Sunday, January 17, 2010

"beloved Chicago man"

"Sunday, 18 May 1947 My Precious beloved Chicago man, I think of you in Paris, in Paris I miss you. The whole journey was marvelous. We had nearly no night since we went to the East. At Newfoundland the sun began to set, but five hours later it was rising in Shannon, above a sweet green Irish landscape. Everything was so beautiful and I had so much to think that I hardly slept. This morning at 10 (it was 6 by your time), I was in the heart of Paris. I hoped the beauty of Paris would help me to get over my sadness; but it did not. First, Paris is not beautiful today. It is grey and cloudy; it is Sunday, the streets are empty and everything seems dull, dark, and dead. Maybe it is my heart which is dead to Paris. My heart is yet in New York, at the corner of Broadway where we said good bye; it is in my Chicago home, in my own warm place against your loving heart. I suppose in two or three days it will be different. I must be concerned again by all the Frensh intellectual and political life, by my work and my friends. But today I don't even wish to get interested in all these things; I feel lazzy and tired, and I can enjoy only memories. My beloved one, I don't know why I waited so long before saying I loved you. I just wanted to be sure and not to say easy, empty words. But it seems to me now love was there since the beginning. Anyway, now it is here, it is love and my heart aches. I am happy to be so bitterly unhappy because I know you are unhappy, too, and it is sweet to have a part of the same sadness. With you pleasure was love, and now pain is love too. We must know every kind of love. We'll know the joy of meeting again. I want it, I need it, and I'll get it. Wait for me. I wait for you. I love you more even than I said, more maybe than you know. I'll write very often. Write to me very often too. I am your wife forever. Your Simone I read the whole book and I like it very much. I'll have it translated, sure. Kisses and kisses and kisses. It was so sweet when you kissed me. I love you." Letter from Simone de Beauvoir to Nelson Algren, written the day she returned to Paris after their first meeting in America.

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