Adieux: a farewell to Sartre |
From the Dust Jacket: In Adieux: A Farewell to Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir uses Jean-Paul Sartre's last ten years as a focus for understanding his entire life. Through her eyes, we see an intimate portrait of the man who was widely recognized as one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century-the foremost philosopher of existentialism, a Nobel Prize-winning playwright, and a central figure in almost every major philosophical, political, literary, and social issue of our time. De Beauvoir was Sartre's closet friend, his intellectual companion, and, intermittently, his lover, from his early twenties until his death. It is she who tells his story in Adieux. She begins with a year-by-year memoir of Sartre's last decade: his political involvements, his work on Flaubert, his friendships, his relationship with her, his slow demise. The second and longer part of the book is a conversation between Sartre and De Beauvoir about his entire life and work. Unguarded, lucid, and incisive, Sartre talks about the origins of his philosophy, the inspiration for his fiction, and the conviction behind his activism. But more than a philosophical book, Adieux is a personal dialogue of astonishing candor. Sartre openly discusses his relationships with women-a subject which seems to pain De Beauvoir even now; his ugliness; his fear of passion. And in one of the most moving passages in Adieux, De Beauvoir anticipates Sartre's death. She knows he is dying, but she cannot tell him. Existentialism's acceptance of death does not console her. Adieux reveals the inner Sartre and the inner De Beauvoir, and illuminates one of the most extraordinary relationships of our century.