One paragraph reviews on art, movies, books, and pop culture by a know-nothing who knows it all

Thursday, September 22, 2005

When Your Heroes Take a Fall

In the most recent New Yorker, there's a devastating yank - the - icons - from - the - pedestal article on Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. In reviewing books on Beauvoir's and Sartre's union, Louis Menand points out that these two basically played the existentialist version of Glenn Close and John Malkovich in the movie Dangerous Liasions. That is, they had affairs outside their "marriage" and delighted in lying to, using, and disposing of their gullable playthings, and then relished in describing the gory details to each other. I smelled a whiff of this ugly truth while reading Beauvoir's letters to one of her paramours, writer Nelson Algren. The letters are full of lovey-dovey phrases, but you know that eventually she's going to toss Algren into the trash like a day-old croissant.

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