Simone de Beauvoir’s account of the last ten years of Jean-Paul Sartre’s life provides a focus for understanding one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century. But the book, consisting of both a year-by-year account of Sartre’s last decade and a conversation between him and de Beauvoir about his life and work, is more than just a philosophical examination. It is also a personal dialogue of astonishing frankness that illuminates one of the most famous and complex relationships of the twentieth century.
Translated by Patrick O'Brian
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.21(w) x 7.96(h) x 1.02(d)|
About the Author
SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR was born in Paris in 1908. In 1929 she became the youngest person ever to obtain the agrégation in philosophy at the Sorbonne, placing second on the exam to Jean-Paul Sartre. She taught at lycées in Marseille and Rousen from 1931 to 1937, and in Paris from 1938 to 1943. After World War II, she emerged as one of the leaders of the existentialist movement, working with Sartre on Les Temps Modernes. The author of many acclaimed works, de Beauvoir was one of the most influential thinkers of her generation. She died in 1986.
Read an Excerpt
THE FAREWELL CEREMONY
This is first of my books—the only one no doubt—that you will not have read before it was printed. It is wholly and entirely devoted to you; and you are not affected by it.
When we were young and one of us gained a brilliant victory over the other in an impassioned argument, the winner used to say, “There you are in your little box!” You are in your little box; you will not come out of it and I shall not join you there. Even if I am buried next to you there will be no communication between your ashes and mine.
When I say you, it is only a pretense, a rhetorical device. No one hears it. I am speaking to no one. In reality it is Sartre’s friends that I am talking to—those who would like to know more about his last years. I have described them as I lived through them. I have spoken about myself a little, because the witness is part of his evidence, but I have done so as seldom as possible. In the first place because that is not what this book is about, and then because, as I replied to a friend who asked me how I was taking it, “These things cannot be told; they cannot be put into writing; they cannot be formed as in one’s mind. They are experienced and that it all.”
This narrative is chiefly based on the diary I kept during those ten years, and on the many testimonies, I have gathered. My thanks to all those whose written or spoken words have helped me to recount Sartre’s last days.
Table of Contents
A F A R E W E L L T O S A R T R E • 1
The Farewell Ceremony • 3
1970 • 3
1971 • 12
1972 • 23
1973 • 38
1974 • 65
1975 • 78
1976 • 93
1977 • 98
1978 • 109
1979 • 113
1980 • 118
C O N V E R S A T I O N S W I T H J E A N - P A U L S A R T R E • 129
Preface in the Conversations • 131
Index • 447
What People are Saying About This
“An intimate, personal, and honest portrait of a relationship unlike any other in literary history.”
—Deirdre Bair, The Philadelphia Inquirer
“[A] portrait of a deep love between two people who lead separate lives. Of all the many interviews Sartre gave in his life, this is perhaps the clearest.”
“An expression of [de Beauvoir’s] unquenchable loyalty and devotion, her sense of the sheer importance of the man, Sartre, le maître.”