Witness to My Life: The Letters of Jean-Paul Sartre to Simone de Beauvoir, 1926-1939

Jean-Paul Sartre, Author, Simone de Beauvoir, Editor, Norman MacAfee, Translator Scribner Book Company $27.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-19338-0
These intimate, highly articulate letters reveal the tender side of Sartre's deep dependency on his longtime partner, de Beauvoir. Beginning when Sartre was a 21-year-old student, an awkward lover courting his first love, the correspondence tracks the dynamic shifts of their lives though the 1930s, a decade that brought forth his first published novel, Nausea (1937). Sartre's almost clinical accounts of his sexual affairs ostensibly were greeted with equanimity by de Beauvoir as long as she retained a primary position as his intellectual partner in their open relationship. As Europe plunged into a maelstrom, his wartime letters from the German border reflect his realization that he had been living inauthentically, and prefigure his existentialist philosophy. First published in 1983 (three years after the French thinker's death) but only now translated into English, this collection is vintage Sartre in its passionate conversations, anecdotal verve, spontaneous outbursts and relentless self-analysis. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1992
Release date: 04/01/1992
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