Lorri Steinbacher's Reviews > The Mandarins

The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir
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Apr 15, 11

Read in April, 2011

This was a tough one. The political aspect was dense and a little repetitive. I found it interesting that Anne thought herself so different from Paula and yet they ended up exactly the same way. In the end, I ended up respecting only Nadine, who seemed to be the one with the most legitimate reasons for acting as hardhearted and capricious as she did, as the war intruded upon her still-forming youthful personality.

I always find myself agitated when smart women subjugate their own desires and dreams for the sake of their artistics dreams of the men they choose to spend their lives with. I have Anne Ropihe's new book on my pile to read and just from the excerpts I've seen in the media, I think that her story will dovetail interestingly with this one--while annoying the *% out of me.

Still, even though it was like a daily dose of vitamin P (for plodding), I feel like I got something significant out of the book, a flavor of post-resistance France and the effects the war had on France's intelligensia.
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