n French Studies in Southern Africa - . Un nouveau chapitre détourné de l'autobiographie beauvoirienne? : section spéciale

Volume 2015, Issue 45
  • ISSN : 0259-0247



In 2013, in Paris decided to publish Simone de Beauvoir's novella entitled as a separate book. This short story had previously been published in a French journal in 1992. This novella was to be part of the collection of short stories entitled , published in 1968; however, it was eventually excluded from the final volume. During a stay in Moscow in the mid-1960s, a married couple of left-wing intellectuals who have always been supportive of Socialism and the Soviet Union find themselves challenged on a personal level and in a political sense and attempt to find a solution to their private and ideological crisis. This novella, if it indeed makes references to autobiographical events in Beauvoir's existence, cannot simply be considered as an autobiographical fiction since the author ensures that all facts and characters are fictionally transposed, and that a true literary recreation is at work. However, it would be hasty to read this story as yet another example of the author's transpositional technique. Obvious parallels exist between the fictional story and the author's experiences. Can one therefore infer that should be read as another deviated chapter of the Beauvoirian autobiography? Can one also read it as a fake fictional work, as an autobiography in disguise? Or, could one consider it as a complex narrative which somehow transcends literary genres by echoing without imitating?

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