Simone de Beauvoir’s Philosophy of Lived Experience: Literature and Metaphysics

Holveck, Eleanore. Simone de Beauvoir's Philosophy of Lived Experience: Literature and Metaphysics. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2002.

From the publisher:

Simone de Beauvoir developed her philosophy of lived experience as she actually wrote fiction. Hence Beauvoir should be placed among major philosophical novelists of the twentieth-century like Toni Morrison and Nadine Gordimer, and Beauvoir’s theory of the metaphysical novel acknowledges multicultural traditions of story-telling and song which are not locked into the theoretical abstractions of the Greek philosophical tradition. In Simone de Beauvoir’s Philosophy of Lived Experience, Eleanore Holveck presents Simone de Beauvoir’s theory of literature and metaphysics, including its relationship to the philosophers Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Immanuel Kant, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Jean-Paul Sartre, with references to the literary tradition of Goethe, Maurice Barrès, Arthur Rimbaud, André Breton, and Paul Nizan. The book provides a detailed philosophical analysis of Beauvoir’s early short stories and several major novels, including The Mandarins and L’invitée, from the point of view of “other” women who appear on the fringes of Beauvoir’s fiction: shop girls, seamstresses, and prostitutes. Holveck applies Beauvoir’s philosophy to her own lived experience as a working-class teenager who grew up in jazz clubs similar to those Beauvoir herself visited in New York and Chicago.