"If the author knows in advance the conclusion he intends, if he insists upon pressing a predetermined thesis upon the reader, if he refuses to permit even the illusion of freedom, then … the novel has no value and dignity, which must be there if both author and reader are to discover something alive. It is this necessity that one speaks of … when one says that the novel must escape from its author, who must not dispose of his characters, but on the contrary must let them impose their will on him. A novel is not a manufactured object, and it is even pejorative to say that it is fabricated; without doubt it is absurd to say that heroes in the literal sense of the word are free, but in truth this freedom that one admires in the characters of Dostoevsky, for example, is that of the novelist himself who has respect for his creations, and the opacity of events which he evokes should manifest the resistance which he has met in the act of creation."

Simone de Beauvoir, “Literature and Metaphysics” (Deirdre Bair’s translation in Simone de Beauvoir: a biography, pp. 318-319)

(P.S.: The essay “Literature and Metaphysics” was written by Beauvoir in 1946 for Les Temps Modernes magazine. At the time Beauvoir was not a feminist and used the masculine form of language as expression of the generic or universal.)

Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Foucault and Sigmund Freud by antisomber. What an awsome conversation they would have!
(And not peaceful at all. Merleau-Ponty was her great friend, although things became strange between them after he criticized The Second Sex and Sartre. She wrote a virulent essay called Merleau-Ponty and Pseudo-Sartreanism. Foucault didn’t seem to like her very much, nor Sartre, and criticized both in Les mots et les choses. And when it comes to Freud, enough to point what she writes about psychoanalysis in The Second Sex, but she was very interested in his ideas, mainly about childhood.)

Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Foucault and Sigmund Freud by antisomber. What an awsome conversation they would have!

(And not peaceful at all. Merleau-Ponty was her great friend, although things became strange between them after he criticized The Second Sex and Sartre. She wrote a virulent essay called Merleau-Ponty and Pseudo-Sartreanism. Foucault didn’t seem to like her very much, nor Sartre, and criticized both in Les mots et les choses. And when it comes to Freud, enough to point what she writes about psychoanalysis in The Second Sex, but she was very interested in his ideas, mainly about childhood.)

"É porque minha subjetividade não é inércia, retiro sobre si, separação, mas, ao contrário, movimento para o outro, que a diferença entre o outro e eu é abolida e que posso chamar o outro de meu; apenas eu posso criar o laço que me une ao outro; crio-o pelo fato de que não sou uma coisa, mas um projeto de mim rumo ao outro, uma transcendência."

— Simone de Beauvoir, Pirro e Cinéias

Simone de Beauvoir à son bureau. Paris, 1955. Photo: Gisèle Freund.

Simone de Beauvoir à son bureau. Paris, 1955. Photo: Gisèle Freund.

"Literature is born when something in life goes slightly adrift."

— Simone de Beauvoir, The Prime of Life.

Happy Birthday, Jean-Paul Sartre (June 21, 1905), called by Simone de Beauvoir in her letters to him as “Tout cher petit être” and “Mon amour”.

Photos: October 16, 1970. Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre and other intellectuals and activists went out to sell the banned leftist newspaper La Cause du Peuple in the streets of Paris. This way they could challenge authorities and protest against censorship. Photos: Bruno Barbey

Simone de Beauvoir (forth from left in the second row) with her students and fellow teachers at lycée Jeanne D’Arc, Rouen, 1933. [Olga Kosakievicz is first from left in the bottom row.]

Simone de Beauvoir (forth from left in the second row) with her students and fellow teachers at lycée Jeanne D’Arc, Rouen, 1933. [Olga Kosakievicz is first from left in the bottom row.]

Simone de Beauvoir, 1960. Place unknown (it might be Brazil).

Simone de Beauvoir, 1960. Place unknown (it might be Brazil).

Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre with Fidel Castro during their visit to Cuba in 1960.

Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre with Fidel Castro during their visit to Cuba in 1960.

Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, Nida, Lithuania, 1965. Photo: Antanas Sutkus. 

Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, Nida, Lithuania, 1965. Photo: Antanas Sutkus. 

Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, Paris, 1948. Photo: Beauvoir’s Archives.

Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, Paris, 1948. Photo: Beauvoir’s Archives.

Right to left: Simone de Beauvoir (around 8 years old), unidentified lady, her father Georges, her mother Françoise, her sister Hélène and unidentified man. Photo: Family Album.

Right to left: Simone de Beauvoir (around 8 years old), unidentified lady, her father Georges, her mother Françoise, her sister Hélène and unidentified man. Photo: Family Album.

Simone de Beauvoir by Delius Dessinateur. 

Simone de Beauvoir by Delius Dessinateur

Simone de Beauvoir, the day she was selling the banned newpaper La Cause du Peuple on the streets. Paris, 1970. Photo: Bruno Barbey.
(I love this picture, I love her wrinkles, each one of them reminds me she put her entire life and every single cell of her body into her wrintings. And we are lucky she left us all those pages.)

Simone de Beauvoir, the day she was selling the banned newpaper La Cause du Peuple on the streets. Paris, 1970. Photo: Bruno Barbey.

(I love this picture, I love her wrinkles, each one of them reminds me she put her entire life and every single cell of her body into her wrintings. And we are lucky she left us all those pages.)

"Moi je voudrais que chaque chose m’appartienne comme si je n’aimais qu’elle au monde; mais je les veux toutes; et mes mains sont vides."

— Simone de Beauvoir, Tous les hommes sont mortels