, a lot of academic women are taking stock. The good news is that wherever positive discrimination in favour of men has been suspended, there are many more women in universities than there used to be, as stu...”
“... Sartre had a passive, self-centred war, well-suited to his deeply civilian temper, with no heroics and a great deal of free time. He was mobilised in September 1939, served in the East of France until he was captured in the collapse of June 1940, spent nine months as a prisoner of war, then sat out the Occupation in Paris ...”