Biography of Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986)

Writer and French philosopher, born in Paris on January 9, 1908, and died in the same city on April 14, 1986. It was possibly the most influential intellectual of the second post-war world, especially by his constant work, both in the field of literature and philosophy, in relation to the problem of the emancipation of women.

Life and work

Born and educated in a traditional and Catholic bourgeois family, showed however since very young a rebellious, committed and anti-conformist attitude regarding the situation that had lived you as a woman. He studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, studies which ended in 1929. It was there where he met Jean-Paul Sartre, with whom he had an emotional and intellectual relationship throughout his life, and who could put into practice a range of beliefs about relationships. The fact that they were never married or lived under the same roof, or that you allow other relationships outside their own, did not however prevent Beauvoir and Sartre were one of the couples more strong, United and famous of the 20th century; in fact, she spoke of her encounter with Sartre as "the fundamental event of my life".

He was Professor of philosophy at secondary school in Paris, Marseille and Rouen from 1929 to 1943, year that the success of his first novel (L' invitée) allowed him to devote himself to writing professionally. It was also in this year when it became part of the team of editors of the magazine Temps modernes, directed by Sartre. He traveled throughout Europe and United States, the Soviet Union, China and Cuba. His ideology of left was shaken by the horrors of the World War II, and thereafter was gradually abandoning the genre of the novel more into the genre of autobiography, which helped him to carry out a task of its own. He died in Paris in 1986, six years after the death of the death of Sartre.

He wrote literary works, both philosophical and moral essays that always devoted special attention to the understanding of human existence and, in particular, to reflection on the situation of women. His essays include: by a moral ambiguity (1947), the second sex (1949) and old age (1970); and among his novels: the guest (1943), the blood of others (1944), America day by day (1948), the mandarins (1954) - for which he received the Prix Goncourt - and ceremony of farewell (1982), the latter inspired by the death of his partner. He also wrote some autobiographical volumes: memories of a formal youth (1958), the strength of the age (1969), the force of things (1963) and end (1971).

Philosophical thought

Beauvoir was compromised throughout his life with the current Existentialist, Sartre was also a representative standard, if not to most. From this perspective, it is considered that, since it is the history that sets up human existence, the historical process of development of women is much stronger than the men, and that the possibilities of realization of women have not been nor specified or used historically. Which is perhaps his most famous book, the second sex (published in two volumes), Beauvoir gives an overview to the relevance of the historical figure of the woman from the Existentialist perspective. In the first volume shows his revulsion to the idea of a weak, subject and lower female nature. He argues that the individual is not born male or female, but that it becomes it, and it may be one or another thing in many ways. Anyway, he says that the situation of inferiority that women throughout history have been is the result of certain socio-cultural conditions. In the second volume describes the actual situation of the life of the woman, it examines what ideologies holding that situation and possible prospects of release are provided.

The appearance of this book was all a controversy which, with the passage of time, became true admiration for its author. Their active participation in the feminist militancy from 1973 meant in practice confirmation of what had always been theoretical interests.