Simone de Beauvoir, The Art of Fiction No. 35 (Spring-Summer 1965)

1960s: Days of Rage

“Simone de Beauvoir had introduced me to Jean Genet and Jean-Paul Sartre, whom I had interviewed. But she hesitated about being interviewed herself: ‘Why should we talk about me? Don’t you think I’ve done enough in my three books of memoirs?” It took several letters and conversations to convince her otherwise, and then only on the condition “that it wouldn’t be too long.’  The interview took place in Miss de Beauvoir’s studio on the rue Schoëlcher in Montparnasse, a five-minute walk from Sartre’s apartment. We worked in a large, sunny room which serves as her study and sitting room. Shelves are crammed with surprisingly uninteresting books. ‘The best ones,’ she told me, ‘are in the hands of my friends and never come back.’ The tables are covered with colorful objects brought back from her travels, but the only valuable work in the room is a lamp made for her by…

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