Simone de Beauvoir Quotes

Most popular Simone de Beauvoir Quotes

Habit has a kind of poetry.


What is an adult? A child blown up by age.


One is not born a woman: one becomes a woman.


All life is nothing but a brief reprieve from death.


Words have this immense privilege; you can take them with you.
— Simone de Beauvoir
I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.
— Simone de Beauvoir


Literature is born when something in life goes slightly adrift.


It is so difficult not to become vain about one's own good luck.


If one lives long enough, one sees that every victory sooner or later turns to defeat.

victory & defeat

In the face of an obstacle which it is impossible to overcome, stubbornness is stupid.


Americans are nature-lovers: but they only admit of nature proofed and corrected by man.


Man is a talking animal and he will always let himself be swayed by the power of the word.

words mankind man the animal

Sometimes speech is no more than a device for saying nothing—and a neater one than silence.


The arrogance of some Christians would close heaven to them if, to their misfortune, it existed.

heaven arrogance

It's frightening to think that you mark your children merely by being yourself.  It seems unfair.


I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth—and truth rewarded me.

certainty comfort

That's what I consider true generosity.  You give your all and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.


Except when I am traveling or when extraordinary events are occurring, a day when I do not write tastes of ashes.

why I write

Retirement...may be looked upon either as a prolonged holiday or as a rejection, a being thrown on to the scrap-heap.


It is old age, rather than death, that is to be contrasted with life.  Old age is life's parody, whereas death transforms life into a destiny.

old age destiny parody

The ideal of happiness has always taken material form in the house, whether cottage or castle; it stands for permanence and separation from the world.

happiness house

Sex pleasure in a kind of magic spell; it demands complete abandon; if words or movements oppose the magic of caresses, the spell is broken.


It's frightening to think that you mark your children merely by being yourself. It seems unfair. You can't assume the responsibility for everything you do— or don't do.
— Simone de Beauvoir


Old age was growing inside me.  It kept catching my eye from the depths of the mirror.  I was paralyzed sometimes as I saw it make its way for me so steadily when nothing inside me was ready for it.

old age

Every time I start on a new book, I am a beginner again. I doubt myself, I grow discouraged, all the work accomplished in the past is as though it never was, my first drafts are so shapeless that it seems impossible to go on with the attempt at all, right up until the moment...when it has become impossible not to finish it.