Simone De Beauvoir, Gender and Testimony

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-12-14
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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This is a full-length study exploring Simone de Beauvoir's autobiographical and biographical writings in the context of ideas on selfhood formulated in Le deuxi+me sexe and her other philosophical essays of the 1940s. Drawing on more recent work in autobiographical studies and working within a broadly Foucauldian framework, Ursula Tidd offers a detailed analysis of Beauvoir's auto/biographical strategy as a woman writer seeking to write herself into the male-constructed autobiographical canon. Tidd first analyses Beauvoir's notions of selfhood in her philosophical essays, and then discusses her four autobiographical and two biographical volumes, along with some of her unpublished diaries, in an attempt to explore notions of selectivity, and the politics of truth-production and reception. The study concludes that Beauvoir's vast auto/biographical project, situated in specific personal and historical contexts, can be read as shaped by a testimonial obligation rooted in a productive consciousness of the Other.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. x
Abbreviationsp. xii
Introductionp. 1
Becoming the Selfp. 13
'Pyrrhus Et Cinéas' and 'Pour Une Morale De L'Ambigmte'p. 15
Le Deuxième Sexep. 31
Writing the Lifep. 59
Narratives of Self-Representationp. 61
Negotiating Autobiographyp. 87
Writing the Self: 'Mémoires D'Une Jeune Fille Rangée'p. 106
Bearing Witness with the Other, Bearing Witness for the Otherp. 130
Writing the Otherp. 155
Epiloguep. 175
Notesp. 178
Bibliographyp. 221
Indexp. 243
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