LES BELLES IMAGES by Simone de Beauvoir


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She's lovely, she's loved, she's unhappy. The existential cafard? Hardly--just a pastel kind of blues, as mirror-images refract only chic, contemporary surfaces. Depthless. She's Laurence; she has a devoted, really ideal husband; two little girls, and the older one, like Laurence, is troubled. She also has a job in advertising (to keep her busy after a former breakdown) and now everything she touches seems to turn into these belles images or illusory mirages. There's her mother, a dominant woman, who at fifty-one is being abandoned for a young chit of nineteen by a lover; her own incidental adultery which has become tiresome; and her Papa, who seems so wise, so serene and self-sufficient, with whom she takes a trip to Greece to come back and realize that he really doesn't have the answer to that delphic dilemma, self-definition. Nor certainly does Mme. de Beauvoir and it seems surprising that the intellectual salonniere of the '50's has so little to say about the malaise of the '60's. However the book has been extremely successful in France and it is easy to see why: it's as glossy as a cover of Elle and its fashionable doubt and despair may seduce that second sex.
Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 1967
ISBN: 2070362434
Page count: 182pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1967


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