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Beauvoir, Simone.

La Ceremonie des Adieux.


A Remarkable Group Of Presentations
To One Of Her Oldest Friends
De Beauvoir, Simone. La Force des Choses. (Paris): Gallimard, (1963).
8vo.; printed wrappers, soiled; spine unglued from first signature. In a cloth slipcase.
Together with:
De Beauvoir, Simone. La Femme Rompue. L'âge de dicrétion Monologue. (Paris): Gallimard, (1967).
8vo.; printed wrappers; lightly rubbed. In a cloth slipcase.
Together with:
De Beauvoir, Simone. La Vieillesse. (Paris): Gallimard, (1970).
8vo.; printed wrappers; lightly rubbed. In a cloth slipcase.
Together with:
De Beauvoir, Simone. Tout Compte Fait. (Paris): Gallimard, (1972).
8vo.; faint offsetting to endpapers; printed wrappers; dust-jacket, rear panel gently rubbed, very light edgewear. In a cloth slipcase.
Together with:
De Beauvoir, Simone. La Cérèmonie des Adieux. Suivi de Entretiens avec Jean-Paul Sartre. (Paris): Gallimard, 1981.
8vo.; printed wrappers. In a cloth slipcase.
Five first editions, all inscribed by Beauvoir to her lifelong friend Stépha Gerassi and her family.
La Force des Choses (The Force of Circumstance), the third of the four autobiographical volumes Beauvoir wrote between 1957 and 1972, is a first edition, trade issue; it was preceded in the series by Mémoires d'une jeune fille rangée (Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, 1958) and La Force de l'Age (The Prime of Life, 1960), and followed by Tout compte fait (All Said and Done, 1972). A presentation copy, inscribed on the half-title: [] Stepha et Ferdinand avec mon fidèle et [] amité/ S. de Beauvoir.
La Femme Rompue is a first edition, trade issue. A presentation copy, inscribed on the half-title: á Stepha et Fenand avec mon fidèle affection S de Beauvoir.
La Vieillesse is a first edition, trade issue; a review copy, with "SP" punched out of the lower panel. A presentation copy, inscribed on the half-title: Pour Stepha et Fernand avec mon fidele et tendre amitié. S de Beauvoir.
Tout Compte Fait, (All Said and Done) is the first edition, trade issue. A presentation copy, inscribed on the half-title to the Gerassi's son, with a nickname: A Tito avec toute mon affection/ S. de Beauvoir.
La Cérémonie des Adieux, a biographical work drawn from conversations with Sartre, is the first edition, trade issue, an advance review copy. Stamped "SP" on the rear panel-the French designation for copies earmarked for reviewers. A presentation copy, inscribed on the dedication page: A Stépha avec mon très vielle et très tendre amitié. S. de Beauvoir.
In a letter to Glenn Horowitz (May 19, 1998), John Gerassi, Stépha's son who would go on to do doctoral work on Sartre and to publish a biography (Jean-Paul Sartre: Hated Conscience of His Century, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1989) based on two years of interviews, discusses the relationship:
Sartre was a very close friend of my family. My father, Fernando, a Spanish painter, was Sartre's best friend before and during the Spanish Civil War, and was the model for the character Gomez in Sartre's trilogy The Road to Freedom. My mother, Stépha, Sara in the trilogy, whom Sartre always wanted to seduce, was Simone de Beauvoir's best friend at the Sorbonne and remained so until the Gerassis emigrated to the US in 1940, although they kept seeing each other every time Beauvoir came to the US, as she retells in her memoirs…Sartre was also particularly fond of me since he had supervised my "temporary orphanage," as he called it when both my parents went to fight with the Loyalists in Spain. (I am Pablo in the trilogy).
Beauvoir and Stépha Gerassi-née Estepha Awdykovicz-were lifelong friends from the summer of 1927, which they serendipitously spent together in a wealthy French household: Simone as a guest of one of five daughters, and Stépha as the governess to the youngest. After that summer they both returned to Paris where they met daily for lunch and began frequenting bars and nightclubs. Beauvoir found Stépha to be "free-spirited, irreverent, independent," and followed suit, but soon each would take her turn being shocked by the other's lack of decorum-Stépha was as equally intolerant of Beauvoir's escapades with strange men as Beauvoir was with Stépha's lack of propriety with her soon-to-be husband, the painter Ferdinand Gerassi. However, as much as twenty years and many "escapades" later, Beauvoir would continue to turn to Stépha for advice: Bair recounts that when Beauvoir and Nelson Algren (her second great love after Sartre) were planning a trip to countries where abortion would not be a safe form of birth control, it was Stépha who located a competent French-speaking doctor in New York to fit Beauvoir for a diaphragm.
In June of 1940 the Gerassis left Paris for Spain, leaving behind Beauvoir and a few others in speculative safety; by the fall of '41 they were permanently ensconced in New York. Though the frequency with which Stépha and Beauvoir had communicated in the past was reduced exponentially, the intensity of their closeness-which Simone extended to the entire Gerassi family-did not wane. The Gerassi apartment was generally her first stop on visits to New York, where each would again take up the role of confidante.
(#1328 / #3563 / #3564 / #1326 / #1327)

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