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Letters to Sartre

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  546 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Recently published for the first time in France, letters written by Simone de Beauvoir to one of the world's most acclaimed philosophers shed light on their relationship and her obsessive need to communicate with him.
Paperback, 531 pages
Published May 3rd 1993 by Arcade Publishing (first published 1991)
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4.06  · 
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 ·  546 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Jun 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epistolary
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the fact that Simone de Beauvoir referred to Sartre as “My dear little being.”
She loves everything about him from his "little fingers", ″arms″, and ″lips/lip″ to his ″boring sweaters″ and ″little 'not so round' face.″
Sartre calls her “Beaver,” lovingly!

″When I’m with you nothing seems so terrible as leaving you yet faraway the least little fear is unbearable. I love you passionately. I’m empty and unhappy without you...I love you with something tragic and with complete abandonment.″ she
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Letters are so funny. Especially when you can only access one side of the correspondence. One of the things I love about reading letters is that you get a particular picture of the writer and the reader that one wouldn't get if the story had been told as just that - A STORY.

I read this book most nights before bed - one letter at a time for nearly a year and am feeling a little of a loss. I think I'm going to miss DeBeauvoir!

These letters gave me a very good picture of Paris during World War II a
Feb 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: french
When I put this book on my reading list I was hoping it'd be full of dialogue on the pair's intellectual ideas. I like to think of them as the modern day Abelard and Heloise. There was a little, but very little of that.

For the most part de Beauvoir writes about what she's reading, what she had for dinner or what she observed on a walk. It's mundane, yes, but de Beauvoir is beyond a doubt a fantastic writer and I still found myself drawn in.

The best part of the book for me was following her liter
Ian "Marvin" Graye
What We Call Each Other When We Call About Love

I saw this book in a shop today.

I love the fact (but wasn't surprised) that she referred to Sartre as "my dear little being". I'll have to check his volume of letters to see whether he called her "my dear little nothingness".

I was a bit more surprised that she referred to herself as "your charming Beaver." Understandable, I suppose.
Oct 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
I knew there was a reason why I never liked anything written by Simone de Beauvoir. The letters reveal a petty person who seemed to revel in using other people and tattling on it to Sartre (and then there is the endless discussion about what she ate who she ate it with and that passion filled hour). My feelings about Sartre? the jury's still out on how I feel about his writing and these letters do not reveal much about him, other than he had a long term relationship with a pretty despicable pers ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is an interesting book, allowing you to virtually live 70 years ago.
Sartre and Beauvoir were both intellectuals, Sartre even gaining a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964. Their love lasted an entire life. But it was a special type of relationship, what we now call on Facebook an open relationship. They both had affairs, Simone being involved in affairs both with girls and guys. It's very interesting from this point of view.
Also, the book contains the correspondence from the Second World War,
Sarah Zahid
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I picked this book with high hopes. This is one way correspondence between Satre and Simone. A love affair that was open yet closed from the prying eyes of public.. They never legally tied knots but she often refers to him as "dear husband" . The letters are full of mundane details. Her dinners with family, at one time about a flat bicycle tire and money. The kind of stuff wives write to their long term husbands . But they are still love letters. They are filed with her escapades and she shares ...more
Feb 22, 2009 marked it as to-read
I bought this for my love, Chris, and have been itching to read it since perusing the passages the night before his birthday. I must wait until he has a chance to read it (if ever) before I ask to borrow it! Sarte and de Beauvoir had such a passion for one another, and for writing, that touches me deeply. These letters cause me to long for the cafes that line the Saint Germaine Blvd in Paris...
Marielle Velasco
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Diminutive. I didn't finish it. Is it safe to hate a book even if you didn't finish it? The moral is common and their predicament is bizarre. Contingent lovers were okay as long as they maintain communication.
Sep 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
I love this book! It is a collection of letters between Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir (two great French writers; I love her work in particular). Romantic, engaging, and intense.
Nathan Albright
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: challenge-2019
I am perhaps the wrong person to be reading a book like this.  Generally speaking, one reads the letters of others when one has an interest in them or their lives.  I am, at best, deeply ambivalent to hostile towards the thinking of the author, and I am not that much more fond of Sartre outside of his excellent plays.  As a result, this book is not as enjoyable as it was when I was reading the letters of Jane Austen [1].  Nevertheless, I am in general a fan of letter-writing, even if mine has be ...more
Srishti Bose
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
OG long distance.
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
But she, she is simply a human.

A voyeuresque escape and nothing much more to be gained.
Aveugle Vogel
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
"you say you don't approve of your tranquillity"
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An interesting look at the person behind the philosophy. I've read her philosophical works before, but knew very little about her as a person. These letters show the intricacies of her relationship with Sartre, the respect and admiration they had for each other. I was struck by how much like every other woman I know she is, and yet she is transcendent. Now I'll have to go read Sartre's letters as well.
Oct 28, 2015 rated it liked it
If second sex is brilliant, intense, and feminist this book is excessively romantic! This is a collection of letters Simone de Beauvoir wrote to Sartre, which tells the reader only one side of the story. So, it is hard to make connection between the characters. However, over the length of the book, readers can see how she has grown from pedestrian to political and intellectual. She sounds difficult and judgmental, but most people with strong convections generally are.

Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had to read this book after hearing it mentioned in a film.

I really enjoyed reading Simone's letters to Sartre and felt the love with their relationship (if that makes any kind of sense). I could not put this book down.
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
Ugh. I truly do appreciate Simone de Beauvoir and would read anything else by her other than these letters.
It is so tedious to hear her list endearments to Sartre for 70%+ of the book. Toward the end when she is traveling, things get a little more interesting.
May 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism, non-fiction
A Wonderful! This gives me a different glimpse at who de Beauvoir is, fills out some vacant details from The Wartime Diaries. It's an absolutely fascinating portrayal of her relationship with Sartre. I find this relationship SO intriguing.
Lavanya Arora
Gave up after page 90.
Maria Gode
Apr 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's funny how you can read one letter to another without the answers. It's a story and you can imagine the replies... and they are beautiful. I really like this book.
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Simone de Beauvoir was a French author and philosopher. She wrote novels, monographs on philosophy, political and social issues, essays, biographies, and an autobiography. She is now best known for her metaphysical novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins, and for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary femini ...more
“I love you, with a touch of tragedy and quite madly.” 45 likes
“But I miss you to the point of anguish.” 2 likes
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