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Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (Penguin Modern Classics)

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Her father looms large in this history, as both the object of her childhood and adolescent idolatry, and as a conservative blow-hard who says things like "a wife is what her husband makes her; it's up to him to shape her personality," and bitterly regrets the fact that his loss of money means that his daughters will be earning their own livings, rather than marrying well into good society (never mind that they PREFER to earn their own livings; that's not the point). Varsity is the independent newspaper for the University of Cambridge, established in its current form in 1947. At the age of five or six Beauvoir has vivid memories and intense feelings of love and devotion towards the people who are closest to her: her parents, her younger sister and her nanny, Louise.

The short of it: From the opening pages I fell head over heels for Memoires d'une jeune fille rangée (translated into English as Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter but more literally "Memoirs of a well-behaved girl"), the first of four volumes in de Beauvoir's autobiography.Since she is loosing her faith at the same time one feels that Eden is a kind of prison state and for the remainder of the book we see her rattling and fluttering against the cage of values and expectations that she was brought up within. Nauseati «dell’imbottimento dei crani» cui erano stati sottoposti durante la guerra, reclamavano il diritto di guardar le cose in faccia e di chiamarle col loro nome; solo, poiché non avevano alcuna intenzione di far crollare la società, si limitavano a studiare con minuzia i loro stati d’animo: predicavano la «sincerità verso se stessi». The family unit of her self, her younger sister, and their parents is for her stable and complete, at the same time we read that she is growing out of that life. But their faces, their appearance, and the sound of their voices captivated me; I find it hard now to explain what the particular pleasure was that they gave me; but when my parents decided to move to the fifth-floor flat in the rue de Rennes, I remember the despairing cry I gave: 'But I won't be able to see the people in the street any more!

There comes a period in her teenage years when language, the necessity of interpreting language, becomes her enemy for just this reason: when we express our thoughts, feelings, and intentions, there is always a chasm between the thing itself—our interior landscape—and our expression of it; often this chasm is only widened when our words are interpreted by another person. I am not so sure I can take this amount of details about the ups and downs of her relationship with Sartre. I loved reading her thoughts about the effect "Little Women" had on her, not only because I also love Jo March, but because she thought Jo's relationship with Professor Bhaer to be more desirable than a more romantic alternative, because they have a greater intellectual connection. Viennent ensuite Le sang des autres (1945), Tous les hommes sont mortels (1946), Les Mandarins (prix Goncourt 1954), Les Belles Images (1966) et La Femme rompue (1968).Memoirs and autobiographies are interesting things - they give the author to shape and transform the raw stuff of their life into a narrative, not that will say anything untrue (hopefully) but there is always selection and emphasis going on, perhaps subconsciously - what we chose to remember and prefer to forget - as much as consciously. In Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter Simone de Beauvoir describes her early life, from her birth in Paris, 1908, to her student days at the Sorbonne, where she met Jean-Paul Satre.

It is a book that charts the trajectory of her childhood and youth, and yet does so in a way that doesn’t make it feel removed from these moments. Simone de Beauvoir never judges herself; she analyzes and describes the development of her thoughts as a child and adolescent, sometimes resorting to her newspapers from the time and letters received. From her young spirited days as a child, to an intricate student life where literature and philosophy would play a pivotal role in shaping the future, to the beginnings of a blossoming friendship with Jean-Paul Sarte, Simone would become a leading figure in the roots of both feminism and existentialism, a true independent voice the the 20th century.The book is absent of drama and those hoping for a pageant of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll are encouraged to look elsewhere, but de Beauvoir's prism of introspection, intellectual curiosity, virtue, integrity and honesty are an intoxicating read. Respingendo i clichés e i luoghi comuni, rifiutavano con disprezzo le vecchie dottrine di cui avevano constatato il fallimento, ma non tentavano di costruirne un’altra; preferivano affermare che non bisogna mai accontentarsi di niente: esaltavano l’inquietudine. I sensed all the weanings, the renunciations, the abandonments and the whole progression of my deaths. It is near impossible to simply add to the way I fill my time without changing the way in which I spend my days first.

I felt also that she was engaging with Freud, perhaps not surprising given his intellectual influence during the period of her adult life. A family of devout Catholics, the de Beauvoir household was certainly a strict one, I guess it's easy to say that where today's young learn about things they shouldn't from the internet and so forth, back then books made a huge difference in ones self-discovering and learning about life, her mother would reiterate there are books for you and there are books for us, and was constantly keeping an eye on what she was reading. E uno sguardo su un ambiente dove paletti e confini sono solide barriere che durante l’infanzia danno sicurezza ma crescendo ed acquistando coscienza sono pericolosi confini da abbattere. Actorul ocolește chinurile creației; lui i se oferă, gata alcătuit, un univers imaginar în care există un loc rezervat pentru el; se manifestă în rol, în carne și oase, în fața unui public în carne și oase; limitat la funcția de oglindă, publicul îi reflectă, supus, imaginea; pe scenă, actorul este stăpânul și există cu adevărat; se simte realmente stăpân. It shows how she came to the point at which “Literature took the place in my life that had once been occupied by religion: it absorbed me entirely, and transfigured my life.The title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, as Beauvoir was certainly not always a picture-perfect daughter: she isn’t shy to admit she was a brat who threw public tantrums and who was perfectly happy to make herself throw up rather than eat things she did not like. It suggests that reconnecting with the mind of our childhood self might help to acquaint the child within with the stranger we have since become.

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