Read The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir Online


In her most famous novel, Simone de Beauvoir does not flinch in her look at Parisian intellectual society at the end of World War II. Drawing on those surrounding her -- Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Arthur Koestler -- and her passionate love affair with Nelson Algren, Beauvoir dissects the emotional and philosophical currents of her time. At once an engrossing drama andIn her most famous novel, Simone de Beauvoir does not flinch in her look at Parisian intellectual society at the end of World War II. Drawing on those surrounding her -- Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Arthur Koestler -- and her passionate love affair with Nelson Algren, Beauvoir dissects the emotional and philosophical currents of her time. At once an engrossing drama and an intriguing political tale, The Mandarins is the emotional odyssey of a woman torn between her inner desire and her public life.The Mandarins won France's highest literary prize, the Prix Goncourt....

Title : The Mandarins
Author :
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ISBN : 9780007203949
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 752 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Mandarins Reviews

  • Manny
    2018-12-08 05:59

    A lot of people appear to dislike Les Mandarins, which I think is a pretty excellent novel, so let me try and explain what I think is good about it. To me, it's basically about what happens to people (particularly to women) when they realize that they are no longer young. This has several consequences. To start off with, not being young means that you're no longer as physically attractive as you were. Of course, you can go into denial, and say that as long as you eat healthily, exercise, and think positive thoughts, you're going to stay young and tasty for ever. But let's be realistic. The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)

  • Squidy
    2018-12-07 08:48

    I learned that Simone de Beauvoir was one smart cookie. I learned about existentialism for the first time and absuridty and the French resistance and Paris bars. I took this book to Paris and read it there. I went to the bars and cafes and read it there. I was on a late and horrible honeymoon and still have the book but the husband.....non

  • Aubrey
    2018-12-13 07:58

    It’s a horrible thing, a woman who labors to lead a man’s hands to her body by appealing to his mind.The irony of the author of The Second Sex having published this five years after the previous kills me, it really does. What's worse is her having won the Prix Goncourt for it, a weighty stamp of approved literature prowess that says nothing less than, yes, this is how you discuss philosophical theories in the midst of love and warfare: trot the men out trigger happy and reduce the women to self-hating despair. I can imagine a younger self of mine picking this up before TSS; imagining what would have inevitably resulted makes me sick.Beauvoir did not publicly declare herself a feminist till 1972. I don't envy the life that made her forbear from such a declaration until TSS was nearly a quarter of a century old. I don't envy what ignorant bliss the characters in this book must have been in until WWII rolled around and the world transformed into a geography of atomic bombs and concentration camps. I don't envy the balancing act they all had to maintain, bandying political agendas and philosophical jargon and standing up for the oppressed via paper, all the while dehumanizing every female within reach and then some. Women and men alike, self-contempt for one and indulgent solipsism for the other, a mutilation that cannot help but be inextricably mixed with any and all of their good intentions. If Beauvoir's portraits of her fellow thinkers are as keen as some say they are, their crises of existentialism and absurdism don't surprise me. It's hard to live with yourself when your definition of freedom is sadism.“If others don’t count, it’s meaningless to write. But if they do count, it’s wonderful to gain their friendship and their confidence; it’s magnificent to hear your own thoughts echoed in them.”"All that writing about the melancholy of the Portuguese and how mysterious it is. Actually it's ridiculously simple: of seven million Portuguese, there are only seventy thousand who have enough to eat."When I was a child, a teacher seemed to me a much greater person than a duchess or a millionaire, and through the years that hierarchy had not changed appreciably.However. Those up there are only a few of many of the wonderful things Beauvoir pens in regards to education, literature, the intersection of humanity with the written word. A few years ago, for the sake of these pearls, I might have excused her atrocious double standards when it came to characterizing both shell and core of the gendered dichotomy. I even gave her the benefit of the doubt until the last page was turned, hoping this all too rigorous misogyny would be flipped over, left wriggling and wailing on its thickened carapace with its soft and sickening underbelly all too clearly exposed. There are instances, perfectly gorgeous instances where the author could have stepped forward and outfitted phrases like these:To maintain that I alone hold our affair in my hands is to substitute a puppet for Lewis, to transform myself into a ghost and our past into anemic memories. Our love isn’t a story I can pull out of the context of my life in order to tell it to myself. It exists outside myself; Lewis and I bear it together. Closing one’s eyes isn’t enough to do away with the sun; disavowing that love is only blinding myself. No, I rejected cautious thinking, and false solitude, and sordid consolations.“You throw men into a war and then, at the first rape, you hang them!”with the sharp and incisive insight I knew in TSS that they so rightfully deserve. Instead, the malaise extends to all reaches of the third person man and the first person woman, generating a plot with girlfriends in a refrigerator, male characters with not a physical description or unsubstantiated denigration in sight, and the good old colonialist mindset. Practice reducing those around you to ciphers long enough, and something's gotta give."I don't want to think about myself any more," she said violently. "I've had enough of thinking about myself. Don't give me bad advice."You can't think yourself out of feeling alienated. You can think yourself into it right quick if you insist on dressing it up in the word "freedom", treating your interpersonal relationships like trash, and pretending your work and your money will see fit to care when you're lost and alone and thinking of ending it all. You'll be free when you're dead, not only dead but forgotten, not only forgotten but negligible in the impact you made on the reality of others through your ideologies, your habitus, how you lived and what you learned and the whys and wherefores of the things you said. You'll be free when what you did in the name of what you held dear is so warped by the ones who come after you that no one will believe the origin of it all was you, and you alone."The freedom of a writer—it would be interesting to know what that means,"Beauvoir wasn't free, and so I don't blame her. I don't blame any woman who views thought as equivalent to self-immolation and conducted/conducts/will conduct herself as such. What I will do is remember my introduction to feminism, when it first became clear that it was not and had never been just me. What I will do is not sacrifice my political ideals just because I can't sway millions in a day. What I will do is better myself with the ideas and live for the humans, for at the end of the day and the triumphs and the horrors and the same old same old, it is awfully nice to sit down and reaffirm one's existence with someone who cares.

  • StevenGodin
    2018-12-03 01:47

    I believe this to be her best work. It's long, probably too long, but that's a small niggle compared to all that's so good about it. 'The Mandarins' gives us a brilliant survey of the post-war French intellectual. It's accuracy and its objectivity combine to present a dazzling panorama of the men and women caught up in ever-changing times. As a fan of the existentialist movement this was no-brainer for me to read, it's an expression of her unique style, represented with such vibrancy, that differs from the likes of Sartre. There are a whole host of extremely memorable wise and life-enchanting characters, that were easily likeable, and a crisp and clean translation (before my French was any good) was an added benefit. This was compulsive reading of the highest order. A grand work, from one of the 20th century's great female writers.

  • Tim
    2018-12-05 06:42

    I might be alone in really loving this book. I'm not sure if I understand what is not to love. This book is a bright light in a period of self-important post-war literature-- our 1984s and Wastelands-- in that it carefully avoids the moral preachiness and overabundant heavy-handed symbolism by which the supposed major works of this period are so weighed down. The Mandarins is a treatise on life in suspended animation: when the war ends how does life continue? One way to look at it is the book is like a post-war tell all, sort of like a woody allen movie set in post-war paris. Everyone is plaintive, distant, adulterous, self-important and mired in the same incestuous/elitist artistic-literary-politcal social life. Everyone is sort of pathetic, still reeling from the self-righteous throes of the resistance, at once resting on their laurels from the war, but also injured and disrupted by it. Simone de Beavoir is an astute observer of the human condition and she sometimes caricatures these shitty aesthetes and sometimes she glorifies them but at the end of the day her portrayal is fairly compelling. The book raises some pretty significant questions about how to proceed in the task of finding meaning in a world which has fallen into such destructive violence and depravity. How do we raise a family? How do we fall in love? How do we engage politically? This book really has a lot to offer but its really long and sometimes sort of boring. But aren't most of the great novels (i.e. man without qualities, remembrance of things past)? I think this book qualifies as a real diamond in the rough. Compared to all the heavy hitters from its time, it might seem sort of like a light-weight. And if you judge it by its cover its basically just a liberalized frenchy An Raynd. But if you dig a little deeper this is a book that examines the origins of 20th Century liberalism and the collapse of post-war morality without a hint of the prejudice and preachiness of its contemporaries. The book accomplishes this through the traditional novelistic tools: characters, scenes, dialogue, description. I can't guarentee you will love this book. It might be too tame for you. I have to admit, its pretty vanilla. But the issues are dealt with thoughtfully and the characters are memorable. Just like any great novel. A kick-ass book that is brutally under-rated.

  • Sonya
    2018-11-22 08:38

    یک رمان دو جلدی با بیش از هزار صفحه که به وقایع جامعه روشنفکران فرانسه بعد جنگ جهانی دوم می پردازد، علیرغم حجم بالا، رمان از شیوه ی روایتی جذابی برخوردار است که در کنار وقایع داستان به حقایق تاریخی زیادی نیز اشاره می کند، سیمون دوبووار نویسنده ی رمان را بنیانگذار موج دوم فمینیست بعد جنگ جهانی دوم می دانند که در این رمان نیز زنانی با افکار متفاوت و از نسلهای مختلف وجود دارند که بنا به گفته ی منتقدین از افکار نویسنده و فلسفه ی خود وی در این زنان دیده میشود. آن، نادین و پل، سه زنی که هرکدام روش و افکار متفاوتی در برابر مردان دوروبر خود داشتند و هرکدام نماینده ی اندیشه ی متفاوتی در بین زنان هستند، در نهایت نیز سرنوشتهای متفاوتی دارند. این رمان نه تنها از نظر فمینیستی بلکه از نظر وقایع تاریخی و اجتماعی نیز قابل توجه بررسی می باشد و البته نثر شیوای روایت نیز بسیار لذت بخش است.

  • Lada Fleur
    2018-11-25 08:01

    Un roman interessant. Une intellectuelle parlant librement de sa vie, a savoir de sa vie amoureuse, avec son mari, la relation avec sa fille, son escapade aux Etats-Unis, une derniere flingue ou il s'agit de vivre et de battre son plein avec une possibilite amoureuse. Une femme, c'est une femme. Parisienne et intellectuelle. Elle va jusqu-au bout Sans regret. Le roman recommande. Faut se connaitre, et en jouir. Un roman qui m-a appris a lire en francais

  • امیر
    2018-12-01 04:59

    کتاب های بلند را دوست دارم. نه از این نظر که متن طولانیی دارند. بخاطر این که زمان زیادی با هم در تماسیم. شخصیت ها کم کم واقعی میشن. عادتها ، فرهنگ حرف زدن ها و ... روز مره میشن. چند روزی توی کتاب زندگی میکنم . اولین بار تجربه ی این غرق شدن در فضای کتاب را با دن آرام داشتم و اینم دومین بار. اعتثراف میکنم کتاب را با بی انگزگی شرو کردم . توی دویست سیصد صفحه ی اول حوصلم سر رفت جوری که چند بار کتاب را تصمیم گرفتم رها کنم ولی خوب شد که نکردم. کتاب از نظر زمانی اواخر و پس از جنگ جهانی دوم اتفاق می افته . در پاریس ازاد شده به وسلیه ی امریکایی ها روشنفکر ها گیج اند. هنوز کمونیسم روی زشت خودشو نشون نداده و خیلی ها طرفدارش اند. این وسط احساسات دو زن باعث از خشکی در اومدن کتاب و جریان انرژی توی کتاب میشه.... . کتابی نیست که روزی به دوستی معرفیش کنم برای خوندن ولی از خوندنش ام پشیمون نیستم.

  • Steven Walle
    2018-11-20 01:45

    This book was absolutely amazing. It was written by one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century. The author was a great philosopher and phemonist of her era. I suggest all read this book and any others you can find by her.Enjoy and Be Blessed.Diamond

  • Camille
    2018-11-15 06:37

    Pour l'anglais "mind-blowing", une amie avait proposé la traduction "qui souffle la tête". Simone de Beauvoir m'a soufflé la tête. Les Mandarins, roman somme, roman phare, décrit le cercle des intellectuels de gauche parisiens dans la tourmente de la période post seconde guerre mondiale, à travers deux narrations alternées : une narration omnisciente qui suit tour à tour le parcours et les pensées de certains personnages, et une narration à la première personne, depuis le personnage d'Anne, psychanalyste, alter ego supposé mais non-assumé de de Beauvoir elle-même, qui vit avec un Dubreuilh, copie de Sartre, et qui fréquente un Henri qui ressemble pas mal à Albert Camus. Aussi, elle va partir en Amérique et rencontrer un bonhomme qui est le sosie de Nelson Algren ; mais bien sûr, toute ressemblance avec des personnes existantes ou ayant existé serait parfaitement fortuite.Sur le quatrième de couverture, l'auteure précise : "J'aurais souhaité qu'on prenne ce livre pour ce qu'il est ; ni une autobiographie, ni un reportage : une évocation." C'est bien joli tout ça, mais c'est quand même difficile de ne pas être tentée par l'interprétation autobiographique, d'autant que certains développements comportent de vrais morceaux (comme les yaourts) de philosophie sartrienne ou camusienne dedans. Ainsi, Henri et Dubreuilh développent sur la nécessité de l'engagement de l'homme. Et le livre se clôt sur un passage, plutôt artificiel, concernant le suicide : oui, la seule grande question philosophique pour Camus, qui va contre le principe sartrien d'engagement dans le monde, etc... D'ailleurs, j'ai lu de nombreuses reviews des Mandarins par les lecteurs ici, et je dois dire que (fait rare), je ne suis tombée parfaitement d'accord avec aucune d'elles (rien que ça, ça devrait vous dire que le roman est intéressant : il est si riche que chacun y met ce qui lui semble être juste). Cependant, certains mentionnent que cette fin semble d'autant plus artificielle qu'elle n'est pas justifiée par le caractère du personnage, et là, je suis. Mais je veux bien pardonner à de Beauvoir : une évocation de 200 pages, après tout, ça doit être difficile à conclure.Je papote, et j'oublie de raconter l'essentiel. Les Mandarins, qu'en penser ? - Un document extrêmement intéressant sur l'histoire de l'époque. - Un livre qui rend passionnants des événements politiques qui ressemblent parfois à notre politique de tous les jours au JT. C'est comme un épisode de House of cards mais... au ralenti. Petit à petit, on en arrive à s'intéresser extrêmement à ce qui ressemble aux grands titres de nos journaux. L'URSS a mis en place des camps de travail ? Oh my, mais comment réagira le Parti Communiste Français ? ... La suite au prochain épisode (damn)- Un roman d'amour et de voyages. Des fois. On nous emmène, sur les traces lointaines de Simone et de Nelson, à Chicago, au bord du Mississipi, et puis au Mexique, au Guatemala, au Portugal, en Italie... mais aussi dans les petites rues de Paris et près du boulevard Saint Germain.- Et des réflexions philosophiques. Et la vie, et l'alcool, et la cigarette. Et oui. Tout ce beau monde est emmené par un style précis, minutieux, fouillé ; et même si précis et si minutieux et si fouillé que je comprends qu'il puisse sembler froid, distant, à certains lecteurs, mais comment vous dire ? C'est justement ce style qui a fait de cette intrigue un roman puissant pour moi, et qui m'a permis de m'intéresser au moindre rebond de l'intrigue. Je me disais : oui c'est chirurgical, mais c'est irrésistible. Trop parfait, mais parfait tout de même. Elle a toujours le mot juste, elle décrit des situations simples, des rencontres, des disputes, des amours, avec des termes dans lesquels chacun reconnaîtra ses propres tourments. Sur la vérité de ses descriptions des émotions, j'ai même pensé aux Tropismes de Sarraute.La narration, comme je l'ai dit, est séparée en deux ; et les périodes temporelles se chevauchent ou se distancent, ce qui a pour conséquence de mener le lecteur à affronter deux fois le même épisode, à travers des perceptions différentes - ou au contraire, de le laisser sans récit précis d'un événement, qu'on devra donc imaginer. Ici, ça énerve quelques revieweurs, qui disent que : "Mais quand on écrit un livre, on raconte tout". Moi j'ai aimé, d'une part l'originalité, d'autre part la place laissée à l'imagination du lecteur, et aussi ce que ce parti pris entraîne : une véritable dimension du temps, et un sens de la réalité. Ensuite, beaucoup de chroniqueurs sanctionnent à coups d'étoiles les Mandarins, en se basant sur les personnages féminins. Quoi ? Un roman de l'auteure du Deuxième sexe, et les personnages féminins sont entièrement soumises aux hommes ? Moins intéressantes que les hommes ? Abîmées par les hommes ? J'aurais aimé vous contredire, tellement j'ai moi-même aimé le roman, mais non : c'est le cas. Les femmes sont soumises dans les Mandarins (d'ailleurs, en Chine, les Mandarins sont forcément des hommes ; et sinon, l'auteure aurait appelé son roman les Mandarines, ce qui aurait fait un jeu de mots un peu ridicule mais joliment provoc'). Je ne me l'explique pas. Ceci dit, la plupart des lecteurs sont capables de lire des conneries dix fois plus misogynes que ça, et ne pas sanctionner les livres pour autant : je ne vois pas la raison de le faire simplement parce que c'est ce cher Castor qui l'a écrit. C'est une source d'interrogations, d'insatisfaction ; mais les autres qualités du texte l'emportent, en ce qui me concerne. Lisez les Mandarins. Cette lecture m'a vraiment donné envie d'aller plus loin dans les textes de de Beauvoir, en buvant des whiskys avec mes amis des cercles intellectuels de gauche à Paris. Can't wait.

  • G.R. Reader
    2018-11-14 09:03

    Now that's how to write a lightly fictionalized kiss 'n' tell memoir.

  • Laura لاورا
    2018-11-19 07:43

    Una delle letture liceali che più mi appassionarono, all'epoca argomento di temi, interrogazioni ed elucubrazioni varie.Testimonianza straordinaria di quelle che sono state le mobilitazioni e le diverse prese di posizione da parte della "casta" intellettuale parigina nel secondo dopoguerra, in relazione ai vari avvenimenti sulla scena mondiale. Sullo sfondo di una città che a poco a poco riprende a vivere dopo le vicende belliche, l'engagement trova piena realizzazione.E quale definizione migliore di engagement, se non quella data dalla stessa autrice che così scriveva: "l'engagement non è altro, in fondo, che la presenza totale dello scrittore alla scrittura". Una lezione ancora valida per tanti intellettuali a distanza di oltre mezzo secolo.

  • Nihan E.
    2018-11-23 04:34

    Mandarinler, İkinci Dünya Savaşı sonrası Paris'te yaşamakta olan bir grup entelektüel yazarın hayatlarıyla ve birbirleriyle olan ilişkilerini, mücadelelerini konu alıyor. Ve bu yazarlar Simone'nin hayatındaki insanların ta kendisi. Henri karakteri yazar Albert Camus'u, Anne karakteri Simone'nin kendisini, Anne'in kocası Robert ise tabi ki de Jean Paul Sartre'ı canlandırıyor. Olaylar Henri ve Anne'in ağzından aktarılmış. Bu sebeple Simone'nin yaşadıkları dolayısıyla neler hissettiğini çok iyi bir şekilde anlayabiliyoruz.Nazilerin yenilmesinden sonra Paris entelektüelleri bir ikilemde kalırlar. Stalin'in uyguladığı yöntemlere karşı olsalar da sosyalist bir Avrupa için Sovyetler Birliğine ihtiyaçları olduğunu düşünürler ama o dönemin komünistleriyle beraber çalışmaları imkansızdır. Troçkistlere yapılanlar ve sol kesimdeki kendinden başkasını düşman görme tavırları onları bu ayrışmaya iter. Birleşip sol görüşlü ama komünist olmayan bir hareket kurmaya karar verirler.Tabi böyle olunca hainlikle suçlanma olasılığıyla karşı karşıya kalırlar. Daha sonra Sovyetlerin "çalışma" kampları tüm acımasızlığı ve kesinliğiyle karşılarına çıkınca kendi aralarında da kopmalar yaşanır. Tam 9. 800. 000 insan yargılanmadan suçlu bulunarak bu kamplara gönderilmiştir. En ağır koşullarda çalıştırılıp, hastalanınca da ölüme terk edilirler. Gestapo kamplarından farkı nedir peki bunun?Fark yoktur.Henri bu kampları kamuoyuna duyurmazsalar aşağılık bir tavır olacağını savunur. Ama Robert duyurmalarına karşı çıkar. Amerikan Emperyalizmine karşı sadece Sovyetlerin şansı olduğunu, bu belgeleri yayınlarlarsa antikomünist damgası yiyeceklerini söyler. Henri onu dinlemez ve belgeleri yayınlatır. Tabi herkes ayağa kalkar. Bu bir nevi o herkesin eşit olacağı muhteşem dünya hayallerinin sonu gibidir.Kitapta Henri ve Robert bir süre küs kalsalar da sonra yine barışırlar. Kurdukları oluşumun başarısız oluşu ve Amerika'nın özellikle Hiroşima'ya atom bombası attıktan sonra ki gücü onları büyük umutsuzluğa sürükler. Yine de yazmaktan vazgeçemezler. Simone o günkü şartlarda insanın değerlerine ihanet etmeden yaşamasının nasıl zor olduğunu çok iyi anlatmış. Örneğin Henri Josette isimli bir kadın yüzünden, Gestapo'ya muhbirlik yapmış biri için sahte tanıklık yapmak zorunda kalır ve adam kurtulur. Bu kendisine sosyalist diyen bir insan için ne alçaltıcı bir harekettir oysa! Fakat insan kendisiyle yaşar ve bir tuzaktan başka bir tuzağa çekilir. Bu tuzaklar onu hayal bile edemeyeceği yerlere götürebilir.Anne karakteri okudukça bağlandığım bir karakter oldu. Aklı, zekası, kibarlığı, devrimciliği! Muhteşem bir kadın. Keşke tanıma en azından görme şansım olsaydı. Ama bütün hayran olunacak insanlar geçmişte yaşamış sanki ! Ne talihsiz bir zamana doğmuşuz.Simone okumadan geçirilen bir yaşam eksik kalmıştır bana göre. İnsanın hayalleri, inançları, hem iyiliği hem kötülüğü o kadar güzel anlatılıyor ki! Ruh bu kadar iyi çözümlenebilirdi ancak diyorsunuz. Sonsuza kadar yaşayamasa bile yazdıklarıyla zamanın hiç eskitemeyeceği bir kadın Simone de Beauvoir.

  • Bryant
    2018-12-01 08:57

    This book reads like a French version of an Ayn Rand novel (and this is not compliment). "The Mandarins" is full of flat characters whose voices are scarcely distinguishable, awkward dialogue, insipidly clunky internal monologue, and a surprising lack of atmosphere (how can de Beauvoir make Paris so boring?). The book has pretensions to being philosophical and rich, but it is unfortunately dated and vapid. If this novel represents French intellectual life immediately following WWII, then its most impressive aspects must have been its lethargy and pedantry.

  • Kalilah
    2018-12-03 04:52

    The story meanders across the last half of a lifetime and is at times absolutely brilliant. The second chapter in and of itself is a masterpiece. I frequently read this portion on it's owns a random times in the year and it is able to bringing me to tears almost everytime.

  • Rachel
    2018-11-26 06:47

    It's hard to separate what I think about this novel from how fascinating I find her as a person and a thinker.

  • Cdrueallen
    2018-12-13 04:42

    My reactions to Simone's massive novel about life with J.P. Sartre, Albert Camus, and Nelson Algren are violently mixed. It's fascinating to read about an era where prize-winning novelists were resistance fighters and political organizers, and though they're continually bemoaning their powerlessness, I'm amazed by how much what they do and say matters in their vanished world. On the other hand, it's discouraging the way Simone turns Sartre into a plaster saint, and Camus into a heroic godlike creature every woman desires. The big revelation this novel delivers is how focused on men the author, a feminist icon, was, and how hostile she is to all women other than herself. It wasn't just the era she lived in, because Colette, born a generation before Simone, wrote many warm and appreciative portraits of women, and didn't delude herself about the flaws in the characters of the men she loved.One of the philosophical preoccupations of the novel is Sartre's idea of "Bad Faith", which as I interpret it, is the creation of a morality or an ideology that protects us from the anxiety of having to make choices about our life. The Camus character in the novel is continually struggling with one anguished choice after the next about freedom, betrayal, life and death, but the choices of the women are limited to choices between one man and another. And even then, the choices about when to end the love affairs are almost always made by the men. Perhaps Simone's bad faith about the inability of women to be happy without being the acolytes of men is what makes her style pedantic and turgid, resembling James Michener far more than her literary predecessor, the clear-eyed and elegant Colette, so that the novel is slow going, relying on the basic vitality of the times and the characters to pull you along.

  • Anna Maria Ballester Bohn
    2018-12-12 09:03

    Yes, it's not big literature, it might not even be good literature, but it's close to my heart, I've read it in various key moments of my life and it has always given me something I needed. What author nowadays would dare to reflect so openly and unashamedly about what it means to be an intellectual? No one wants to be an intellectual nowadays, which is a pity, and stupid because what are we? For me, this is a powerful exploration of what is important in life, and no, it never gets old to think about that. Recommended if you like to think about stuff like "why are we alive on earth" and are not ashamed to think those questions are important. Also: Nadine and Henri OTP forever!

  • ZaRi
    2018-12-15 08:41

    يك روز به نادين توضيح داده بود كه از مقايسه كردن خودش با ديگران پرهيز مي كند ولي لحظه هايي هم مي رسد كه آدم مجبور به اين كار مي شود ، ديگران به اين كار مجبورش مي كنند .نياز به كمك داشتم تا اين روزها را بگذرانم ، روزهايي كه هر ساعت آن بايستي ياد مي گرفتم و عادت مي كردم كه ديگر دوستم ندارد .من زنده ام و دوستت دارم : اين خودش خيلي چيزهاست .

  • Erika
    2018-12-05 08:01

    This book is an amazing achievement. Ambitious, intelligent, engaging. It's the first of her fiction that I've read, and I was delighted to find that Simone de Beauvoir's characters were so varied and three-dimensional. But they are not just well-drawn fictional characters; they are interesting people, the intellectuals of post-war France. A couple of well-known (fictional) writers who were heavily engaged in the resistance during war years, continue to grapple with rebuilding a free France in the years after the war. A successful psychoanalyst grapples with loyalty to her family now that her daughter is grown, and her marriage is deeply loving but sexless. A talented singer sacrifices everything for an illusion of love. de Beauvoir would have benefited from a more ruthless edit to save readers from a number of long passages that detailed the back and forth, repetitious debates that characters had with each other and themselves about how committed they were to the new politics of France. But the novel was written in different times, with different technology, and her ability to delineate the nuances of her characters and her society in a loaded historical moment more than makes up for the lack of a good editor.

  • Ann
    2018-12-01 01:49

    The Mandarins, sadly, is the only thing I have read by Simone de Beauvoir. And it is great. A fictional account of her relationship with Sartre and the friendship between Sartre and Camus, The Mandarins is a novel that deeply explores interpersonal relationships and gives the reader insight into what may have been between these three famous French intellectuals. The extent to which what Beauvoir writes is historically accurate, I am not sure. However, I think one of the valuable things about this book is that it seems to me that Beauvoir uses it to comment on their relationship, and on relationships, politics, and the world in general, through the use of fiction. Truths are revealed through the fictionalization of lives. A great book. Check out Ron Aaronson's book, Camus and Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel that Ended It to get some of the facts. But Beauvoir is somewhat left out.

  • Julie Iskander
    2018-11-17 08:48

    I enjoyed every page, reading it to me was an enriching journey. The post-war intellectuals struggle to survive and make a difference, was enlightening. I couldn't avoid comparing that to the state of the Egyptian resistance and the euphoria we lived in February 2011 and all the helplessness we fell in afterwards. I know a lot of differences lie in between. However the slight similarities touched my heart.

  • Mara
    2018-12-06 07:36

    for all of my bitching and moaning, this was one of those books that answered on one of those Rilkean crying out nights, and it did such a lovely job of telling at least three different stories, and yes, six hundred pages was sometimes a slog, and yes existentialism sometimes makes me reach for a sweater, but I still loved this book and it will be living in my head for a long time.

  • Hala
    2018-11-29 06:57

    رواية رائعة بكل المقاييس و كعادة سيمون لغة بسيطة و معاني و تحليلات عميقة تتناول حياة الطبقة المثقفة بعد الحرب في فرنسا و تنتاول شخصيات جان بول سارتر و البير كامو محبي الفلسفة الوجودية سيفتتنوا بهذه الرواية ..

  • Farzaneh
    2018-11-14 02:46

    جالب بود چه به لحاظ شنخات کمونیسم و چه به لحاظ شناخت انسانها و تفکرات انسانی علی الخصوص زنان ، اینکه وقایع همسان یکبار از نگاه یک زن و یکبار از نگاه یک مرد روایت شده بود جز نقاط قوت کتاب بود و کمک زیادی به شناخت تفاوت های این دو جنس می کرد.

  • Vahid Feizi
    2018-11-28 01:54

    دوبوار، یار دیرینهٔ سارتر و پرچمدار مکتب اگزیستانسیالیست به حق میتوان گفت قلم گیرا و نافذی دارد.نویسنده ای ندیده ام که انقدر وجودگرایی را اینگونه ظریف و موزون در لابلای نوشته هایش اثردهد.رمان حاضر فراز نشیبها و حال و هوای دوران جوانی دوبوار را به تصویر کشیده است. دوران تجدد و ظهور افکار نو و گاها هنجار شکن پسامدرنیسم؛

  • FeReSHte
    2018-12-10 05:54

    شروع اثر نان فیکشن بزرگ و اثرگذاری مثل "جنس دوم جلد اول حقایق و اسطوره‌ها" باعث شد تا نسبت به آثار داستانی دوبووار کنجکاو شم . بعد از اثر کوچک مرگ آرام قرعه به نام ماندارن ها افتاد داستان از اولین لحظات اتمام جنگ جهانی دوم و آزادی فرانسه شروع میشه و تا اواسط دهه ی پنجاه ادامه پیدا می کنه . ماندارن ها اثر بزرگ و پرماجراییه که تلاش عده ای از روشنفکران پاریس برای اثرگذاری در سیاست رو به تصویر می کشه و در این بین گریزی هم به مسائل عاطفی ، فمینیستی و فلسفی داره. پنج شخصیت اصلی و تعاد زیاد شخصیت های مکمل و پرداخت دقیق نویسنده به زندگی شخصی ، ادبی و سیاسی کاراکترها تا حدودی نشون دهنده ی عظمت اثر هست. " هانری " نویسنده ی موفقیه که رشد ادبی خودش رو مدیون رفیق دیرینش "دوبروی" هست و به تشویق اون ذره ذره وارد امور سیاسی میشه. هانری نزدیک به ده ساله که با "پل" در رابطه ست. رابطه ای که با عشقی طوفانی شروع شد ولی پس از ده سال چیزی جز عذاب براش به همراه نداره . "پل" ادعای عشق واقعی داره. همه امور شخصی رو رها کرده و خودش رو وقف رابطه و وابسته ی هانری کرده و تبدیل به شخصیتی ضعیف و غیر مفید شده که دست کمی از بیمار روان پریش نداره. سه شخصیت زن داستان "پل" پارتنر هانری ، "آن" همسر دوبروی و "نادین " دختر آن و دوبروی هستند. هیچ کدوم از این سه زن کاراکتر قوی و نرمالی به نظرم نیومدند. پل اون قدر به هانری وابسته شده که تصور به هم خوردن رابطه هم اون رو از درون متلاشی می کنه. "آن" زن جوانیه که فاصله سنی زیادی با همسرش داره . با وجودی که روانشناسه ولی به نظر نمیاد چندان توانایی مهار بحران های روحی و مشکلاتش رو داشته باشه . " نادین" ولی دختر سرکشیست که تو بسیاری جاها در خلال مکالماتش عدم پیشرفت و انجام ندادن کارهای بزرگ و موثر در زندگیش رو ناشی از زن بودن می دونه . با وجودی که به هر طریق ممکن خواسته هاش رو عملی می کنه ولی لجبازی شدیدش برای من شخصیت نرمالی رو تداعی نکردماندارن ها هرچند اثری فیکشنه ولی با توجه به اوضاع فرانسه در زمان حیات نویسنده و حلقه های معاشرتی و دوستانش ، تشخیص اثرپذیری حوادث از رخدادهای رئال و تاثرپذیری کاراکترها از آدم های واقعی دور و بری دوبووار - ژان پل سارتر ، آلبر کامو و ....- کار دشواری نیست. ارتباط "آن" با نویسنده ی امریکایی لوییس بروگن هم رابطه ی رمانتیک بین سیمون دوبووار و نلسون آلگرن رو تداعی می کنه به همون اندازه که دوبروی ، "سارتر" و هانری، " کامو" رو برای خواننده تداعی میکنه.با وجودی که شدت محتوای سیاسی داستان و حزب بازی و جنگ بین کمونیسم و کاپیتالیسم و فاشیسم و تلاش برای محاکمه و انتقام از همکاران نازیسم خیلی جاها بالا می زنه ولی اصلا حوصله مو سر نبرد (برخلاف تصور خودم از خودم ) کشش و جذابیت بالایی داشت که تو جلد دوم حتی دو برابر هم شد. بحث "نسبی بودن اخلاق" و سختی تصمیم گیری های اخلاقی مبحثی بود که در چند جا سیمون در قالب اتفاقات رخ داده برای کاراکترهاش پیش کشیدماندارن ها برای من اثر خیلی خیلی متفاوتی بود. تصویری که برام از پاریس و زندگی روشنفکران پاریسی در دهه ی چهل و پنجاه ساخت بسیار شفافه. دیدی هم که از بحران ها و مسائل سیاسی غالب بعد از جنگ جهانی دوم میده برای من ارزشمند بود. ماندارن ها هم من رو تشنه ی بیشتر دونستن از حوادث جنگ جهانی دوم کرد و هم حریص بیشتر خوندن از دوبووار. حتی اگه زنانی که در داستان خلق کرد به اندازه ی پیش فرضم قوی و خودساخته نباشند

  • Fernanda
    2018-12-06 10:03

    Tenho muitas ideias em relação à esse livro. Primeiro que o livro é ótimo, mas definitivamente não é pra todos. É bem pesado em termos de política francesa do pós-Segunda Guerra e camadas da esquerda. Aliás, sempre soube só o basicão e me surpreendi ao perceber como ela ficou fragmentada depois da Libertação e todos os problemas que vieram, sem contar que achava que o apoio a De Gaulle era unanimidade. Ledo engano. Claro que isso levando em consideração que ela escreveu esse romance sugando muito do que acontecia no final da década de 1940 e que reflete parcialmente a realidade. Outro detalhe é que o livro basicamente não tem plot. Sendo um pouco injusta, dá pra resumir como um monte de esquerdista falando sem parar sobre tudo e nada chegando a lugar nenhum. O livro é longo, mas avança bem porque tem muitos diálogos, e muitos bons. Eram nesses momentos que eu não conseguia largar. E outro ponto muito importante é que os personagens principais são muito tridimensionais. Falo dos principais porque vários coadjuvantes se misturavam na minha cabeça, mas se penso na Anne, Robert, Nadine, Henri, Paule, Lewis e até Lambert, eles me aparecem com toda sua complexidade e vida diante de mim. Às vezes era até meio difícil seguir a linha de raciocínio de todos, não só porque existe um gap cultural que me prejudicou, mas também porque eles borbulhavam pensamentos, contradições, aspirações, enganos, o que tem também seu lado negativo; acontecia de sentir que não os conhecia direito.Claramente a estrutura é dividida em dois pontos de vista: em terceira pessoa a partir da vida do Henri e em primeira pessoa da Anne (ou seja, algo próximo do que seria a própria Simone). Dava pra entender melhor a história e os personagens vendo na panorâmica do narrador-observador, mas sem dúvidas minhas partes favoritas eram da Anne. Fiquei muito sensibilizada e até identificada com a vida interior dela, muitas vezes de partir o coração. Existe também um flerte com o feminismo, mas muito mais fortemente com o existencialismo. O último capítulo por sinal é arrasador nesse sentido; amei demais. Fiquei pensando numa parte que o Henri escreve um romance mais pro final e tenta se defender diante das acusações da Nadine. Segundo ela, ele teria agido de má fé ao colecionar frases e histórias, que deveriam ter sido esquecidas, pra usar no novo livro dele. Henri diz que esse material foi base pra construção de personagens que não necessariamente têm relação com a realidade e que me mesmo que tivessem não poderiam ser reconhecidos. Senti que poderia ser a própria Simone se justificando, já que ao que parece Henri seria o Camus e Robert, Sartre.A princípio não é um livro que eu releria, mas existe claramente um gap que me impediu de apreciar totalmente e eu gostaria de aprender mais sobre a política francesa durante e no pós guerra pra poder ler de novo num futuro relativamente distante.

  • Kurt Kemmerer
    2018-12-15 05:02

    A harrowing classic that deftly covers the onion-like layers of individual decision making and the multitude of actions and inactions that decision making process affects over a short period of time, especially in the wake of a great trauma. In this case, the trauma is WW II, and most of the characters fought for the French resistance. In the aftermath of the war, the change from necessary, immediate action to assessing each act for every possible outcome becomes daunting. Exploring the affect of such a time on friendships, marriages, as well as political ties and divides, is no easy task, but de Beauvoir accomplishes it with a quality that is too seldom found.This is a big book, with a vast list of well-developed characters, covering a mass of territory. It is not a quick read. It does lead one to ponder history, philosophy, relationships, politics, and more. While the book is much better than my writing here, it's not perfect, but it is stunning to read in comparison to some popular books of our time that attempt to cover similar territory. For example, there is another book making the rounds and the NYT best seller list about WW II and its aftermath. That book is a fair read, but de Beauvoir digs in to matters with the true complexity of the human condition, whereas the more current book skimmed things rather mundanely and missed much of the actual emotion and complexity of the hard decisions involved. Here's my bottom line on the two books: The Mandarins covered the topic like one could with a friend over a week at a cabin, while the modern book is like a quick chat over coffee, while your mind is on what you have to get done afterward. No, I'm not going with a "good old days" routine here. I'm just pointing out a rather big difference between two books that cover some of the same territory, geographically, historically, and in terms of humanity. Yeah, you have to commit to The Mandarins, but it's worth it, every step of the way.

  • Laura
    2018-12-01 08:02

    I totally enjoyed this book. Like some other reviewers here, I found the first few pages to be challenging to go through: so many characters are introduced and the narrative seems sparse. By the second/third chapters though, I was captured by the book and could barely put it aside.I don't think I have so far come across any better illustration of the classical idea of "intellectual" in the pure French tradition, that which was started with Zola's public stance during the Dreyfus Affair. de Beauvoir's focus on the French intellectuals' struggles with their feelings of duty to act and their constant swing between political involvement and artistic isolation was really insightful. The social and individual malaise from hesitation about one's place in the world is also skilfully depicted. To me, these themes are so relevant for today's world and I thus think that the book is ageless. A wonderful and inspiring read!PS: Am I the only one amused by the insights into the French-US "rivalry" in foreign policy popping up in dialogues? A nice example: "We, pragmatists, aren't very well known in France (…) Mark you, we have no objections at all to being criticised. No one is more open to constructive criticism than an American. Explain to us how to keep the affection of the French and we'll listen to you with rapt attention. But France is in no position to judge our Mediterranean policies!"