Desire, death and wonder: Reading Simone de Beauvoir's narratives of travel

Simone Fullagar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article draws upon the work of contemporary French feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray in developing a post-structuralist analysis of travel within the autobiographies of the second wave feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. Travel and the experience of wonder at the otherness of the world figure as important self shaping experiences within the four volumes of Beauvoir's life narrative (1958, 1960, 1963, 1972). Travel has a metonymic relation to the passage of Beauvoir's life, in which the existential extremes of anguish and ecstasy are played out in a (feminine) quest for self knowledge. Through a close reading of Beauvoir's writing I analyse the different formations of desire that structure the experience of wonder in relation to the otherness of the world and death. I also draw upon debates within feminist philosophy about the nature of subjectivity and knowledge that were, in Beauvoir's time, ordered around an Hegelian opposition between immanence and transcendence. I take up Irigaray's notion of the sensible transcendental to explore another way of conceptualising the feminine subject's desire to know and value the world differently.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)289-305
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal for cultural research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    Dive into the research topics of 'Desire, death and wonder: Reading Simone de Beauvoir's narratives of travel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this