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Simpler, Sweeter, More Existential and Interesting

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  • trop_de_simones
    Anyway, I have not much to boast about in my life, and I ll tell you today about my love life, as you did in Casa Contenta on a happy loving evening. I told
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2005
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      Anyway, I have not much to boast about in my life, and I'll tell you
      today about my love life, as you did in Casa Contenta on a happy
      loving evening. I told you I belonged to a petit-bourgeois, Catholic
      old-fashioned family; I was very strictly educated - most books were
      forbidden. I began to read everything when a student, not believing
      in God any more, but I remained very "moral." I was very much in
      love, at seventeen, with a cousin of mine, the same age, who was
      handsome, clever, attractive and whom I admired for being a man. He
      liked me, gave me modern books, and helped me to escape from my
      family intellectually, but he "respected " me as a young
      bourgeois "respects" a cousin; and as for marriage, he married a
      rich, silly, ugly girl. Afterwards he wasted his life, drinking and
      making everybody unhappy. It was a very corny girlish idealistic
      love; this marriage was rather a shock, but I did not care too much
      because at the time I had just been acquainted with new friends,
      students like myself, and among them Sartre.

      We soon cared for each other. I was twenty two and he was twenty
      five, and I gave enthousiastically my life and myself to him. He was
      my first lover, nobody had even kissed me before. We spent a long
      time together and I told you already how I care for him, but it was
      rather deep friendship than love; love was not very successful.
      Chiefly because he does not care much for sexual life. He is a warm,
      lively man everywhere, but not in bed. I soon felt it, though I had
      no experience; and little by little, it seemed useless, and even
      indecent, to go on being lovers. We dropped it after about eight or
      ten years rather unsuccessful in this way.

      That is when the nice young man, Bost, appeared, ten years ago. He
      was much younger than I, a former pupil of Sartre who liked him very
      much. I enjoyed chiefly walking with him in mountains in the summer.
      At this time he had an affair with my Russian friend (Olga), but he
      wanted to drop it; she had been my pupil and in a way I liked her,
      but she had behaved unpleasantly with me too: anyway, she is the kind
      if girl who asks too much from everybody, lying to everybody, so
      everybody had to lie to her. So, when in a mountain trip, sleeping
      under the same tent, Bost and I wanted to sleep together, it was not
      a problem. We never said it to her. He wanted to break with her, but
      then he just could not. She loved him too deeply already, and he did
      not want to hurt. Then came the war, and she went sick; he was more
      and more tied to her and married her, and lives with her, as I told
      you. Yet we went on being close friends and sleeping together. It was
      a pleasant relationship, without passion, but without jealousy,
      without lies, with much friendship and tenderness. So I felt pleased
      with my life, you know; it seemed enough to have deep friendships in
      my life, even it if was not love. I thought I was too old for love,
      now but I could go until death this way, working and liking people
      who liked me. Then, you know, it happened. Besides Sartre and Bost I
      had three times in my life spent just one night with men - men I knew
      already and liked though there was no possibility of real affair.
      When I went back to Chicago, I thought it would be something of this
      kind: I liked you; we could be happy a few days together. And that is
      why I say you trapped me. I did not expect love; I did not believe in
      being in love and you made me fall in love with you!

      Your own Simone
      Sunday, 8 Août 1948

      A Transatlantic Love Affair
      Letters to Nelson Algren
      New Press, New York, 1998
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