Friday, January 4, 2008

Simone de Beauvoir 1908- 1986

Simone de Beauvoir was born on January 9th, 1908.
Do a Guardian quiz on her life and work:

One of her best-known books is The Second Sex, published in 1947. In this she examines the role of women, and claims that many of the social differences between the sexes arise from nurture rather than nature.
She is also, ironically for a feminist, known as the life-long companion of Jean-Paul Sartre, the existentialist philospher.
Some things she said which appeal to me:
'Each of us is responsible for everything and to every human being.'
'When in doubt, always say yes to life.'

The photograph below comes from an article in the Guardian:

In 2006 a footbridge over the River Seine was named after her. It leads to the Bibliotheque Nationale.

I saw Simone
I tried to write this from the perspective of myself aged 21 or 22, not very self-confident, too inlcined to hero-worship.
I have edited it slightly today, from the first version written in March 2005.

In 1969
I saw her
in the Bib Nat
wearing the turban
she favoured.

making notes.

She was there,
I was there,
what she wrote
years before.

Did I get up
from my place
and go to her?

Hello, you won’t know me.
I wanted to be you
when I grew up.

No. I sat still,
looked sideways.

What could I say
that she hadn’t heard
A million times before?

I left her alone
with her work
and fame

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