Tuesday, February 28, 2012

SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR:
HER ROSY COMPLEXION, HER CLEAR BLUE EYES

I invited contributions to Literary Style and my friend Eli sent in this beautiful portrait of Simone de Beauvoir. If I am not mistaken, the picture was taken by Irving Penn in 1957 and was recently featured in an exhibit of Penn's portraits of artists and writers at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. Isn't it breath-taking?

Eli said that the reason why she is so compelled by Beauvoir's style has less to do with her actual style choices (although she did mention to love her play off of menswear and her disciplined hair-styles) and more to do with her general aura: her gaze, her confidence and composure.


While trying to figure out the origin of the photograph, I came across this wonderful quote by Madeleine Gobeil describing Simone de Beauvoir for The Paris Review in 1965:
Apart from her classically featured face, what strikes one about Simone de Beauvoir is her fresh, rosy complexion and her clear blue eyes, extremely young and lively. One gets the impression that she knows and sees everything; this inspires a certain timidity. Her speech is rapid, her manner direct without being brusque, and she is rather smiling and friendly.
How perfect!

If you are interested in submitting a favorite author to Literary Style, drop me a note!

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2 comments:

  1. just finished A Very Easy Death! you have to have read it!

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    Replies
    1. I am adding it to my "To Read" list! Thank you!

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