New French Feminisms: An Anthology

By Elaine Marks; Isabelle De Courtivron | Go to book overview

Simone de Beauvoir

The free woman is just being born; when she has won possession of herself perhaps Rimbaud's prophecy will be fulfilled: "There shall be poets! When woman's unmeasured bondage shall be broken, when she shall live for and through herself, man -- hitherto detestable -- having let her go, she, too, will be poet! Woman will find the unknown! Will her ideational worlds be different from ours? She will come upon strange, unfathomable, repellent, delightful things; we shall take them, we shall comprehend them."1 It is not sure that her "ideational worlds" will be different from those of men, since it will be through attaining the same situation as theirs that she will find emancipation; to say in what degree she will remain different, in what degree these differences will retain their importance -- this would be to hazard bold predictions indeed. What is certain is that hitherto woman's possibilities have been suppressed and lost to humanity, and that it is high time she be permitted to take her chances in her own interest and in the interest of all.

Translated by H. M. Parshley

From "Liberation: The Independent Woman" in The Second Sex ( Vintage, 1974) [Le deuxième sexe]

____________________
1
In a letter to Pierre Demeny, May 15, 1871.

-233-

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New French Feminisms: An Anthology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Why This Book? ix
  • Introductions 1
  • Annie Leclerc 79
  • Claudine Herrmann 87
  • Hélène Cixous 90
  • Luce Irigaray 99
  • Warnings 115
  • Antoinette Fouque 117
  • Denise Le Dantec 119
  • Maria-Antonietta Macciocchi 120
  • Arlette Laguiller 121
  • Madeleine Vincent 125
  • Catherine Clément 130
  • Julia Kristeva 137
  • Simone De Beauvoir 142
  • Creations 159
  • Xavière Gauthier 161
  • Julia Kristeva 165
  • Claudine Herrmann 168
  • Marguerite Duras 174
  • Chantal Chawaf 177
  • Madeleine Gagnon 179
  • Viviane Forrester 181
  • Christiane Rochefort 183
  • Research on Women 211
  • Variations on Common Themes 212
  • Utopias 231
  • Simone De Beauvoir 233
  • Françoise Parturier 234
  • Françoise D'Eaubonne 236
  • Annie Leclerc 237
  • Marguerite Duras 238
  • Maria-Antonietta Macciocchi 239
  • Julia Kristeva 240
  • Julia Kristeva 241
  • Monique Wittig 242
  • Suzanne Horer Jeanne Socquet 243
  • Hélène Cixous 245
  • Index 271
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