Monday, January 07, 2008

Chrisafis, Angelique. "Academic Tug-of-Love Over De Beauvoir Legacy." GUARDIAN January 4, 2008.

As France begins a glittering celebration of the centenary of Simone de Beauvoir's birth next week, some academics have warned against the rush of debate and publications descending into prudish attacks on her deliberately outrageous sex life. De Beauvoir's partnership with the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre has been called the "original open relationship" - one of France's most celebrated and unconventional intellectual couplings. They met in 1929 and never married but devoted themselves to each other while agreeing they should be free to engage in sexual and emotional entanglements with others - as long as they shared the details. Their long list of sometimes mutual partners included well-known intellectuals as well as some of De Beauvoir's awestruck young women students. One of them, Bianca Lamblin, later wrote a pained memoir entitled A Disgraceful Affair, telling how Sartre said before seducing her for the first time in Paris: "The hotel chambermaid will really be surprised, because I already took a girl's virginity yesterday." Read the rest here:,,2235338,00.html.

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