Beauvoir, Simone de

AUTHOR, FEMINIST, POLITICAL ACTIVIST, PHILOSOPHER (FRANCE)
BORN 9 Jan 1908, Paris, 6e - DIED 14 Apr 1986, Paris
REAL NAME Beauvoir, Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière du Montparnasse, 3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet (division 20)

Simone de Beauvoir was the daughter of the legal secretary Georges Bertrand de Beauvoir. Her mother Françoise de Brasseur was the daughter of a banker. In her youth she was deeply religious, but as a teenager she became an atheist. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne and too her degree in 1928. In preparation for the agrégation in philosophy she attended the École Normale Supérieure, where Jean-Paul Sartre, Paul Nizan and René Maheu were fellow students. At the exams Sartre won first prize and De Beauvoir second and she was the youngest person ever to pass the exam.

From 1929 to 1942 she worked as a teacher in Marseilles, Rouen and Paris. By 1943 she was able to live from her writings. In that year she was suspended from teaching after being accused of seducing her pupil Natalie Sorokine in 1939. Also in 1943 she published her first novel "L'Invitée" ("She came to stay") in which several existentialist concepts were explored.

In 1929 she had started a relationship with Sartre and instread of marrying they started a lifelong partnership, without living together and with other lovers. Her relationships often attracted more attention than her considerable academic work. One of them was the American author Nelson Algren in Chicago, whom she had met in Chivago in 1947. From 1952 to 1959 she lived with Claude Lanzmann. The author Bianca Lablin claimed that she had been sexually exploited by De Beauvoir when she was her student.

"Le Deuxième Sexe" ("The Second Sex") was published in 1949. In 1954 De Beauvoir won the Prix Goncourt for her roman à clef "Les Mandarins" in which she modelled the character Lewis Brogan on Algren. She wrote many essays and works of fiction during the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1970s she was active in the women's liberation movement. In 1981 she published "La Cérémonie Des Adieux" ("A Farewell to Sartre") about Sartre's last years. She died in 1986 and was buried next to Sarte at Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris.

Related persons
• was the lover of Sartre, Jean-Paul

Images

The grave of Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir at the Montparnasse cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (27 Aug 2001)

 

Sources
• Cullen, Catherine, Paris, The Woman's Travel Guide, Virago Press, London, 1993
• Moerman, Josien (ed.), Lexicon Internationale Auteurs, Het Spectrum, Utrecht, 1985
Montparnasse cimitière: grafschriften, Paris, 1993
Simone de Beauvoir - Wikipedia


Bebel, August

Published: 21 Mar 2020
Last update: 21 Mar 2020