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Tête-à-Tête: The Tumultuous Lives and Loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,180 ratings  ·  153 reviews
Passionate, freethinking existentialist philosopher-writers Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre are one of the world's legendary couples. Their committed but notoriously open union generated no end of controversy in their day. Biographer Hazel Rowley offers the first dual portrait of these two colossal figures and their intense, often embattled relationship. Through or ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Harper Perennial (first published 2005)
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Mostafa Galal
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ستظل العلاقة بين الكاتبة المتمردة سيمون دي بوفوار والأديب الفيلسوف جان بول سارتر محط اهتمام العديد من الكتاب، لكن الكتاب الحالي يعتير أفضل عمل قرأته يتناول تلك العلاقة بالتحليل والنقد وبشكل عميق ومميز
وليد فتحي
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب جيد يمثل محاولة جديدة لتحليل ونقد العلاقة التي قامت بين اثنان من أشهر المفكرين في القرن الماضي؛ الكاتبة سيمون دي يوفوار والفيلسوف والأديب جان بول سارتر
Hoda Elsayed
تقول بوڤوار:
"ثمة شيء واحد لم يتغير ولا يمكن أن يتغير،
هو أنه مهما حدث ومهما أصبحت سأصبحُه معاك".
Nada EL Shabrawi
ممكن اعتباره أجمل كتاب -غير خيالي- قرأته السنة دي.
Rachel
Sep 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was going through a really weird period in my life when I walked into some Barnes and Noble, grabbed this off the shelf, and sat in a corner creepily pawing through it. When I bought it, it was not really a decision but more a compulsion. Then I used it to defend all of my weird romantic choices. Like, "Well, did you know that Sartre and Beauvoir also broke up and got back together like twelve times?"

Then later my missionary zeal turned to disgust when it started to dawn on me that these peopl
...more
NOUR
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ce livre dévoile leur «misérable tas de secrets» achève d'effondrer ce qui subsistait de la mythologie Sartre-Beauvoir - une histoire d'amour exemplaire? Plutôt une étrange liaison.
il illustre le fondement de l'existentialisme: nous sommes seuls, entièrement responsables de nous-mêmes, et sans excuses... Mais je suis déçue par le comportement de Beauvoir.. Cette femme que j'ai lu ses citations plusieurs fois en pensant à quel point elle est forte et intelligente ..alors qu' elle a mené une vie e
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Judy
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
I have been abducted! The tale goes like this: Two years ago I read Beauvoir's incredible account of her investigations into womanhood: The Second Sex. I had already read her four novels: She Came to Stay, The Blood of Others, All Men Are Mortal, and The Mandarins. The novels were intriguing but The Second Sex tempered my feminism in ways that changed me forever.

Last month I acquired a copy of a memoir by Claude Lanzmann (The Patagonian Hare) with the agreement that I would review it for BookBro
...more
Jimmy
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy-lives
Sartre intended to marry his mother Anne-Marie when he grew up. When he was 11, she married again and he was devastated. The naval engineer Joseph Mancy married her. Sartre would always hate his "Uncle Jo."

Sartre's odd eye and funny way of speaking got him beaten up a few times by his classmates. He became a tough hoodlum himself. He stole money from his mother's handbag to treat the other kids. He lied about making love to a girl back home in Paris. He was tormented in adolescence about his ug
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Helena
Apr 08, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: literary gossip geeks and conflicted polyamorists everywhere.
First of, any book with an adjective like "tumultous" in the title, unless to some degree satirical [think "amazing adventures of kavalier and clay,"], has a built in glass-ceiling of possible quality. That said...

It's rather, in my opinion, unfair to give a star-number rating to a book I have yet to finish, but I think the fact that I was given this book almost a month ago and am still working my way through it says something about how good it can possibly be.
The third star there is, in fact,
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Shaun
Nov 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
I was in for a treat reading this book. I have always been interested in the philosophies of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Part of this interest deals with their relationship(s) and the other people involved. I never knew it was so intricate and complicated.

Just to get a glimpse, Sartre and Beauvoir do not believe in monogamy (or marriage for that matter). This is part of their existentialist creed: love (and marriage) takes away freedom and makes the other person into an object. By d
...more
imane
حتى لو تكلمت معه من هنا حتى يوم القيامة ساجد ان الوقت قصير جدا

بدا لي عقله جبارا على نحو مميز اني معجبة به واشعر ايضا بالامتنان الكبير للطريقة السخية التي قدم بها نفسه

لم اكن اتوقع ان ذكاءه الحاد يتوافق مع اللهو والغناء والتمثيل والمزاح لقد وضع موسيقى جاز ثم بدا يتمشى ويلهو

كنت اشعر معه بانسجام استثنائي كان الحياة بدات للتو لم يسبق لاحد ان راني متفوقة وبهيجة. هناك شيء حيوي في هذا الانسان جعلني ارغب في استكشاف ذاتي وفي اكتشاف العالم. ليس مجرد شغف وقتي انها السعادة لم يسبق لي ان عشقت القراءة والتفكير
...more
Jafar
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This ended up being more than just a story of a relationship. It was the joint biography of Sartre and Beauvoir, plus the history of existentialism and mid-century European feminism and the radical left and the French anti-Nazi resistance and the cold war and much more. Meticulously researched and well-narrated.

As for Sartre and Beauvoir - oh my! I had no idea. They were lovers, but each with his/her own side lovers and torrid affairs. A few were shared as Beauvoir had a habit of passing off he
...more
Alicia
Feb 13, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why not celebrate Valemtime's Day by reading an account of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and their fleet of polyamorous friends? Nothing says "I love you" like "Sit down and listen to the sordid details of my most recent affair with a lover much younger than you are." This is how Sartre and Beauvoir liked to roll. I'd hoped this book would shed more light on Beauvoir's relationship with Sartre, how they really were together, how they managed to make their arrangement work, how they manag ...more
Marwa Bouhadda
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هنالك شيء ملفت وحيد حيال هذه القراءة، أنها جاءت في وقت غير متوقع وحرج نسبيا، وقت لم أكن لأسلم فيه بقدرتي على التهام 450 صفحة مشبعة بالسرد والشخصيات والعلاقات والفلسفة وأحداث السياسة والحروب ودراما العالم إبان القرن العشرين في ظرف ثلاثة أيام مدفوعة بنهم رهيب للمتابعة حتى النهاية، والحقيقة تقال أني لم أختبر مزاجية مفرطة وتناقض المشاعر المحموم أثناء قراءاتي منذ مدة طويلة، كان الكتاب الاستثناء الذي قلب عليَّ أيامي وأعاد إلي شهية السؤال، والقلق المغرق في هالة مضطربة قوامها الترقب وسعة الاحتمالات..
زُ
...more
Jillwilson
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Do you want your biographer in the story or not? I’ve been thinking about this question after reading this book which Rowley has described as being “about the life of a relationship, rather than about a singular life - a relationship that just happened to be perhaps the most notorious and well-documented one of modern times: between the philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.” (www.smh.com.au/news/books/intimateobs...)

I began this read thinking about studying French History at uni
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Paola E. Haiat
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pasa una cosa en especial con este libro: uno no puede, después de leerlo, no preguntarse qué tan real era el amor entre Sartre y Beauvoir -ese amor necesario entre toda la gama de amores contingentes-, y no preguntarse qué es el amor, en general y cómo debería éste ser llevado a la práctica.
La relación de estos dos intelectuales pasó por todas las etapas que dos personas pudieran sufrir. A lo largo de este libro uno sufre con ellos, uno sufre con la belleza y sufre con el dolor. No todo el sufr
...more
Anna
Sep 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Good book. Well researched (judging by notes, bibliography, numerous quotes). Written with respect.

I wish I haven't read it. Yet.

I wish I'd read more by Sartre and de Beauvoir before reading about them. I have read two Sartre's plays and nothing by de Beauvoir. So, this is my reccomendation. Don't read it from idle curiosity, read it to deepen the knowledge you already have. Otherwise the book will have little meaning, it will slip into the voyeuristic gossip and give you nothing.
M. Sarki
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very well-written book based on the long-accomplished relationship between Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. Quite an amazing story of collaboration detailing their mutual pursuit of every experience including writing, travel, politics, love, deceit, and sexual conquests. A very insightful and enjoyable read.
Michelle
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Okay - I'm not going to write a proper review of this (after all, I struggle to review fiction - I wouldn't know where to begin reviewing non-fiction) but Tete-a-Tete only deepened my fascination with Sartre and de Beauvoir. If you're a fellow devotee, I can't recommend this book highly enough.
Elisa
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
With the many juicy details of Sartre and Beauvoir's love lives, this reads like a breeze. In between their intellectual accomplishments, many eye-popping and head-scratching tales of polygamy, lover-swapping, and heart-breaking are interwoven.

Aside from being tumultuous, these lives and loves are also raunchy and high-brow.

One thing's for sure: Sartre lived on his own terms, and he followed his existential philosophy right down to its ultimate consequences, all other people be damned (and, ye
...more
Lou Heinrich
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I bloody loved this. A fabulous overarching introduction to the main concepts that Sartre and de Beauvoir are famous for. Their endless affairs become tiresome, but the emotional ramifications of individuals who seek freedom at whatever cost is interesting!
Sarah
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, favorites
Of the dozens of books I've read this year (most of which have been unrecorded; I vow to change that in 2012), two in particular stand out: The Human Stain by Philip Roth, because it's an amazing story told in an amazing way, and then Tete-a-Tete by Hazel Rowley. Tete-a-Tete is a biography of the lifelong relationship between Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. Although the two were undeniably committed to one another, their relationship was unconventional. They never married nor had childr ...more
Adan
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book, detailed biography of the relationship between Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir (and their whole galaxy of loves, lovers and friends) absolutely delighted me in many ways, in a crossroad where contemporary history and philosophy meet with a group (more than just them) of interesting men and women, with their affairs, loves, little moments of happiness and lots of unhappiness, in a time (and fashion) when most of them write almost ALL (letters to each other, journals, memoirs, biographica ...more
Hîva Soro
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J’ai lu toutes les œuvres de Sartre, et beaucoup d’études faites sur sa pensée ou sa littérature, mais cette œuvre-là est vraiment touchante. Sartre est ici en chair et en os, il n’est pas l’homme de lettres ou de pensées, il est un Homme, il est ce qu’il a voulu toujours être : « un homme parmi les hommes ». Et Simone, cette femme forte et contradictoire, cette femme qui a transformé tout échec à une réussite mérite tout respect. C’est une œuvre parfaite, l’auteur nous éclaire beaucoup de chose ...more
Colie!
Jun 23, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in crazy french writers.
It's definitely a good read to get a solid grasp on Sartre and de Beauvoir's relationship, and I found it significantly engaging as I'd never known what their lives were like as people, beyond what they'd written.

That said, though well-researched, it's REALLY poorly written, and that got very annoying. However, I could overlook that and enjoy excerpts from their own writings and so forth. So I'd still recommend it, as the story's interesting, but only if you're taking it out of the library or bo
...more
Diana
Aug 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: myfavorites
This book is ferocious. About twenty pages in, I began to feel a crazy urge to get my hands on any and everything Sartre and Beauvoir have ever written. They led extraordinary lives, and though I don't agree with a lot of their beliefs, I'm extremely fascinated by the way they stuck to their guns and basically gave society a "Screw you!" The writing is compelling to say the least, and Rowley did her homework.
Chelsea Szendi
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is for everybody out there with intellectual pretensions and a long flight in front of them. I felt completely unabashed reading graphic descriptions of Sartre deflowering maidens (in his own words) because this is about 20th century thought, people!

Oddly enough, the aspect of Sartre and the Beaver's intertwined lives that impressed me the most was their incredible work schedule (on top of their lengthy romantic correspondences). All in all a really fine piece of narrative nonfiction.
Lama
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
يروي هذا الكتاب تفاصيل الحياة المشتركة التي عاشتها سيمون دو بوفوار وجان بول سارتر وحياة كل منهما على حدة؛ يمكنني القول إن الكاتبة والصحفية الفرنسية هازل رولي قد نجحت في تقديم كتاب أغنى وأوسع من كل السير الذاتية والمذكرات التي كتبها كل منهما عن حياته.
ومن الجدير بالذكر أن ترجمة محمد حنانا التي بين يدي ترجمة ممتازة أنصح بقراءتها
Tuqa Mohammad
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"سيمون دي بوفوار
جان بول سارتر
وجهاً لوجه "
هذا الكتاب ترجم للعربية من قبل الهيئة العامة السورية للكتاب
محتوى هذا الكتاب ملخص عن حياة الثنائي المثير للفضول .
مستخلص من السير الذاتية لسيمون و سارتر و العائلة السارترية كما عرفت .
مهما ادعى الانسان الحرية و تخلى عن القيود الاخلاقية و الاجتماعيه يبقى هناك من القيود تفرض بكونها اساس لما اختار ان يكون عليه .
Christine Powers
May 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, it was the perfect mix of philosophy, history and biography. It was an intresting and quick read for anyone who is intrested in Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sarte. It gives a closer look at both these literary giants as well as the myth of the couple that they were.
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Hazel Rowley was a British-born Australian author and biographer.

Born in London, Rowley emigrated with her parents to Adelaide at the age of eight. She studied at the University of Adelaide, graduating with Honours in French and German. Later she acquired a PhD in French. She taught literary studies at Deakin University in Melbourne, before moving to the United States.

Rowley's first published biog
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“I would have liked to have given a frank and balanced account of my own sexuality ... because it is not just a personal matter but a political one too." Beauvoir” 2 likes
“Beauvoir lent Maheu a recent English novel she had enjoyed, The Green Hat, by Michael Arlen. She admired its independent heroine, Iris Storm. Maheu did not. 'I have no liking for women of easy virtue,' he told her. 'Much as I like a woman to please me, I find it impossible to respect any woman I've had.' Beauvoir was indignant. 'One does not have an Iris Storm!” 1 likes
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