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La Force des choses door Simone de Beauvoir
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La Force des choses (origineel 1963; editie 1963)

door Simone de Beauvoir (Auteur)

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338358,110 (3.7)6
Covering the years 1944 to 1952, this volume of the autobiography of legendary feminist and writer Simone de Beauvoir gives us not only an intimate account of her relationship with Sartre, but also a wonderful portrait of Parisian intellectual life. During this troubled period, French intellectuals grappled with the horrors of the Holocaust, the onset of the Cold War, and the beginning of colonial wars in Vietnam and Algeria. Beauvoir weaves memorable descriptions and anecdotes about leading members of the French postwar scene, including Genet, Camus, Richard Wright, Artaud, and Cocteau, with an account of her travels in Europe, Africa, and the United States. She also gives us an unforgettable chronicle of her romance with novelist Nelson Algren and of her struggle to live as an independent woman and writer.… (meer)
Lid:NelsonAlgren
Titel:La Force des choses
Auteurs:Simone de Beauvoir (Auteur)
Info:Gallimard (1963), Edition: First Edition
Verzamelingen:Jouw bibliotheek
Waardering:
Trefwoorden:Geen

Werkdetails

De druk der omstandigheden door Simone de Beauvoir (1963)

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[Force of Circumstance] - Simone de Beauvoir

"Youth which once fascinated me, seems now no more than a prelude to maturity"

Says Simone de Beauvoir in an epilogue to the third instalment of her autobiography. Simone and Jean-Paul Sartre have grown up. Whereas I found the second part of her autobiography [The Prime of Life] raised some questions about the aims and ambitions of the couple I have nothing but admiration for them as they strived to keep true to their ideals during the period between 1944 to 1963 in France.

The heady euphoria of the liberation of Paris in 1944 and then the end of hostilities gives way to a period of relative calm where both Sartre and de Beauvoir established themselves as authors and important figures on the left wing of political thought. Sartre became an internationally known figure whose views were listened to with respect and de Beauvoir won the Prix Goncourt for her novel The Mandarins. Whereas they had previously held on to teaching jobs to supplement their earnings from their writing they now could both live comfortably on Sartre's earnings alone. This new found wealth did not go to their heads they ploughed all their energies back into their work. The couple draw closer together as their outspoken opposition to General de Gaulle's fifth republic and the Algerian war put both their lives at some risk. They stood up to be counted when others took an easier route through the difficult years of the Algerian war of independence 1954-62.

Simone de Beauvoir says of her relationship to Sartre (she always refers to him as Sartre never Jean-Paul)

"There has been one undoubted success in my life: my relationship with Sartre. In more than thirty years we have only once gone to sleep at night disunited.......We have a common store of memories, knowledge and images behind us; our attempts to grasp the world are undertaken with the same tools, set within the same framework, guided by the same touchstones."

This is perhaps all the more remarkable seeing that they had an open relationship. During this period of her life Simone had long standing love affairs with the American Nelson Algren and the French jew Claude Lanzmann both of whom were on good terms with Sartre: Lanzmann in particular working closely with him at "Le Temps Modernes"; the newspaper founded by de Beauvoir and Sartre.

Sartre's international reputation ensured that they were invited to communist countries, and they went to Cuba, China and Russia. Sartre in particular had a sort of love hate relationship with the French communist party, breaking links with them after the 1956 Russian invasion of Hungary. He preferred to plough his own furrow especially with his support for the Algerian Independence movement and this stance made him and de Beauvoir targets of the O.A.S (the French Secret Army Organisation). In [Force of Circumstance] de Beauvoir describes in some detail her impressions and politica/cultural work on these trips abroad. The couple also spent a couple of months in Brazil. Her observations are both sensitive and acute and although they sometimes feel like a travelogue, she is also at pains to come to grips with the political situation. Her honesty in describing her own reactions to third world environments goes hand in hand with her admiration for the work done by certain people to improve standards of living. She is frustrated at times by not being allowed to see everything or not having the capacity to undertake some arduous travelling, but she and Sartre probably did better than most people on official visits.

The autobiography covers her own work and she gives some outlines of what she is trying to achieve and the public's reception of her books. She is also involved with Sartre's attempts to get his plays performed and all of this involves the couple being very much a part of the artistic/cultural scene in the period following the end of the war, however this tails off dramatically when they become almost social pariahs when their political stance gives rise to an estrangement from the artistic scene. Certainly in the first part of the autobiography there is much name dropping, but few close friends. The book is particularly strong when she becomes ashamed of her fellow countrymen. She is disgusted when Charles de Gaulle attains over 80% support in the referendum for the fifth republic. The rise of the political right so soon after the war and the reintegration of the collaborators with the Nazis sticks in her throat and she loses her love for her country. This all comes to a head in the final years of the Algerian war and both she and Sartre need to spend some time abroad to regain their spirits. She also has a fear of ageing and the loss of her physical and mental powers and although she is only 55 years old at the end of the book she is already talking about herself as an old woman. She writes at the end of the book:

"For now I know the truth of the human condition: two thirds of mankind are hungry. My species is two thirds composed of worms, two weak ever to rebel, who drag their way from birth to death through a perpetual dusk of despair"

There is a sense of helplessness here and although she admits that her social position and education has allowed her to make her points she looks askance at others around her. I found myself warming to and admiring Simone de Beauvoir as I followed her steps by way of this autobiography. She may come across as a little overbearing and lacking a sense of humour, but her honesty and her struggles to do what she thinks is right is only to be congratulated. I sympathise deeply with her despair at the rise of unchecked capitalism and she would not feel any better if she was alive today. This is both a story of a left wing intellectuals battle against the tide and a potted history of France after the second world war. It is a chunky read at over 670 pages of densely worded paragraphs, but it's well worth it 4.5 stars. ( )
2 stem baswood | Nov 10, 2019 |
Venti anni di vissuto personale e di vicende storiche sullo sfondo sono l'itinerario percorso in modo lucido dall'autrice: gli incontri con Sartre, Queneau, Camus; gli slanci e le passioni, il senso di sconfitta e la perdita di persone amate. La forza delle cose è per la Beauvoir quella della storia, della morte che galvanizzano e attraggono come magneti, ma che spezzano anche e sovrastano. La forza che l'intellettuale non può ignorare o mettere da parte. "Una donna scrittrice - ella afferma - non è una donna di casa che scrive, ma qualcuno la cui intera esistenza è condizionata dallo scrivere" ( )
  cometahalley | May 2, 2011 |
very long --660 pages, i didn't enjoy the political parts much but her life and especially her travels. ( )
  mahallett | Jul 4, 2010 |
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» Andere auteurs toevoegen (14 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Simone de Beauvoirprimaire auteuralle editiesberekend
Witsenburg, L.VertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd

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Covering the years 1944 to 1952, this volume of the autobiography of legendary feminist and writer Simone de Beauvoir gives us not only an intimate account of her relationship with Sartre, but also a wonderful portrait of Parisian intellectual life. During this troubled period, French intellectuals grappled with the horrors of the Holocaust, the onset of the Cold War, and the beginning of colonial wars in Vietnam and Algeria. Beauvoir weaves memorable descriptions and anecdotes about leading members of the French postwar scene, including Genet, Camus, Richard Wright, Artaud, and Cocteau, with an account of her travels in Europe, Africa, and the United States. She also gives us an unforgettable chronicle of her romance with novelist Nelson Algren and of her struggle to live as an independent woman and writer.

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