Contingent Loves: Simone de Beauvoir and Sexuality

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University Press of Virginia, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages
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As the existentialist philosophers of mid-twentieth-century Paris famously asserted, a life can only be assessed fully after it has ended. Fitting, then, that since her death in 1986, the philosopher and novelist Simone de Beauvoir has been the subject of numerous attempts to evaluate her contributions to intellectual thought. With the uncovering of her early diaries and the recent publication of her passionate letters to Nelson Algren, she has become more than a towering figure of twentieth-century feminism. She is at once an intensely human figure and a fertile field for application of various sexual constructs and for argument over feminist principles.

Edited by Melanie C. Hawthorne, this volume brings into play a variety of fresh voices, from a Swedish novelist and advice columnist to an interdisciplinary theorist of decadence. The essays address the multitude of issues arising from the affective, personal, political, and sexual dimensions of Beauvoir's life and work. Fifty years after the publication of The Second Sex, Contingent Loves offers a wide-ranging discussion of the immeasurable impact Simone de Beauvoir has had on feminist discourse.

Contents: · "Translation Effects: How Beauvoir Talks Sex in English," Luise Von Flotow, University of Ottawa · "Variations on Triangular Relationships," Serge Julienne-Caffié, Philadelphia, Pa. · "Leçon de Philo/Lesson in Love: Simone de Beauvoir's Intellectual Passion and the Mobilization of Desire," Melanie C. Hawthorne, Texas A&M University · "Sensuality and Brutality: Contradictions in Simone de Beauvoir's Writings about Sexuality," Åsa Moberg, Sweden · "Simone de Beauvoir and Nelson Algren: Self-Creation, Self-Contradiction, and the Exotic, Erotic Feminist Other", Barbara Klaw, Northern Kentucky University · "Simone de Beauvoir on Henry de Montherlant: A Map of Misreading?" Richard J. Golsan, Texas A&M University · "'Le Prototype de la Fade Répétition': Beauvoir and Butler on the Work of Abjection in Repetitions and Reconfigurations of Gender," Liz Constable, University of California, Davis

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About the author (2000)

Melanie C. Hawthorne, associate professor of French at Texas A&M University, is the translator of Rachilde's The Juggler and co-editor, with Richard J. Golsan, of Gender and Fascism in Modern France.

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