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Written in 1943, this book was written as an act of revenge against the woman who nearly destroyed the author's life with the celebrated philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre. Written in 1943, this book was written as an act of revenge against the woman who nearly destroyed the author's life with the celebrated philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre.


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Written in 1943, this book was written as an act of revenge against the woman who nearly destroyed the author's life with the celebrated philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre. Written in 1943, this book was written as an act of revenge against the woman who nearly destroyed the author's life with the celebrated philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre.

30 review for She Came to Stay

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    L'Invitée = She Came to Stay, Simone de Beauvoir She Came to Stay is a novel written by French author Simone de Beauvoir first published in 1943. The novel is a fictional account of her and Jean-Paul Sartre's relationship with Olga Kosakiewicz and Wanda Kosakiewicz. Set in Paris on the eve of and during World War II, the novel revolves around Françoise, whose open relationship with her partner Pierre becomes strained when they form a threesome with her younger friend Xaviere. The novel explores m L'Invitée = She Came to Stay, Simone de Beauvoir She Came to Stay is a novel written by French author Simone de Beauvoir first published in 1943. The novel is a fictional account of her and Jean-Paul Sartre's relationship with Olga Kosakiewicz and Wanda Kosakiewicz. Set in Paris on the eve of and during World War II, the novel revolves around Françoise, whose open relationship with her partner Pierre becomes strained when they form a threesome with her younger friend Xaviere. The novel explores many existentialist concepts such as freedom, angst, and the other. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز چهارم ماه مارس سال 2004میلادی عنوان: میهمان: نویسنده: سیمون دو بووار (دوبوار)؛ مترجم: امیرسامان خرسند؛ تهران، جامی، 1382؛ در 552ص؛ شابک 9647468288؛ چاپ سوم 1387؛ شابک: 9789647468282؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسوی - سده 20م نخستین داستان اثر بانو «سیمون دوبوار»، همسر «ژان پل سارتر» است، پژوهش و خوانش تلخ و نیشداری است، درباره ی حالات روحی یک زن، برای همین عنوانش «میهمان» شده، و نخستین بار در سال 1943میلادی انتشار یافته است؛ «میهمان» روایت زن و مردی هنرمند است، که با وجود داشتن رابطه ی خوب، همدیگر را در امور شخصی، آزاد بگذاشته‌ اند؛ اما این آزادی در پایان داستان، برای خوانشگر دردسر‌ساز میشود؛ فرانسواز، و «پِی یر»، زن و شوهری هستند، که در تئاتری کار میکنند، و همکاران بسیاری دارند؛ در این میان دختری به نام «گزاویر» نظر این زن و مرد را جلب میکند، و در نهایت آن‌ها تصمیم میگیرند: «گزاویر» را، وارد رابطه ی دو نفره ی خویش کنند؛ تا اینجا‌ی داستان، خوانشگر، از اطمینان، و اعتمادی که «فرانسواز»، و «پی یر» نسبت به هم دارند، و از عدم محدودیت آن‌ها، برای تجربه ی رابطه‌ هایی از نوع دیگر، احساس تعجب میکند؛ غافل از اینکه در انتهای داستان، همچون بیشتر داستان‌ها، وجود یک رابطه ی سوم، غیرقابل تحمل میشود؛ تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 17/02/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    Your guy, whom you are totally smitten with, somehow talks you into agreeing that it's OK for him to extend your relationship into a menage a trois including another, younger woman, that you don't really like very much. You're seething with jealousy, but, because of various abstract principles, you can't even admit it to yourself in so many words. So you write a novel based on real events, where you describe her as the empty-headed little bitch she is, and conclude by killing her, which you alwa Your guy, whom you are totally smitten with, somehow talks you into agreeing that it's OK for him to extend your relationship into a menage a trois including another, younger woman, that you don't really like very much. You're seething with jealousy, but, because of various abstract principles, you can't even admit it to yourself in so many words. So you write a novel based on real events, where you describe her as the empty-headed little bitch she is, and conclude by killing her, which you always wanted to do in real life. Well... possibly there's a little more to it than that, but it's fun!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Evans

    The subject matter of this novel by Simone De Beauvoir, who was the long-term partner of famed French existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, seems a somewhat odd one for a prominent feminist. The relationship between De Beauvoir and Sartre was not a conventional one- far from it in fact- and is explored in this story of a woman suffering an existential crisis caused by the introduction of another woman to form what becomes a rather bizarre menage à trois. Françoise (quite obviously a represent The subject matter of this novel by Simone De Beauvoir, who was the long-term partner of famed French existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, seems a somewhat odd one for a prominent feminist. The relationship between De Beauvoir and Sartre was not a conventional one- far from it in fact- and is explored in this story of a woman suffering an existential crisis caused by the introduction of another woman to form what becomes a rather bizarre menage à trois. Françoise (quite obviously a representation of De Beauvoir) is a writer living in Paris who enjoys an open relationship with actor and director Pierre. Whilst Pierre enjoys numerous relationships with other women, Françoise remains content with the knowledge that he cares for none of them so much as he cares for her. Theirs is not a relationship of contrived romance or epic declarations, but of simplicity, comfort and fondness which in many ways is more touching and relatable than the all-consuming, in-your-face romances so often found in literature which, whilst very good at capturing the hearts of twenty-something women like me, but are, as much as it pains me to admit it, often totally ludicrous. Enter Xaviere: a tempestuous and, frankly, irritating young woman and protegée of Françoise who quickly attracts the attention of Pierre. Unlike his other affairs, Pierre ingratiates Xaviere into his life with Françoise and allows her to eventually take over. As a firm feminist, the admission of depression bought on by the loss of a man might be seen by many as a brave one, but it must be said, a wholly understandable one. There is after all nothing in feminism which says you can't be in love with a man. Françoise undergoes something of a breakdown when she fears she has lost Pierre's affection, and De Beauvoir's sense of abandonment and betrayal is practically tangible as she sinks further and further into despair. Pierre and Xaviere seem to be two of the most emotionally stunted characters to be found in literature as they carry out their tempestuous love affair whilst making Françoise totally complicit in every single detail. Her eternal forced optimism that their life together can be happy, despite her obvious upset is truly heart-breaking at times, as is her slow realisation that it will never be the same again. The book is often described as an act of revenge against the real-life woman who came between De Beauvoir and Sartre, but reading the book, it is not vengeful sentiments. Xaviere is not introduced as the seductive 'other woman' in an otherwise happy relationship, but a young girl struggling to find what she wants in life, whom Françoise, a woman already clearly wracked with insecurities, regards a younger sister figure, it is only the reader who sees her for what she truly is. The main purpose of the novel is not revenge, but catharsis. De Beauvoir examines the feelings that the relationship evoked in her from a philosophical perspective, not the perspective of a woman scorned. She wishes to explore why she feels the way she does with the reader, and perhaps never fully finds the answer

  4. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    I read this book for the first time about twenty years ago, when my French was considerably weaker than it is now. My overall evaluation is pretty much the same as in my original review - I'm not sure my improved command of the language has made much difference - but some new thoughts: ○ I kept changing my mind about whether it was a good bad novel (the overall story is surprisingly chicklittish, but it's well above average for that genre) or a bad good novel (it also has pretensions to be a piec I read this book for the first time about twenty years ago, when my French was considerably weaker than it is now. My overall evaluation is pretty much the same as in my original review - I'm not sure my improved command of the language has made much difference - but some new thoughts: ○ I kept changing my mind about whether it was a good bad novel (the overall story is surprisingly chicklittish, but it's well above average for that genre) or a bad good novel (it also has pretensions to be a piece of philosophy, but I didn't find it at all convincing as such). ○ As de Beauvoir says herself in her memoirs, the ending is terrible. ○ I don't know why this didn't register more strongly on the first reading, but Sartre's Huis clos, which came out within a few months of L'invitée, is clearly the same story. Huis clos is by far the better of the two: instead of de Beauvoir's clunky and overlong literal retelling, Sartre abstracts away the personal details and trims it down to its bare essentials. It's much more powerful that way. ○ You have to hand it to them. Most couples who'd been through this kind of experience would never have spoken to each other again, but they both managed to turn it into worthwhile pieces of art and stayed best friends. Chapeau.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    Love in theory is not the same as love in practice - you can wrap feelings and principles in beautiful intellectual discourses about freedom, acceptance and bonds that transcend social conventions only to have the values you were brought up with rear their ugly heads and bite you in the ass when you are confronted with the reality than the man you love wants to sleep with someone else - and that your philosophical rhetoric gave him permission to do just that, and that you'd be a hypocrite for no Love in theory is not the same as love in practice - you can wrap feelings and principles in beautiful intellectual discourses about freedom, acceptance and bonds that transcend social conventions only to have the values you were brought up with rear their ugly heads and bite you in the ass when you are confronted with the reality than the man you love wants to sleep with someone else - and that your philosophical rhetoric gave him permission to do just that, and that you'd be a hypocrite for not letting him get away with it. What's a girl to do in a situation like this? Change the names and details and write a novel about it, obviously! "L'Invitée" ("She Came to Stay") is not exactly a roman à clef, but it is heavily autobiographical, as Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre really were in a strange ménage à trois with a younger woman named Olga Kosakiewicz (and eventually Olga's sister Wanda) for many years. Their rejection of bourgeois ideals of marriage and conventional relationships, their yearning for living authentically and honestly, combined with Sartre's insatiable appetite for sexual conquest, led them into a very complicated place, that De Beauvoir could only untangle and resolve for herself by fictionalizing it into her first novel (Sartre also wrote about it, in his play "Huis Clos"). Is it worse to suffer the humiliation of not being the one and only, or the bruised ego of letting everyone know you are jealous - even if you despise the very notion of jealousy? The character of Françoise wrestles with that idea as her friendship with the young Xavière throws a wrench into her relationship with fellow writer Pierre: Xavière wants them both to herself, and doesn’t care about their already existing bond, and how her (often extremely childish and selfish) actions fragilize the lovers’ bond. While that story is fascinating, I must say that I simply couldn’t see what Françoise and Pierre see in Xavière: I found her unbearably fickle, stupid and immature – and I wondered if the non-fictional Olga was as much of an insufferable brat. Why two intelligent and sophisticated adults could compromise their relationship over the whims of an infantile idiot is beyond me. As usual with De Beauvoir, the gorgeous prose makes this book amazing right off the bat. No matter how flawed she might have been, Simone had a beautiful strong voice and it translated so well on the page - and she was very far ahead of her time! I was surprised by the frankness of the emotions laid out on the page, considering it was originally published in 1943! Whether or not she was riding Sartre's coattails to get published hardly matters as she was the superior writer of the pair. Somewhere between 4 and 5 stars.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ian "Marvin" Graye

    VOLUPTUOUS DOCILITY AND SYLLABISM "Xaviere was watching Pierre with a kind of voluptuous docility..." (page 238) "Her fresh lips slowly plucked off each syllable of the word: vol..up..tu..ous." (page 151) Simone de Beauvoir's novel was first published in French in 1943 and in English in 1949. Nabokov's famous syllabic enunciation of "Lo-lee-ta" appeared in the novel "Lolita", which was written in English, and first published in 1955 in Paris, in 1958 in New York City, and in 1959 in London. SHE CAM VOLUPTUOUS DOCILITY AND SYLLABISM "Xaviere was watching Pierre with a kind of voluptuous docility..." (page 238) "Her fresh lips slowly plucked off each syllable of the word: vol..up..tu..ous." (page 151) Simone de Beauvoir's novel was first published in French in 1943 and in English in 1949. Nabokov's famous syllabic enunciation of "Lo-lee-ta" appeared in the novel "Lolita", which was written in English, and first published in 1955 in Paris, in 1958 in New York City, and in 1959 in London. SHE CAME TO STAY (AND WOULDN'T GO AWAY) [A Three Act Play with an Alternative Ending] ACT ONE: A booth in the brasserie at la Coupole on the Boulevard du Montparnasse. XAVIERE: You have nice breasts. FRANCOISE: They used to be nice, but I’m 26 now. XAVIERE: I’m only 17. FRANCOISE: Your breasts are so much nicer. More pert. XAVIERE: I’d love to kiss yours. FRANCOISE: You will, in time. XAVIERE: I’d like to kiss you now. Your lips, I mean. Here. FRANCOISE: You can – but subject to one small condition. XAVIERE: What’s that? Would I like it? FRANCOISE: I’m sure you would. XAVIERE: Well? FRANCOISE: I’d like you to kiss Pierre as well. Both of us. XAVIERE: A menage a trois? A triad? FRANCOISE: Everything would be so easy. XAVIERE: I can't imagine how it would work. I haven't slept with one person yet, let alone two. FRANCOISE: A couple who are closely united is something beautiful enough, but how much more wonderful would be a trio who loved each other with all their being! XAVIERE: Um... PIERRE: Well, well, my two favourite women! XAVIERE: We were just talking about that! FRANCOISE: Pierre, you're not one man between two women, but all three of us could form something very special... PIERRE: ...something difficult? FRANCOISE: Perhaps, but something which could be beautiful and happy. PIERRE: Well, count me in then! ACT TWO: PIERRE: Xaviere, I want nothing more from you than what I have, but I could not bear that anyone else should have more. FRANCOISE: She's no more than a capricious child, Pierre. PIERRE: No, don't believe a word of it, Xaviere...you’re a wild and exacting soul. I love you. I want to sleep with you. XAVIERE: I'm having a wonderful time with you, Pierre. FRANCOISE: Beware, she wants to take revenge on you for the desire you arouse in her. la Coupole ACT THREE: PIERRE: Why are you so morose when I'm so much in love with you? XAVIERE: The pleasures of the mind are repulsive to me. PIERRE: Go ahead, tell me frankly that you don't love me. FRANCOISE: Give her time to breathe, Pierre, you're badgering her. XAVIERE: I don’t love you. I never loved you. PIERRE: You just don’t know how to receive my love. Yet. FRANCOISE: What exasperates you so much is that Pierre and I are always on such good terms. XAVIERE: You both oppress me. PIERRE: I no longer enjoy this affair. It’s frivolous and wasteful. XAVIERE: I'm such a coward. I ought to kill myself, I ought to have done it a long time ago. I will do it. PIERRE: You’re just trying to make me feel guilty. XAVIERE: I could kill myself right now, if I wanted to. FRANCOISE: Don’t do it. You mustn’t! XAVIERE: Why not? FRANCOISE: Because I want to. XAVIERE: Are you joking? FRANCOISE: You’re a bitch. I hate you. You just wanted to take Pierre away from me. I could kill you. XAVIERE: Here’s my gun. Be my guest! FRANCOISE: What have you got a gun for? XAVIERE: I thought I might have to shoot Pierre. PIERRE: What? I’m going to the bar. Does anybody else want a drink? XAVIERE: No thanks. FRANCOISE: That’s a plastic pistol. A theatre prop, if I’m not mistaken! XAVIERE: I only wanted to scare him. FRANCOISE: This is a gun. Feel it. XAVIERE: It’s heavy. FRANCOISE: That’s because it’s real. XAVIERE: Francoise, I’m frightened. Put it back on the table. Where we can both see it. FRANCOISE: OK, but remember it’s loaded. And there’s only one bullet. The lights go off. A woman screams like a banshee and a solitary gunshot rings out. PIERRE: Francoise? Xaviere? The curtains come down. Cover painting: "Yvonne in Green Dress" (1938) by Guy Pene Du Bois THE INCIPIENT LANGUAGE OF EXISTENTIALISM: "L'Invitee" The English title has different connotations to the original French title. The French title implies that Xaviere was invited, which was the case, both with respect to her living arrangements and the formation of the triad. In both cases, Francoise seems to have been the inviter or instigator of the relationship. Correspondence with Reality There are approximations, if not precise equations, with real life characters. Francoise is most obviously modelled on de Beauvoir. Pierre is Sartre, who was writing "Being and Nothingness" at the same time. (The character "Pierre" appears in some of that work's illustrations of philosophical principles.) Xaviere is a conflation of the sisters Olga and Wanda Kosakiewicz/Kosakievicz. The novel is dedicated to Olga Kosakiewicz/Kosakievicz. The novel was set in the 12 months immediately before World War II. The real events occurred during the period 1932 to 1937, although the friendships continued subsequently. Pierre Pierre comes across as warm, but naive and often manipulative, if not necessarily malicious. His interest in sex and sensuality is almost academic. He seemed to have sex, so that he could think about it then and afterwards. To the extent that Pierre ever suffers, what hurts is his ego or vanity, rather than his feelings. Francoise Francoise is genuinely intellectually committed to both a relationship with Pierre and whatever other relationships occur. However, she is also genuinely hurt by what happens in these relationships. She is a much more sensitive person than she comes across: "Gerbert wondered why people usually thought Francoise looked stern and intimidating; she did not try to act girlishly, but her face was full of gaiety, life and healthy zest; she seemed so completely at ease that it made you feel perfectly at ease when you were near her." She is the most generous of the core three characters. However, it worries me that she seems to bring women to Pierre, almost as if they are her offerings to him. Inevitably, she hurts when they distract his attention away from her. Xaviere Xaviere is probably almost as egotistical as Pierre, only she is much younger (a "mere gamine", as de Beauvoir would describe her in her memoirs), less experienced and less intellectually gifted. She causes chaos precisely because she doesn't yet know what she wants. Consciously or unconsciously, she brings out the worst in Pierre, even though he projects the fault on to her: "It's not my fault if the thoughts you inspire are filthy." Of course, it isn't necessarily or always Xaviere who is inspiring anything in Pierre or anybody else. The Triad A triad necessarily and inevitably splits each being in two, at least temporally. It's almost impossible to give one's whole being to two separate people, at the same time: "It can't spoil anything vital, but the fact is that when I'm worried because of her, I neglect you. When I look at her I don't look at you. I wonder if it wouldn't be better to call a halt to this affair. It's not love that I feel for her: it savours more of superstition. If she resists, I become obstinate, but as soon as I'm sure of her, I become indifferent about her." It's tempting to describe Olga as the most self-absorbed of the three. However, is she any different from the others? Each is out to satisfy and protect their own self or "I" with the help or at the expense of the "other", well, at least two others in fact. Closing the Book on Real Life It's interesting that de Beauvoir uses the novel to document and explore her actual relationships, so that she can better understand what happened. She also uses the fictional denouement to obtain a more satisfactory closure or punctuation mark with respect to the sentence she served. Below are passages that reflect or anticipate some of the philosophical concerns of both de Beauvoir and Sartre in their non-fiction. We Two Are One "It's impossible to talk about faithfulness and unfaithfulness where we are concerned...You and I are simply one. That's the truth, you know. Neither of us can be described without the other." "You and Francoise have a way of pooling everything." "Pierre still repeated: 'We are one,' but now she had discovered that he lived only for himself. Without losing its perfect form, their love, their life, was slowly losing its substance, like those huge, apparently invulnerable cocoons, whose soft integument yet conceals microscopic worms that painstakingly consume them... Sex and Sensuality ”What exactly did [Pierre] want of Xaviere? Polite [encounters] on the hotel staircase? An affaire? Love? Friendship?” "I wanted to give you more than you were prepared to accept. And, if one is sincere, to give is a way of insisting on some return." 'I no longer enjoy these affaires,' said Pierre. 'It's not as if I were a great sensualist, I don't even have that excuse!...The truth is that I enjoy the early stages.' “You know I'm no sensualist. All I ask is to be able at any time to see an expression like the one I saw last night, and moments when I alone in this world exist for her.” "Pure sensuality does not interest me...and besides, does pure sensuality even have a meaning?" "[Xaviere's] cheeks were flushed with anger. Her face was extremely attractive, with such subtly variable shadings that it seemed not to be composed of flesh, but rather of ecstasy, of bitterness, of sorrow, to which the eye became magically sensitive. Yet, despite this ethereal transparency, the outlines of her nose and mouth were extremely sensual.” ”...I shall sleep with other men...Sexual faithfulness is perfectly ridiculous. It leads to pure slavery. I don't understand how you can tolerate it.” ”I've no ardent desire to see much of people, that's quite true.” Freedom ”The fact remains that I love you. Do you really think that freedom consists in questioning things at every turn? We've often said, apropos of Xaviere, that this way was the way to become the slaves of our slightest moods...” ”She smiled at him. What was she uneasy about? He could easily cross-examine himself, he could question the world. She knew she had nothing to fear from this freedom that separated him from her. Nothing would ever change their love.” ”She had loved him too blindly, and for too long, for what she received from him; but she had promised herself to love him for himself, and even in that condition of freedom of which he was now availing himself to escape from her; she would not stumble over the first obstacle.” Being and Existence "Elsewhere something was in the process of existing without her being there, and it was that thing which really mattered. This time, she couldn't say: 'It doesn't know it exists, it doesn't exist.' For it did know." ”Xaviere existed and was not to be refuted, all the risks involved in her existence had to be accepted.” "It's you who always deliberately introduce a kind of Germanic ponderosity into our discussions." The Clash of Two Existences or Beings "Henceforth, Xaviere belonged to Pierre." ”...she really makes me uncomfortable, that creature, with her philosophy which makes us less than dust. It seems to me that if she loved me I'd be as sure of myself as I was before. I would feel that I'd compelled her approval. To make her love me is to dominate her, to enter into her world and there conquer in accordance with her own values. You know this is the kind of victory for which I have an insane need." ”Xaviere's existence had always threatened her, even beyond the very limits of her life, and it was this old anguish that she recognised with terror.” “How was a conscience not her own capable of existing? If it were so, then it was she who was not existing. She repeated 'She or I.'” At One with the World ”At last the circle of violent emotion and anxiety, in which Xaviere's sorcery imprisoned them, had been broken, and they found themselves once more at one at the central point of the vast world. Behind them stretched the limitless past. Continents and oceans were spread like huge sheets over the surface of the globe, and the miraculous certainty of existing amid this incalculable wealth overran even the too narrow bounds of space and time.” SOUNDTRACK: (view spoiler)[ David Crosby - "Triad" (original solo studio take) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aK2e... The Byrds - "Triad" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgfiN... CSN&Y - "Triad" (Live in 1970) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3Nwm... Jefferson Airplane - "Triad" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKV9W... In memory of Paul Kantner Carly Simon - "We Have No Secrets" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKxBn... "The water was cold The beach was empty but for one Now you were lying in the sun Wanting and needing no-one Then some child came, you never asked for her to come She drank a pint of your Rum And later when you told me You aid she was a bore Sometimes I wish Often I wish That I never knew some of those secrets of yours." Carly Simon - "We Have No Secrets" [Live at Grand Central Station, 1995] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10JtE... Wendy Matthews - "Token Angels" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bCsj... The Pretenders - "Stop Your Sobbing" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANaP2... (hide spoiler)]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jenina

    This is billed as the book SDB wrote when one of Sartre's lovers (Olga Kosakievics) entered their lives and threatened to disrupt the famous partnership about which so much has been speculated. This description doesn't do the book justice. It does, nevertheless, need to be admitted from the start that Beauvoir is not remembered best for her novels and this one illustrates why: this is no literary classic. It is not a page turner, not a tour de force - at times I had to make myself pick it up to g This is billed as the book SDB wrote when one of Sartre's lovers (Olga Kosakievics) entered their lives and threatened to disrupt the famous partnership about which so much has been speculated. This description doesn't do the book justice. It does, nevertheless, need to be admitted from the start that Beauvoir is not remembered best for her novels and this one illustrates why: this is no literary classic. It is not a page turner, not a tour de force - at times I had to make myself pick it up to get on reading it. She Came To Staty is interesting because it is an illustrative non-philosophical tract that (as Fullbrook & Fullbrook write in Sex and Philosophy, see my review) pre-dates some of Sartre's formal arguments. It is most easily enjoyable as a historical document of the way things were in France in the pre-War period, when SDB wrote the book. It is most compelling as an insight into SDB herself - in do doubt one of the most intriguing published minds of the 20th century and a formidable intellect. Was she a feminist? Yes - if that means someone who, having been born at a time when women were supposed to get married and settle down, simply didn't, and did the attention-getting things she did. But she was more a woman of her time than this description would suggest. Francoise (the SDB character in the book) was always secondary to Pierre (the Sartre character). Francoise's attempts at independent 'being' were always relative to Pierre and his status. He, on the other hand, was self-centred, rather arrogant, unempathetic, unsensuous - albeit devoted to Francoise. For many 21st century women, he might also come across as being a little too cerebral. The Francoise-Pierre relationship is almost platonic to the point that it wouldn't surprise modern readers that both parties looked for sensual pleasures elsewhere! In fact, that was one of the unexpected aspects of the novel: the Francoise-Pierre partnership most resembles a 21st-century conception of an open marriage, in which both partners are committed to each other but allow extra-marital adventures. On the part of Pierre, they are mostly transitory and venal. That's why the entry of the Xaviere (Olga) character is so disruptive - it is not venal because she is Francoise's (SDB's) friend/protegee, and Xaviere plays on this. By contrast, Francoise's extra-partnership liaison is with Gerbert, a colleague of hers and friend of Pierre's, who is adamant he did not want a relationship that mirrored Pierre's 'affaires' but something more meaningful - as long as it it wasn't a commitment that tied him down, of course. Was SDB in effect saying that women have higher standards than men, and capable of a higher degree of faithfulness? That certainly seems to be one of the novel's messages, as perceived by this woman reader anyway. Was she saying that women could be catty bitches? Yes - that's what Xaviere was. Was she saying women could be high minded? Yes ... but given a post-feminist reading of the novel, that's debatable because Francoise, in the end, was the most successful vengeful female of them all, partly because she chose to operate under the mantle of maturity and intellectual high-mindedness ... and, it has to be said, under the unacknowledge 'protection' of a man - Pierre. If anything, this is more a post-feminist than a feminist novel. But it is more than that. Reading between the lines with the benefit of anachronistic feminist and sociological background, She Came to Stay has something to say about same-sex love and affection, motherhood, maturity, commitment and the French intellectual middle class mentality and morality. There are characters and scenes that are evocative of Guernica, Picasso, Lawrence Durrel and Zorba the Greek (the book, not so much the film) and, of course, La Rive Gauche. But, in the end, I'm not actually sure what SBD wants to say about how people (existentially?) relate to one another. One of the reasons it isn't 'a good read' is that it really is too introspective, and in this respect it favours (naturally) Francoise. But while she is integral and coherent and consistent within herself, the other characters are either developed too late in the story or simply uni-dimensional - Xaviere is just too adolescent and hippie-like to be real. Still, this is worth reading because I am certain that different readers will take a wide range of different impressions and conclusions from this single work of not-exactly-brilliant literature.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Milica Anđelić

    I was trembling with anger during the entire book. The characters are intentionally led to the extreme of their emotions. Simone did this to question love and relationships: how tolerant and honest can you get? Francoise couldn't bare to be honest, but she was extremely tolerant. Did she suffer her "tolerant" humiliation because of love or pride? She wanted to hide this petty human emotion that consumed her and that's why she was silent until the end. She couldn't bare the thought of someone kno I was trembling with anger during the entire book. The characters are intentionally led to the extreme of their emotions. Simone did this to question love and relationships: how tolerant and honest can you get? Francoise couldn't bare to be honest, but she was extremely tolerant. Did she suffer her "tolerant" humiliation because of love or pride? She wanted to hide this petty human emotion that consumed her and that's why she was silent until the end. She couldn't bare the thought of someone knowing that she was jealous.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Otherwise known as 'Never get on the wrong side of Simone de Beauvoir' I first came across Simone de Beauvoir through looking at quotes from her most famous work, The Second Sex, an iconic re-constructionist feminist text. Her ideas really interested me, and so when I found out that she had written novels I was really intrigued. She Came to Stay is particularly interesting as it is based on the real life relationship between de Beauvoir and the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre with whom she had an (v Otherwise known as 'Never get on the wrong side of Simone de Beauvoir' I first came across Simone de Beauvoir through looking at quotes from her most famous work, The Second Sex, an iconic re-constructionist feminist text. Her ideas really interested me, and so when I found out that she had written novels I was really intrigued. She Came to Stay is particularly interesting as it is based on the real life relationship between de Beauvoir and the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre with whom she had an (very French) open relationship. This novel is based on a particular moment when Olga and Wanda Kosakievicz burst in on the two’s lives. I’m going to admit that I found this novel a little bit of a slog to get through, partly, I think because the plot wasn’t especially very pacey. In addition, I didn’t really warm to any of the characters. I think de Beauvoir’s obvious desire to exact revenge of the Koakievicz girls (down to the fact she dedicates the novel to Olga) really undermines the novel’s potential as Xaviere is portrayed throughout as being a little bit dumb, who expects everything to just be given to her and who is incredibly possessive and prone to jealousy. Pierre himself, apparently supposed to be some kind of really attractive guy, just came across and conceited and self-involved to me. I much preferred characters of the periphery, such as Elisabeth, Pierre’s sister and Gerbert, an actor in Pierre’s company with whom Francoise has a kind of intimate relationship, who is seemingly the only character vaguely bothered by the coming Second World War. De Beauvoir focuses most on Francoise, and her journey towards becoming a ‘free’ woman. She was a generally interesting character, although I felt that de Beauvoir did kind of overdo the continuous examples of her being trapped and then free. I did love the descriptions of Paris, however, this novel really increased my desire to travel there and track down all these amazing cafes that (at least in the 1940s) were open seemingly 24/7; and her writing style was really quite good, reminiscent to me of Woolf or Plath’s journals. Whilst I’m not sure that The Mandarins, another novel based on de Beauvoir’s life, is going to particularly be high on my to-read list, I’m really considering sitting down and reading The Second Sex properly at some point in the future.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Based on the reviews I had read on Goodreads prior to starting the novel, I thought She Came to Stay would be a long arduous journey between me and Simone that I would't really enjoy, but that ended up not being the case. It was a quick read, mostly dialogue and not at all difficult. I would not suggest this book to someone who wasn't interested in Sartre and de Beauvoir's work already. It is an easy read but dry and without a strong narrative arc. What makes the novel worthwhile is that so many Based on the reviews I had read on Goodreads prior to starting the novel, I thought She Came to Stay would be a long arduous journey between me and Simone that I would't really enjoy, but that ended up not being the case. It was a quick read, mostly dialogue and not at all difficult. I would not suggest this book to someone who wasn't interested in Sartre and de Beauvoir's work already. It is an easy read but dry and without a strong narrative arc. What makes the novel worthwhile is that so many of Sartre and de Beauvoir's philosophical concerns are explored within the novel, but set pragmatically in their mostly true love triangle, rather than in abstract metaphors. There is a scene in which Sartre watches a lover through a keyhole that is a direct echo of Sartre's writings on shame, for a Sartre enthusiasts this is a gem of a connection and one of many in the novel. I found the book accessible and worth my while because it is yet another piece in the development of the philosophical whole of Sartre and de Beauvoir. There are many faults in the novel's story, and anyone looking for an objectively interesting story has come to the wrong book. Simply put: read if you are a French 40's and 50's existentialist nerd, but if you are a beginner try Camus.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maria Lianou

    Every time I read Simone de Beauvoir afterwards I feel like a completely different person. She Came to Stay is another fantastic novel, and actually through writing this first novel Simone de Beauvoir found her voice and produced an exceptional body of work.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jasmin

    I have always, ALWAYS been obsessed with the love triangle of Jean-Paul Satre, Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Foucault since my cherished time in England when I learned a whole cultural theory of philosophy not taught in the American educational system. I then became an avid obssessive student of post-modern dialectic. Although I have read the Second Sex, it is her lovers and relationships with the men in her real life which fascinate me. This novel is supposed to be the story of her obsession and d I have always, ALWAYS been obsessed with the love triangle of Jean-Paul Satre, Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Foucault since my cherished time in England when I learned a whole cultural theory of philosophy not taught in the American educational system. I then became an avid obssessive student of post-modern dialectic. Although I have read the Second Sex, it is her lovers and relationships with the men in her real life which fascinate me. This novel is supposed to be the story of her obsession and destructive love with Satre...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shamsh

    Strong and almost striking at times. Beauvoir makes you love and hate all her main characters in this powerfully written book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    I adore Simone de Beauvoir's writing, and this is probably one of her most passionate and accessible books. Based on a real-life love triangle between her, Sartre and one of his young lovers, this takes a cool look at love, and dissects jealousy with scalpel-like precision. Set in smoky, glamorous, pre-war Paris amongst young intellectuals, this probes the distance between the theoretical politics of sexual relationships and the lived reality - in theory love is liberated from bourgeois jealousy I adore Simone de Beauvoir's writing, and this is probably one of her most passionate and accessible books. Based on a real-life love triangle between her, Sartre and one of his young lovers, this takes a cool look at love, and dissects jealousy with scalpel-like precision. Set in smoky, glamorous, pre-war Paris amongst young intellectuals, this probes the distance between the theoretical politics of sexual relationships and the lived reality - in theory love is liberated from bourgeois jealousy and pettiness, but the reality for the women in this book is quite different. Supremely intelligent, self-deprecating, and darkly ironic, this is de Beauvoir confronting the uncomfortable intricacies of her relationship with both Sartre and herself.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sheree | Keeping Up With The Penguins

    My full review of She Came To Stay is published on Keeping Up With The Penguins. She Came To Stay is set in Paris, around the time of WWII. A young, naive couple – Francoise and Pierre – are very proudly bohemian. They write, they’re in The Theater, and they have an “open” relationship (though it’s “unthinkable that they should ever tire of each other”). All of that is put to the test when Xaviere comes flouncing in. Basically, She Came To Stay is a cautionary tale about the dangers of poorly-pla My full review of She Came To Stay is published on Keeping Up With The Penguins. She Came To Stay is set in Paris, around the time of WWII. A young, naive couple – Francoise and Pierre – are very proudly bohemian. They write, they’re in The Theater, and they have an “open” relationship (though it’s “unthinkable that they should ever tire of each other”). All of that is put to the test when Xaviere comes flouncing in. Basically, She Came To Stay is a cautionary tale about the dangers of poorly-planned polyamory, especially if you’re French and the teenager you take on as a third is a hot mess.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Richards

    This book went on forever..it could`ve been much shorter. This book is supposed to be based on the author`s relationship with Jean-Paul Satre, and I suppose I just don`t understand how such a prominent feminist could be ok with agreeing to having an open relationship. This book went on forever..it could`ve been much shorter. This book is supposed to be based on the author`s relationship with Jean-Paul Satre, and I suppose I just don`t understand how such a prominent feminist could be ok with agreeing to having an open relationship.

  17. 5 out of 5

    AnaRita Gil

    Too big, though, and exhausting at times

  18. 5 out of 5

    Monika

    It's almost unbelievable how much meaning can be extracted from a novel that essentially lacks a narrative other than artistic professionals simply going about their daily lives. “Hell is other people,” says Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir certainly doesn't disagree. She does however offer a different perspective on the role of the Other, portraying it not only as disturbing one's peace and causing confusion and frustration, but also very much a "necessary evil" that helps people challenge their It's almost unbelievable how much meaning can be extracted from a novel that essentially lacks a narrative other than artistic professionals simply going about their daily lives. “Hell is other people,” says Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir certainly doesn't disagree. She does however offer a different perspective on the role of the Other, portraying it not only as disturbing one's peace and causing confusion and frustration, but also very much a "necessary evil" that helps people challenge their own image of themselves and view it through a different prism. As much as I found the narrative somewhat plain and the ending abrupt, the book paints a fascinating psychological portrait - several, in fact.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julie Iskander

    I was taken aback by how it ended. The book is known to be a recounting of a real story of a young woman that came into the lives of JeanPaul Sarter and Simone de Beauvoir. According to the novel , she wanted to break their unique bond and have Sarter for herself but she failed. I feel the book is more of an attempt to understand what happened and how complex relationships and human can be. To me the restless obnoxious Xaviere was so irritating and at times painful. The book is an complex journe I was taken aback by how it ended. The book is known to be a recounting of a real story of a young woman that came into the lives of JeanPaul Sarter and Simone de Beauvoir. According to the novel , she wanted to break their unique bond and have Sarter for herself but she failed. I feel the book is more of an attempt to understand what happened and how complex relationships and human can be. To me the restless obnoxious Xaviere was so irritating and at times painful. The book is an complex journey worth embarking on.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)

    I willed myself to read the first 68 pages of this, hoping I could find a way to stay interested. After that I couldn't bring myself to pick up the book again. I didn't hate it. Simone de Beauvoir is masterful at the "show, don't tell" narrative. I just wish she was showing the characters doing something interesting. I'm not saying I'll never try this book again, but it's not looking too likely. I willed myself to read the first 68 pages of this, hoping I could find a way to stay interested. After that I couldn't bring myself to pick up the book again. I didn't hate it. Simone de Beauvoir is masterful at the "show, don't tell" narrative. I just wish she was showing the characters doing something interesting. I'm not saying I'll never try this book again, but it's not looking too likely.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Khashayar Mohammadi

    I gotta admit that I did not think too highly of this book in the first few chapters, even considered abandoning it, but luckily the more I read the more I realized how well-written and purposeful the characters really are. This book is a fascinating love story, with poignant passages that are now embedded in my brain. Francoise holding back her tears as she desperately attempts to console Pierre that his beloved Xaviere is deeply in love with him, or how tears flow mercilessly from her eyes as s I gotta admit that I did not think too highly of this book in the first few chapters, even considered abandoning it, but luckily the more I read the more I realized how well-written and purposeful the characters really are. This book is a fascinating love story, with poignant passages that are now embedded in my brain. Francoise holding back her tears as she desperately attempts to console Pierre that his beloved Xaviere is deeply in love with him, or how tears flow mercilessly from her eyes as she reluctantly accepts the very Existence (and I do mean existence in its purest form) of her rival. Its a realistic and profound love story, exploring cognitive dissonance of a woman deeply in love.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    L'Invitée est le premier roman de Simone de Beauvoir publié en 1943 aux éditions Gallimard. Il est inspiré de l'histoire du ménage à trois constitué de Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir et Olga Kosakiewicz. This is the second book I read by Beauvoir. The first one was Les Mandarins which is one of the best books I ever read, believe me. She writes in a way you cannot put the book down, we feel like we are a character into the story. The end of L´Invitée was breathless even if predictable. L'Invitée est le premier roman de Simone de Beauvoir publié en 1943 aux éditions Gallimard. Il est inspiré de l'histoire du ménage à trois constitué de Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir et Olga Kosakiewicz. This is the second book I read by Beauvoir. The first one was Les Mandarins which is one of the best books I ever read, believe me. She writes in a way you cannot put the book down, we feel like we are a character into the story. The end of L´Invitée was breathless even if predictable.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    The biggest problem I had with the love triangle contained within "She Came to Stay" is how easily it is for all the characters to have affairs and think nothing of it. I'm not sure if it is part of the times of Paris in the 40's though I believe if Sartre and de Beauvoir really loved and cared for each other, they could commit affairs and then tell each other about them openly. The story makes Francoise look weak and pathetic by putting up with Xaviere who was clearly after her man. I would hav The biggest problem I had with the love triangle contained within "She Came to Stay" is how easily it is for all the characters to have affairs and think nothing of it. I'm not sure if it is part of the times of Paris in the 40's though I believe if Sartre and de Beauvoir really loved and cared for each other, they could commit affairs and then tell each other about them openly. The story makes Francoise look weak and pathetic by putting up with Xaviere who was clearly after her man. I would have loved to seen Francoise lose control and smack Xaviere across the face like she deserved.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisbeth

    I have had this novel for a couple of years and was always afraid to read it, mostly because I was not sure whether it would be so theoretical that it was really above me. On the contrary, it turns out, this is a fantastic book, utterly fascinating. The book is partly based on the relationship between Simone de Beauvoir and her life-long companion Jean-Paul Sartre. To understand the book I think we have to have a short resumé of their lives. Simone de Beauvoir was born in 1908, and was a French w I have had this novel for a couple of years and was always afraid to read it, mostly because I was not sure whether it would be so theoretical that it was really above me. On the contrary, it turns out, this is a fantastic book, utterly fascinating. The book is partly based on the relationship between Simone de Beauvoir and her life-long companion Jean-Paul Sartre. To understand the book I think we have to have a short resumé of their lives. Simone de Beauvoir was born in 1908, and was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist and social theorist. She wrote novels, essays, biographies, an autobiography and papers on philosophy, politics and social issues. Her best known novels are She Came to Stay, The Mandarins and The Second Sex. She was born into a wealthy family which lost most of their wealth after World War I. She started to study and she was only the ninth woman who received an exam from the Sorbonne. Women had just recently been allowed into higher education. She went on to study philosophy and that is where she met Jean-Paul Sartre, Paul Nizan and René Maheu. She passed her exam as second after Sartre. Beauvoir and Sartre became a couple, but they never married. Beauvoir said later she could not accept his proposal since she had no dowry! The couple always read each others work and there has been discussions who has influenced who and written what in several of their works. Beauvoir was known to have relationships with women. It was rumoured that she seduced her students and in 1943 she was suspended from teaching due to an accusation of having seduced a 17-year-old student. In 1943 Beauvoir published She Came to Stay which was her first novel. It is a fiction of her's and Sartre's relationship with the sisters Olga and Wanda Kosakiewicz. Olga was one of Beauvoir's students and she grew fond of her. Sartre tried to pursue Olga but was refused so he began a relationship with Wanda. When he died Sartre was still supporting Wanda and had also supported Olga for years. She later married Jacques-Laurent Bost, one of Beauvoir's lovers. As you see, quite a complicated life. The book is based on this drama, but Olga and Wanda are changed into one young girl, Xaivère. The novel is a fictive metaphysical novel and it treats the questions of existentialistic thoughts about freedom, anxiety and 'The Other'. We have to go to Wikipedia to have an explanation of these things (at least me). Metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it. Traditionally, it tries to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms: 1. What is ultimately there? 2. What is it like? The Other opposes the Same. Other is identified as "different". It has been used in social science to understand the processes by which societies and groups exclude 'Others' whom they want to subordinate or who do not fit into their society. de Beauvoir changed the Hegelian notion of the Other and used it in describing a male-dominated culture. This treats woman as the Other in relation to man. That indicates that the Other is an important concept for studies of the sex-gender system. In the world of Beauvoir the Other is the minority, the least favoured one and often a woman. Now to the book. The book takes place just before France is forced into the World War II. Françoise is a writer and Pierre a director/writer who sets up theatre productions. They share everything; life, love, secrets, passion for the theatre. They are one, separately they are nothing. They have a free relationship and is closely connected intellectually. Everything works very well until Xavière comes into their lives. It is not clear how Françoise got to know her but at the start of the book she is visiting Paris from Rouen where she lives with her aunt and uncle. She is young, has no education and no work. Françoise and Pierre decide to invite her to Paris and they will pay for her until she can get a job. Both of them are attracted to Xavière and she likes both of them. However, she does not understand their relationship and tries to separate them. Françoise who always was very content with her life now sees that she is the weakest partner. All of a sudden she is just one among the crowd. Her jealousy almost kills her and she must be free, although she sees now how this can be. The book follows them during a little bit less then a year and there is their daily lives, cafés, restaurants, dances, drinks and night-life. How they have the energy to work I don't know! But they do, except Xavière. She doesn't want to do anything. She is not interested in any of the educations that they try to convince her to take, she does not want to work because she is not interested in any work. She tries acting, but tires rather fast. She sleeps during the day and sees them during the night. She is lazy, nonchalant, sloppy and self-absorbed, she has no will or ambition but still wants to become famous. A rather unsympathetic type in other words. The open relationship that Françoise and Pierre have changes when Xavière comes into their lives. The book is written from Françoise's point of view and it is her thoughts on existentialism, anxiety, jealousy and the meaning of life that we come to share. The menage à trois affects all three of them and not in a very positive way. It is difficult to see what it is that makes these two highly, intellectual, freely thinking and independent people so dependent on this young girl. They follow all her whims, all her moods. Even when they are by themselves they discuss how she is and what her moods will be when they meet. Xavière is jealous on Pierre's special love for Françoise. Françoise notices this and feels that Pierre does not care or notice. Pierre spends much less time with Françoise and when he does they seem to discuss only Xavière. The philosophical thoughts in the book about life in general, relationships, the threat of the imposing war is very interesting and gives you something to think about. It is fascinating to say the least. You wonder where this will all lead in the end. Well, for me, it lead in a direction that I could not have imagined! You have to read this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn

    First, the type set put me off, dark print closely packed in this Harper Perennial edition from 2006, the original novel goes back to 1943. I tried, but just couldn’t get into this book, narrated mostly in dialogue, the character’s angst is never ending. I do appreciate how it must have been ground-breaking in its day, but… Think I’ll wait to see what Beauvoir's ‘The Second Sex’ has to offer. The thing I did like most about She Came to Stay was the essay — The Pain of Freedom — contributed by F First, the type set put me off, dark print closely packed in this Harper Perennial edition from 2006, the original novel goes back to 1943. I tried, but just couldn’t get into this book, narrated mostly in dialogue, the character’s angst is never ending. I do appreciate how it must have been ground-breaking in its day, but… Think I’ll wait to see what Beauvoir's ‘The Second Sex’ has to offer. The thing I did like most about She Came to Stay was the essay — The Pain of Freedom — contributed by Fey Weldon in the back of the book P.S. section: Ideas Insights and Features.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Defne Yalcin

    the strangest relationship dynamic I've read about the strangest relationship dynamic I've read about

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    “Anyone looking at this whole scene in a mirror could well imagine that it was an old dream come true. When she was twenty, in her dreary little bedroom, she used to prepare mincemeat sandwiches and bottles of cheap red wine for Pierre, pretending that it was a choice supper with foie gras and old Burgundy. Now the foie gras was on the table, together with caviar canapes, and there was sherry and vodka in the bottles; now she had money, any number of connections, and a dawning reputation. And ye “Anyone looking at this whole scene in a mirror could well imagine that it was an old dream come true. When she was twenty, in her dreary little bedroom, she used to prepare mincemeat sandwiches and bottles of cheap red wine for Pierre, pretending that it was a choice supper with foie gras and old Burgundy. Now the foie gras was on the table, together with caviar canapes, and there was sherry and vodka in the bottles; now she had money, any number of connections, and a dawning reputation. And yet, she continued to feel herself on the fringe of society; this supper was only a counterfeit supper in a pseudo-elegant studio, and she was only a living caricature of the woman she pretended to be. … The pretense used to be fun in the old days; it was the anticipation of a brilliant future. ... She knew that in no way would she ever reach the authentic ideal of which her present self was only a copy.” --- “People managed to surround themselves with an impervious world in which their lives had meaning, but there was always a little cheating at the bottom of it all. If you looked carefully, without trying to deceive yourself, you would find beneath all these imposing appearances nothing but a sprinkling of small, futile impressions .... it couldn’t be caught in words, it had to be borne in silence and then it disappeared without leaving any trace, and something else, equally elusive, took its place. Nothing but sand and water, and it was silly to try to build anything on it. Even death did not deserve all the fuss that was made over it. Of course it was terrifying, but only because you couldn’t imagine how you would feel.”

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elton Furlanetto

    Slow-paced and plotless. Even though the theme is interesting, it did not captivate me as a reader

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I can't finish this book. In fact, I think I hate it. I can't finish this book. In fact, I think I hate it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bernd

    An honest view on the feelings of jealousy - based on the life experiences of Beauvoir with her life-time companion Sartre.

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