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January 13, 2023


#Simone De Beauvoir Une mort très douce

by NancyElin



Une mort très douce by Simone de Beauvoir by Simone de Beauvoir Simone de Beauvoir


Finish date: 09 January 2023
Genre: Autobiographie (124 pg)
Rating: A
Review: Une mort très douce (ISBN: 9782070361373)

Good news:  I was hesitant to read anything by S. de Beauvoir…not sure I could grasp her French and ideas. This book was a excellent introduction to her writing and I will try to read her biography this year. She was an amazing intellectual. In this short autobiography De Beauvoir looks back on a precise moment in her life: the last days of her mother.

Good news:  As the final farewell approaches does it produce a late drive towards love and reconciliation? Can the arm’s length adult relationship with “sa mere” change? Yes, the book ends on a bittersweet moment…mother and daughter are finally united in the shadow of death. Pg 90 “…une ancienne tendresse resssuscitait”

Personal:  Short book but is taking more reading time then I expected because I read every word…no skimming this book!
De Beauvoir raises some very existential questions in the last few chapters. Was this suspended sentence (“ce sursis”) of suffering…really worth the extra 30 days of life?
During the 1960s France was still ruled by an iron hand gloved in red velvet (Catholic Church) a “reseau de fer sous le velours de main douce.” (E. Zola, Rome) Doctors made NO concessions in cases of euthanasia or abortion “…ne transige pas: la drogue et l’avortement.” (pg 93). This book is an emotional fire hose about death, grief but especially about being loved.
The writing is pitch-perfect striking exactly the right tone. S. de Beauvoir makes the case…
is it not better to die with dignity?


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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 13 2023

    Ohhh this sounds good.

    • Jan 13 2023

      Oh, yes this was an wonderful short book. S. de Beauvoir was in another “intellectual” world than her mother. They could not fined a place where they could talk. Françoise, her mother, objected to her “passion libre avec Sartre”…but she admitted it was “…moins impie que” (less ungodly than) a marriage outside the church! Excellent writing…just so impressed.

      • Jan 13 2023

        After reading The Inseparables last year I was keen to try some of her non- fiction. I’ll look out for this – thanks.

  2. Jan 13 2023

    That sounds very interesting as well as moving. Thanks for that.

    • Jan 13 2023

      The book is short but impressive. I did not expect I would like it so much.
      Hope you find the time to read it!


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