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    Simone de Beauvoir /Link



    INTERVIEWER People say that you have great self-discipline and that you never let a day go by without working. At what time do you start? DE BEAUVOIR I'm always in a hurry to get going, though in general I dislike...


    INTERVIEWER
    People say that you have great self-discipline and that you never let a day go by without working. At what time do you start?

    DE BEAUVOIR
    I'm always in a hurry to get going, though in general I dislike starting the day. I first have tea and then, at about ten o'clock, I get under way and work until one. Then I see my friends and after that, at five o'clock, I go back to work and continue until nine. I have no difficulty in picking up the thread in the afternoon. When you leave, I'll read the paper or perhaps go shopping. Most often it's a pleasure to work.

    INTERVIEWER
    When do you see Sartre?

    DE BEAUVOIR
    Every evening and often at lunchtime. I generally work at his place in the afternoon.

    INTERVIEWER
    Doesn't it bother you to go from one apartment to another?

    DE BEAUVOIR
    No. Since I don't write scholarly books, I take all my papers with me and it works out very well.

    INTERVIEWER
    Do you plunge in immediately?

    DE BEAUVOIR
    It depends to some extent on what I'm writing. If the work is going well, I spend a quarter or half an hour reading what I wrote the day before, and I make a few corrections. Then I continue from there. In order to pick up the thread I have to read what I've done.

    INTERVIEWER
    Do your writer friends have the same habits as you?

    DE BEAUVOIR
    No, it's quite a personal matter. Genet, for example, works quite differently. He puts in about twelve hours a day for six months when he's working on something and when he has finished he can let six months go by without doing anything. As I said, I work every day except for two or three months of vacation when I travel and generally don't work at all. I read very little during the year, and when I go away I take a big valise full of books, books that I don't have time to read. But if the trip lasts a month or six weeks, I do feel uncomfortable, particularly if I'm between two books. I get bored if I don't work.

    The Paris Review, Spring-Summer 1965

    (Thanks to Marcine Miller.)



    (@)Daily Routines

    Published on 24 Feb 2009 at 07:46PM

    : A Book of Ages: An Eccentric Miscellany of Great and Offbeat Moments in the Lives of the Famous and Infamous, Ages 1 to 100 : Advice to Writers: A Compendium of Quotes, Anecdotes, and Writerly Wisdom from a Dazzling Array of Literary Lights : Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life : Daily Rituals: How Artists Work : Enemies of Promise : Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs : How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors : Lives of the Artists Stephen King: On Writing : Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D. H. Lawrence : Pragmatism and Other Writings Philip Roth: Shop Talk : The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing : The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers : The Book of Dead Philosophers : The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life : The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World : The Hypochondriacs: Nine Tormented Lives : The Paris Review Interviews : The Paris Review Interviews, II : The Paris Review Interviews, III : The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them : The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business : The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking : The Writing Life : The Writing Life: Writers On How They Think And Work : Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do : Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do : Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from The New York Times



















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