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Witness to My Life: The Letters of Jean-Paul Sartre to Simone De Beauvoir, 1926-1939 Hardcover – April, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (April 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684193388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684193380
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

These intimate, highly articulate letters reveal the tender side of Sartre's deep dependency on his longtime partner, de Beauvoir. Beginning when Sartre was a 21-year-old student, an awkward lover courting his first love, the correspondence tracks the dynamic shifts of their lives though the 1930s, a decade that brought forth his first published novel, Nausea (1937). Sartre's almost clinical accounts of his sexual affairs ostensibly were greeted with equanimity by de Beauvoir as long as she retained a primary position as his intellectual partner in their open relationship. As Europe plunged into a maelstrom, his wartime letters from the German border reflect his realization that he had been living inauthentically, and prefigure his existentialist philosophy. First published in 1983 (three years after the French thinker's death) but only now translated into English, this collection is vintage Sartre in its passionate conversations, anecdotal verve, spontaneous outbursts and relentless self-analysis.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Popular in France since its publication as Lettres au Castor et a quelques autres (Gallimard, 1983), this collection offers an accessible and rounded version of the relationship between de Beauvoir and Sartre. The collection includes several letters to others important to both of them, so that Sartre's relationship with de Beauvoir is illuminated by his discussion of her with others. The volume ends before Sartre's imprisonment during World War II, a period when they corresponded heavily, and so it can be hoped than an additional collection may be forthcoming. De Beauvoir's notes are amplified by the translators to clarify relationships and settings. Students of either thinker and of 20th-century culture need to read this.
- Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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