TEHRAN (IBNA) -- A novel by the French existentialist philosopher, writer and social theorist Simone de Beauvoir, ‘The Blood of Others’ (1945) which explores the themes of freedom and responsibility has been republished in Persian.
Depicting the lives of several characters in Paris before and after the Second World War, the book has been translated again into Persian by Laila Sazegar. No Publishing has released ‘The Blood of Others’ in 324 pages. The earlier Persian translation had been carried out by Mahvash Behnam.
In German-occupied France, Jean Blomart sits by a bed in which his lover Hélène lies dying. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn about both characters and their relationship to each other. As a young man filled with guilt about his privileged middle-class life, Jean joins the Communist Party and breaks from his family, determined to make his own way in life.
After the death of a friend in a political protest, for which he feels guilty, Jean leaves the Party and concentrates on trade union activities. Hélène is a young designer who works in her family’s confectionery shop and is dissatisfied with her conventional romance with her fiancé Paul.
She contrives to meet Jean and, though he initially rejects her, they form a relationship. Caring for her happiness, Jean tells Hélène he loves her even though he believes that he does not. He proposes and she accepts…
The major theme of ‘The Blood of Others’ is the relation between the free individual and ‘the historically unfolding world of brute facts and other men and women. Or as one of Beauvoir’s biographers puts it, her ‘intention was to express the paradox of freedom experienced by an individual and the ways in which others, perceived by the individual as objects, were affected by his actions and decisions.’
Beauvoir had a significant influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory. She wrote novels, essays, biographies, autobiographies, and monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues.
Her most enduring contribution to literature is her memoirs, notably the first volume, ‘Mémoires d’une jeune fille rangée’ (1958), which has a warmth and descriptive power.
She won the 1954 Prix Goncourt, the 1975 Jerusalem Prize, and the 1978 Austrian State Prize for European Literature. She was also known for her open, lifelong relationship with French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.