WITNESS TO MY LIFE

THE LETTERS OF JEAN-PAUL SARTRE TO SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR, 1926-1939

Only three months after Simone de Beauvoir's Letters to Sartre appeared in English, we now have a fine translation of the other side of this rightfully legendary correspondence. These letters were edited by the elderly Beauvoir and published in France in 1983. They offer an intimate side of Sartre as he reports on his life and thought to Beauvoir during their first 13 passionate years. And sharpening the picture of their relationship are a number of letters to other women. In 1929, then-student Sartre writes to Simone Jolivet that he has the "ambition to create" and also an "enthusiasm" for certain works that drives him to write. In 22 pages dispatched in 1936 from Naples, the tourist Sartre encircles the reader in that decaying city of "epidemics and fascism," where "chance is master." The incendiary intensity of the Sartre/Beauvoir relationship rises from the almost daily love letters of 1939, when to Beauvoir (mostly in Paris) Sartre writes from a meteorological unit in Alsace about the "phantom war." He hears distant gunfire, and Hitler speaking over a neighboring radio. He discusses the war and the moral and philosophical preoccupations he is putting into The Age of Reason and his journals. "Each consciousness encompasses within itself the infinite to the extent that it transcends itself," he writes on Oct. 11, 1939. Love letters to Louise Vedrine (summer 1939) and frank accounts to Beauvoir of his liaisons make the young women in their circle seem like sounding boards for physical and emotional experience. And Sartre is convincing in his claim to Beauvoir that "everything I think or feel or write is for you....Even my novel and my journal, which other people will eventually sec, are first for you, and only through you for others." Extraordinary in so many ways, Sartre's 1924-39 letters illuminate his evolving thought and his groundbreaking relationship with Beauvoir—perhaps at its finest in their exchange of written words.

Pub Date: May 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-684-19338-8

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1992

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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