A Dangerous Liaison: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre - Carole Seymour-JonesLondon: Century, 2008, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Edges of the text block lightly tanned.
Contains: Black & white photographs;
From the cover: “From their first meeting in the summer of 1929, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir shared an intense, passionate, and sometimes painful love-affair that was to last fifty-one tempestuous years. As the creators of existentialism, Sartre and Beauvoir became an inspiration for their generation, the model couple of the counter-culture.
Moving from the corridors of the Sorbonne and the chestnut groves of the Limousin to the cafes and caves of the Left Bank, we discover how the strikingly beautiful and gifted young Simone came to fall in love with the squinting, arrogant, hard-drinking Jean-Paul. As Juliette Greco sang and students danced the jitterbug long into the night, the couple’s intoxicating philosophy of freedom touched all those who knew them, from their circle of entranced acolytes to their fellow philosophers, writers and artists.
Hero of the ‘intellectual resistance’ during the German occupation, Sartre’s Roads to Freedom revealed ‘man alone, without excuses’, in a world without God, random and absurd; while Beauvoir’s The Second Sex became the founding text of feminism, as her scalpel-sharp intellect dissected the landscape of woman’s oppression. By the 1960s, when Sartre refused the Nobel Prize for Literature, they were global celebrities.
But behind the legend lies a dark story of collusion and betrayal, sexual, social and political. A story which reveals the dangerous side to their philosophy of free love, for the search for authenticity was, in their private lives, a sham. To keep Sartre’s love, Beauvoir sacrificed the girls she seduced. Sartre clandestinely compromised with the Nazis and fell into a Soviet honey-trap, his passion for a KGB spy leading him to support a cruel and oppressive Communist regime.
An utterly compelling biography, A Dangerous Liaison dramatically reveals the full implications of Sartre and Beauvoir’s sacrifices and betrayals, using unpublished sources — including recently discovered reports from the Russian archives — to cast new light on the legend that this notorious, brilliant couple created.”