A Dangerous Liaison: A Revalatory New Biography of Simone Debeauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre
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A Dangerous Liaison: A Revalatory New Biography of Simone Debeauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  71 ratings  ·  8 reviews
"A Dangerous Liaison" tells the intense, passionate, and sometimes-painful story of how two brilliant freethinkers, lovers, and rivals came to share a relationship that lasted more than 50 years. This is the first dual biography of Simone De Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sarte.
ebook, 576 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Overlook (first published May 6th 2008)
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Pat Eggleton
Sep 05, 2010 Pat Eggleton rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pat by: Jill Hilbourne
Shelves: biography, france
"What did you do in the war, Sartre?"

Two years ago when I was in hospital I reread de Beauvoir's "Prime of Life" and it occurred to me that she and Sartre had rather an easy war. Now Carole Seymour-Jones, in this double biography, explodes the myth that the couple were prominent in the Resistance and we learn that they did very little indeed. It was Albert Camus who put himself in danger by publishing clandestinely, while Sartre and de Beauvoir attended only one committee meeting of the undergro...more
Though the book started off a bit slow for me, once the lives of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre became intertwined at the time of their introduction in 1929 (when both were students at the École Normale Supérieure), I could hardly tear myself away. I set myself to reading 2 chapters a day.

I was surprised to discover how apolitical the 2 were during the 1930s. Both were then firmly set on establishing careers for themselves and having sexual relationships with impressionable young women....more
Tyler Taylor
A Dangerous Liason is full of conjecture and censure, though seemingly so in the name of a purer history. This biography of confluence draws from interviews, private letters, and both published and unfinished works by the literary and political icons Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. The book looks at their thought (phenomenology, existentialism, feminism, Hegel) and their lives in love, a love of revolutionary intellectuals who agreed against marriage in favor of a more open, often liber...more
Although I have always enjoyed reading their literary and philosophical writings -- I even admire some -- I have never admired the characters of Sartre and de Beauvoir. This biography is, indeed, revelatory, and it will not win over any new fans for this controversial couple. It may be best to learn to appreciate Sartre and de Beauvoir first through their work before delving into their often hypocritical, sordid, and sad lives.
Anoush Margaryan
While I enjoyed reading about the lives and the work of Sarter and De Beauvoir, this book is just badly written. The analysis is sometimes superficial, the timeline incoherent, and the language often descends into Cold War propaganda a la tabloid style - which is at first amusing, but quickly becomes rather tiring.
I found this book to be more author conjecture and guesswork than an actual biography. Got about half way through before I gave up. Disapointing that a book about two such fascinating people could be so dull.
I am afraid I could not finish this one, which is very very rare. It usually takes the whole book for me to decide if I like it.
Daina Tabuna
Fantastiski, izcili, aizraujoši utt. Brīnišķīga, ārprātīga grāmata, iesaku ļoti.
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Carole Seymour-Jones was born in North Wales and educated at Oxford and Sussex Universities. Her recent biography 'Painted Shadow: The Life of Vivienne Eliot' was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. She is the chair of the Writers in Prison Committee of English PEN, and co-editor of 'Another Sky: Voices of Conscience from Around the World' , a collection of pieces by writers imprisoned for e...more
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“Of course Sartre and Beauvoir were not alone in being seduced by Communism. Many of the Auden generation, on both sides of the Channel, had become infatuated with the socialist 'paradise', and remained blind to its atrocities.” 1 likes
“I loathe my childhood and all that remains of it.

Jean-Paul Sartre, Words”
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