Thanks in part to articles like this one from Jessa of Bookslut fame, The Second Sex, the Second Time, I’ve been keeping my eye open for the promised new translation to come out.
If you want the short history of the translation issues, Maitresse has a good summary — apparently Knopf is publishing it in the US in April, but when I couldn’t find any evidence of this on Amazon US, I went over to Amazon UK and ordered a copy. (Thanks to my Aunt Daphne for the Christmas check.)
I first read The Second Sex as a 21 year old living in New York City. I’d gone to New York to be an Artist, to work in publishing, to be fabulous. And of course, I found myself living in Astoria, not really getting along with my roommates (I pity anyone who lived with me before I was about 35), and suffering my subway ride every morning the way only a Very Short Person can suffer the NYC subway. So I read big books, hard books, books that took all my concentration so I didn’t notice that my big romantic city experience included many hours of the day lost in a sea of men’s armpits.
One of the books I read that year was The Second Sex. I don’t remember much of it except for de Beauvoir’s insistence that women must find a way to become fully human Subjects, rather than remaining Objects … and my deep determination to do that.
It’s about 800 pages, this beautiful big hardcover book that arrived today. Oh my. It will be interesting to see the true translation, as well as to revisit it through older eyes …