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Beauvoir, Simone.

LETTERS: 90 Autograph letters, in French, signed, from Beauvoir to Helen Wenck.


A Trove Of De Beauvoir Letters
De Beauvoir, Simone. 90 autograph letters, in French, signed, "S. de Beauvoir" and later, "Simone," to Helen Wenck, July 20, 1962-January 15, 1986.
This correspondence to an American friend, spanning over twenty years, reveals Beauvoir's desire to keep up a relationship despite frequent traveling, a tumultuous career, her life and work with Jean-Paul Sartre, and their health. Wenck, an academic fan of Beauvoir, followed the French essayist/novelist's career intensely, often sending clips from the States relating to her work. Beauvoir responds with gratitude and affection, in brief but regular letters offering interesting glimpses into her thoughts and activities. Her reflections, more often socio-political than literary, probe matters as diverse as the Angela Davis trial and acquittal, abortion rights, capitalism, Quakerism, the death penalty, and the Vietnam War, just to name a few. In one letter Beauvoir writes, "The world is in such a mess that I lack inspiration to write. Literature seems futile." Subjects of personal comment include Betty Friedan, Francoise Giroux, Nelson Algren, and Fidel Castro. Perhaps of greatest interest are Beauvoir's letters relating to her own work, in which she discusses the problems of translation, her motivation in writing Old Age, her involvement on the film adaptations of Les Mandarins and Le Deuxieme Sex, and other film projects, her achievements with Sartre and the "Temps Modernes", her editing of Sartre's unpublished material, and Adieux: A Farewell to Sartre (1984).

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