Quotes from Prime of Life (1929-1944)

Simone de Beauvoir ·  479 pages

Rating: (859 votes)


“To abstain from politics is in itself a political attitude.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)


“To be oneself, simply oneself, is so amazing and utterly unique an experience that it's hard to convince oneself so singular a thing happens to everybody.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)


“Je sais qu'on ne peut jamais se connaître, mais seulement se raconter.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)


“In the old days the worst part of my depression used to be the astonishment it caused me, the scandalized way in which I fought against it. Nowadays, on the other hand, I accept it cheerfully enough, like an old familiar friend.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)


“Les cas extrêmes nous attachaient, au même titre que les névroses et les psychoses : on y retrouvait exagérées, épurées, dotées d'un saisissant relief les attitudes et les passions des gens qu'on appelle normaux.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)



“The comradeship that welded our lives together made a superfluous mockery of any other bond we might have forged for ourselves.What, for instance, was the point of living under the same roof when the whole world was our common property?Why fear to set great distances between us when we could never truly be parted?One single aim fired us, the urge to embrace all experience, and to bear witness concerning it ...That which bound us freed us and in this freedom we found ourselves bound as closely as possible”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)


“Today it strikes me that the most important aspect of these conversations was not so much what we said as what we took for granted, and what in fact was not so at all. We were wrong about almost everything. An accurate character sketch must take these errors into account, since they expressed one kind of reality - our actual situation.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)


“Trudging alone along that black road, sometimes in the teeth of wind and rain, and watching the white distant gleam of convolvulus through the park railings, gave me an exhilarating sensation of adventure.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)


“...which we welcomed precisely because it happened to suit our convenience.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)


“In those days we saw every sort of object as though it were one of those tiny handkerchiefs from which a conjuror can produce silk scarfs, streamers, flags, and yards of ribbon. A cup of coffee became a kaleidoscope in which we could spend ages watching the mutable reflections of ceiling or chandelier.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)



“There were no scruples, no feelings of respect or loyal affection that would stop us from making up our minds by the pure light of reason - and of our own desires.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)


“I enjoyed my exhaustion, though; I liked overdoing things”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)


“Scents, patterns of light and shade, winds and hurricanes — all pulsed inwardly through my own sinews and veins: so much so, indeed, that the throb of my blood stream, the swarming growth of my cells, the whole mystery of life housed within me seemed to be echoed by the shrilling cicadas, the gusts of wind that shook the trees, and the faint crunch of the moss as I trod it underfoot.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)


“I was too enamored of truth ever to mourn lost illusions.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, quote from Prime of Life (1929-1944)


About the author

Simone de Beauvoir
Born place: in Paris, France
Born date January 9, 1908
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