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University of Illinois Press
17 May 2021
Series: Beauvoir Series
Provocative insights into Beauvoir's philosophical and personal development during wartime
Written from September 1939 to January 1941, Simone de Beauvoir's Wartime Diary gives English readers unabridged access to a scandalous text that threatened to overturn traditional views of Beauvoir's life and work.

Beauvoir's clandestine affair with Jacques Bost and sexual relationships with various young women challenge the conventional picture of Beauvoir as the devoted companion of Jean-Paul Sartre. At the same time, her account of completing her novel She Came to Stay at a time when Sartre had just begun Being and Nothingness questions the traditional view of Beauvoir's novel as merely illustrating Sartre's philosophy.

Wartime Diary also traces Beauvoir's philosophical transformation as she broke from the prewar solipsism of She Came to Stay in favor of the postwar political engagement of The Second Sex. Beauvoir's emerging existentialist ethics reflect the dramatic collective experiences of refugees fleeing German invasion and life under Nazi occupation. The evolution of her thought also reveals the courageous reaffirmation of her individuality in constructing a humanist ethics of freedom and solidarity.

This edition also features previously unpublished material, including her musings about consciousness and order, recommended reading lists, and notes on labor unions. In providing new insights into Beauvoir's philosophical development, the Wartime Diary promises to rewrite a crucial chapter of Western philosophy and intellectual history.
Introduction and notes by:  
Edited by:   ,
Translated by:  
Imprint:   University of Illinois Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 28mm
ISBN:   9780252085963
ISBN 10:   0252085965
Series:   Beauvoir Series
Pages:   368
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Simone de Beauvoir (1908-86) was a French existentialist philosopher who employed a literary-philosophical method in her essays, including Ethics of Ambiguity (1946) and The Second Sex (1949), as well as in her novels, multivolume autobiography, and other works. Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir, adopted daughter and literary executor of Simone de Beauvoir, is the editor of Lettres a Sartre and many other works by Beauvoir. Margaret A. Simons is a professor and chair of philosophy at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and the author of Beauvoir and The Second Sex: Feminism, Race and the Origins of Existentialism. Anne Deing Cordero is professor emerita of French at George Mason University.

Reviews for Wartime Diary

What gives these notebooks additional zest and texture are allusions to an unexpectedly wide range of writers the diarist read during these searing days. . . . English readers are now afforded a very different portrait of the feminist philosopher approaching middle age in this well-annotated volume. --Publishers Weekly Wartime Diary ensures that many more voyeurs will continue to stare admiringly. Feminist icon she will remain; ghastly exhibitionist she indubitably was. --San Francisco Chronicle Wartime Diary is a snapshot of a woman at a defining moment in world history, as well as the defining moment in her own career and philosophical development. --The Gay and Lesbian Review

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