Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Useless Mouths and Other Literary Writings$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Simone de Beauvoir, Margaret A. Simons, and Marybeth Timmermann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036347

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036347.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 16 October 2019



(p.1) Introduction
The Useless Mouths and Other Literary Writings

Margaret A. Simons

University of Illinois Press

This introductory chapter presents the literary writings of Simone de Beauvoir (1908–86), the renowned French existentialist author of The Second Sex. Such insight into her own thought is often provided by Beauvoir's prefaces to works by other authors. For instance, Beauvoir's 1964 “Preface” to La Bâtarde has been described as more reflective of her philosophy than of author Violet Leduc's life. Beauvoir's confrontation with her critics is another source of drama in this study. A criticism that spans the decades of these texts is the charge that an existential novel, with its focus on action and philosophical questions, forsakes the aesthetic function of literature. Yet, for Beauvoir, the true mission of the writer is to describe in dramatic form the relationship of the individual to the world in which he stakes his freedom.

Keywords:   Simone de Beauvoir, existentialism, The Second Sex, La Bâtarde, existential novels, literature, freedom

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.