According to Toril Moi, ‘freedom – not identity, difference or equality – is the fundamental concept in de Beauvoir’s feminism’. 1 Simone de Beauvoir insists that women and men are free human beings capable of independent, creative action. However
A Dialectic on Freedom
Memoirs, Diaries, Biography
Kate Kirkpatrick, Becoming Beauvoir: A Life (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), xiv +476 pp. ISBN: 9781–350–04717–4 Simone de Beauvoir, Diary of a Philosophy Student: Volume 2, 1928–29 . The Beauvoir Series. Edited by Barbara Klaw, Sylvie Le Bon
-avowed ‘macho’ 1 who did not devote any of his works to a sustained analysis of gender. But his lifelong companion, Simone de Beauvoir, did, and her distinct philosophical achievements have historically been ignored or reduced to Sartre's, especially in the
Ingrid Galster, Beauvoir dans tous ses états. Paris, Tallandier, 2007, 347pp. ISBN 978-2-84734-454-7 €25 (paperback)
Engagements, Contexts, Reconsiderations
At one hundred, we are told, a book becomes a classic; at one hundred Simone de Beauvoir has surely become a legend. And yet, like all legends, she remains something of an enigma, yet to be discovered. To be discovered, perhaps, in a way similar to her own attempt at self-discovery in Hard Times (the second volume of The Force of Circumstance), which results in a moving encounter with symptoms, repressions, and defenses that reveal those darker unrepentant forces―dreams and nightmares―that haunt her life. To discover is also to uncover the pages of a partly-written life that recurs in a succession of dreams and nightmares. As Beauvoir puts it: “In my dreams … there are objects that have always recurred” as “receptacles of suffering … the hands of a watch that begin to race [moved] by a secret and appalling organic disorder; a piece of wood bleeds beneath the blow of an ax … I feel the terror of these nightmares in my waking hours, if I call to mind the walking skeletons of Calcutta orthose little gourds with human faces―children suffering from malnutrition.”
Sin and Lovelessness in Sartre's Saint Genet
conclude that in the later work Sartre begins to show reservations about this stance and that Simone de Beauvoir's influence in this respect deserves greater scrutiny. These claims rest upon research that can be sketched only briefly in this article
lettres à Simone de Beauvoir 6 – comporte, selon nos calculs, plus ou moins 36 % de discours direct, Le Sursis , 31%, et le « cycle Brunet » de La Mort dans l’âme , 55 %. 7 La poétique sartrienne du dialogue romanesque La poétique sartrienne du dialogue
Dennis A. Gilbert
My article focuses on Le Théâtre existentialiste (Existentialist Theater) by Simone de Beauvoir, recently translated and published in the volume of the Beauvoir Series on her literary writings. The first part introduces the original sound recording of this text and the circumstances behind its possible production in New York City in 1947 and my discovery of it at Wellesley College in 1996. The second part analyzes the divisions of Beauvoir's remarks as she presents Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and their principal plays from the period of the Occupation: The Flies, No Exit, and Caligula. The third part then evaluates certain of Beauvoir's key concepts in terms of how they were able to define adequately the substance of existentialist theater for a postwar American audience and whether they remain valid for a more contemporary theatrical public some six decades later.
Human freedom resides primarily in exercise of that capacity that humans employ more abundantly than any other species on earth: the capacity for judgement. And in particular: that special judgement in relation to Self that we call aspiration. Freedom is not the absence of a field of (other) powers; instead, freedom shows up only against the reticulations of power impinging from without. For freedom worthy of the name must be construed as an exercise of power within an already-present field of power. Thus, liberty and causal necessity are not obverses.
Judith G. Coffin
This essay considers the near simultaneity of The Second Sex and Alfred C. Kinsey's reports on sexual behavior. It shows how reviewers in both France and the United States paired the studies; it asks how that pairing shaped the reception of The Second Sex; and it situates the studies in their larger historical context—a moment in which sexuality commanded new and much broader attention. An ever-widening number of disciplines, institutions, sectors of mass culture, and representatives of an expanding consumer economy (from studies of the authoritarian personality or juvenile delinquency to advertising) insisted that sexuality was key to their concerns and enterprises. The ways in which sexuality might be understood multiplied—to the point where an allencompassing notion of “sex” collapsed, giving way, eventually, to a plurality of terms: sexuality, sex roles, and gender.