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A Dangerous Liaison: A Revelatory New Biography of Simone Debeauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre

A Dangerous Liaison: A Revelatory New Biography of Simone Debeauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A Dangerous Liaison tells the intense, passionate, and sometimes painful story of how two brilliant free-thinkers, lovers, and rivals came to share a relationship that lasted more than fifty years.

Moving from the corridors of the Sorbonne to the cafA(c)s of Paris's Left Bank, we discover how the strikingly beautiful and gifted young Simone DeBeauvoir came to fall in love with the squinting, arrogant, hard- drinking Jean-Paul Sartre. We learn about that first summer of 1929, filled with heated debates that went on long into the night, sexual rivalry and betrayal, and the dangerous ideas that led people to experiment with new ways of behaving. We hear how Sartre compromised with the Nazis and fell into a Soviet honey-trap. And, thanks to recently discovered letters written by the avowed feminist DeBeauvoir, Seymour-Jones reveals the darker, more dangerous side to the couple's philosophy of free love, including Simone's lesbianism and her pimping of younger girls for Jean-Paul in order to keep his love.

Finally available in the U.S., this is a compelling and fascinating account of what lay behind the legend that this brilliant, tempestuous couple created.

Seymour-Jones's narrative crackles and pops with engrossing anecdotes. - The Observer

Filled with delicious detail... eminently readable. Seymour-Jones's book is as page-turning as it is scholarly. The end result is quite dazzling. -The Guardian

A fascinating new book. -The Daily Mail

Extremely detailed, well researched, and completely absorbing. - Booklist (STARRED review)

Appearing in what might be called a 'sexography, ' Sartre, the Nobel-winning existentialist philosopher, and Beauvoir, existentialist and pioneering feminist, cavort with a dizzying panoply of partners...A spiraling double-helix of a relationship whose sordid beauty fascinates even as it repels. - Kirkus

An important contribution to the study of de Beauvoir and Sartre that will be appreciated both by general readers and by scholars of French literature and culture and women's studies. - Library Journal

Review:

"In this sensationalist account of the unconventional private and public lives of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Seymour-Jones (Painted Shadow) offers Sartre's 'incestuous' relationship with his mother as a psychosexual backdrop to his adult life as Beauvoir's lover. While generally more sympathetic to Beauvoir, the author presents her with distaste as an exploitative manipulator, a 'paedophile' with a predilection for 'girl-on-girl action' who busied herself procuring young women for Sartre's 'harem.' Woven through these accounts of sexual exploits is the story of their intellectual development, the genesis of their writings and their deeply problematic relationship to Marxism and the Soviet Union. However, all too often, we are returned to cheap psychologizing ('murder was in Beavoir's heart') and prurient detail. With frequently unreferenced quotes and claims, the book offers little more than insinuation, eschewing clear evidence and demonstration in favor of conflating the lives of the writers with their fictional characters. Any value such a biography might have as a revisionist antidote to its subjects' own hagiographic tendencies is fatally undermined by the author's questionable use of source material, judgmental tone and preference for cheap effects. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

A Dangerous Liaison tells the intense, passionate, and sometimes painful story of how two brilliant free-thinkers, lovers, and rivals came to share a relationship that lasted more than fifty years.

Moving from the corridors of the Sorbonne to the cafés of Paris's Left Bank, we discover how the strikingly beautiful and gifted young Simone DeBeauvoir came to fall in love with the squinting, arrogant, hard- drinking Jean-Paul Sartre. We learn about that first summer of 1929, filled with heated debates that went on long into the night, sexual rivalry and betrayal, and the dangerous ideas that led people to experiment with new ways of behaving. We hear how Sartre compromised with the Nazis and fell into a Soviet honey-trap. And, thanks to recently discovered letters written by the avowed feminist DeBeauvoir, Seymour-Jones reveals the darker, more dangerous side to the couple's philosophy of free love, including Simone's lesbianism and her pimping of younger girls for Jean-Paul in order to keep his love.

Finally available in the U.S., this is a compelling and fascinating account of what lay behind the legend that this brilliant, tempestuous couple created.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781590202685
Publisher:
Overlook Press
Subject:
Literary
Author:
Seymour-Jones, Carole
Subject:
Philosophers
Subject:
Beauvoir, Simone de
Subject:
Authors, French -- 20th century.
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Edition Description:
B-Hardcover
Publication Date:
20090931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
576
Dimensions:
9.00x6.26x1.86 in. 1.99 lbs.
Age Level:
18-17

Related Subjects

Biography » Literary
Biography » Philosophers
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

A Dangerous Liaison: A Revelatory New Biography of Simone Debeauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 576 pages Overlook Press - English 9781590202685 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this sensationalist account of the unconventional private and public lives of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Seymour-Jones (Painted Shadow) offers Sartre's 'incestuous' relationship with his mother as a psychosexual backdrop to his adult life as Beauvoir's lover. While generally more sympathetic to Beauvoir, the author presents her with distaste as an exploitative manipulator, a 'paedophile' with a predilection for 'girl-on-girl action' who busied herself procuring young women for Sartre's 'harem.' Woven through these accounts of sexual exploits is the story of their intellectual development, the genesis of their writings and their deeply problematic relationship to Marxism and the Soviet Union. However, all too often, we are returned to cheap psychologizing ('murder was in Beavoir's heart') and prurient detail. With frequently unreferenced quotes and claims, the book offers little more than insinuation, eschewing clear evidence and demonstration in favor of conflating the lives of the writers with their fictional characters. Any value such a biography might have as a revisionist antidote to its subjects' own hagiographic tendencies is fatally undermined by the author's questionable use of source material, judgmental tone and preference for cheap effects. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
A Dangerous Liaison tells the intense, passionate, and sometimes painful story of how two brilliant free-thinkers, lovers, and rivals came to share a relationship that lasted more than fifty years.

Moving from the corridors of the Sorbonne to the cafés of Paris's Left Bank, we discover how the strikingly beautiful and gifted young Simone DeBeauvoir came to fall in love with the squinting, arrogant, hard- drinking Jean-Paul Sartre. We learn about that first summer of 1929, filled with heated debates that went on long into the night, sexual rivalry and betrayal, and the dangerous ideas that led people to experiment with new ways of behaving. We hear how Sartre compromised with the Nazis and fell into a Soviet honey-trap. And, thanks to recently discovered letters written by the avowed feminist DeBeauvoir, Seymour-Jones reveals the darker, more dangerous side to the couple's philosophy of free love, including Simone's lesbianism and her pimping of younger girls for Jean-Paul in order to keep his love.

Finally available in the U.S., this is a compelling and fascinating account of what lay behind the legend that this brilliant, tempestuous couple created.

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