Irene Yagüe Sancho – A Walk Through the Life of Simone de Beauvoir

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Irene Yagüe Sancho – Associate Director – IE Center for Health & Well-being. IE Business School.

Reading:

A Walk Through the Life of Simone de Beauvoir (Un paseo por la vida de Simone de Beauvoir) – Excerpt by Carmen G. de la Cueva (2018).

 

She had an abominable kind of presumptuous independence, a rural people’s indifference towards decorum. Many times, female walking has been understood as an exhibition or a spectacle. Women are supposed to walk not to see, but to be seen, not to live their own experience, but for a male audience. What gave more value to those walks of Simone was her solitude in a deserted nature and a freedom that had to do with the physical contours of her body.

For her, walking was more than exploring; it was a way of telling the world that she was a free woman. Simone liked to think that she was also a “woman alone” when she ate in the back of Charley’s tavern, while she drank a coffee in a plaza, or leaned on a window. She would sit near that window and write nonstop. She was proud of herself. She had learned to love walks and emerged triumphant from that test: “Absence, solitude had not touched my happiness. It seemed to me that I could count on myself.”

Tenía una abominable especie de independencia presuntuosa, una indiferencia de gente rural hacia el decoro.
Muchas veces, el caminar femenino ha sido entendido como una exhibición o un espectáculo. Se supone que las mujeres caminan no para ver, sino para ser vistas, no para vivir su propia experiencia, sino para un público masculino.
Lo que confería más valor a esas caminatas de Simone era su soledad en una naturaleza desierta y una libertad que tenía que ver con los contornos físicos de su cuerpo.

Para ella caminar era algo más que explorar, era una manera de decirle al mundo que era una mujer libre.
A Simone le gustaba pensar que ella era también una “mujer sola” cuando comía al fondo de la taberna Charley, mientras se tomaba un café en una plaza o acodada en una ventana. Se sentaba cerca de aquella ventana y escribía sin parar. Estaba orgullosa de sí misma. Había aprendido a amar los paseos y salía triunfante de aquella prueba: “La ausencia, la soledad no habían tocado mi dicha. Me parecía que podía contar conmigo misma”.

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