Simone de Beauvoir

9 Jan 1908 // 14 Apr 1986


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The word love has by no means the same sense for both sexes, and this is one cause of the serious misunderstandings that divide them.
Tragedies are all right for a while: you are concerned, you are curious, you feel good. And then it gets repetitive, it doesn't advance, it grows dreadfully boring: it is so very boring, even for me.

The Woman Destroyed
Today, however, we are having a hard time living because we are so bent on outwitting death.

The Ethics of Ambiguity
Even if one is neither vain nor self-obsessed, it is so extraordinary to be oneself - exactly oneself and no one else - and so unique, that it seems natural that one should also be unique for someone else.

The Woman Destroyed
Women's mutual understanding comes from the fact that they identify themselves with each other; but for the same reason each is against the others.

The Second Sex
I could see no reason for being sad. Itīs just that it makes me unhappy not to feel happy.

The Mandarins
To catch a husband is an art; to hold him is a job.

The Second Sex
Sex pleasure in women is a kind of magic spell; it demands complete abandon; if words or movements oppose the magic of caresses, the spell is broken.
Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth.

The Second Sex
It is in the knowledge of the genuine conditions of our lives that we must draw our strength to live and our reasons for living.
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."