Books: Bonjour, Tristesse

FORCE OF CIRCUMSTANCE by Simone de Beauvoir. 658 pages. Putnam. $10.

The lips are curved into an obliging, fixed half-smile. The grey hair is coiffured with mathematical precision, cleft exactly by the part. At the neck, not entirely masked by the photographer's shadows, a few age lines can be discerned. The dress is severe, revealing nothing, so dark that it blends into the background, relieved by a link necklace from which depend castings of the Greek letter epsilon. The whole suggests someone's amiable grandmother, intelligent, well preserved, still vigorous and minutely intent on keeping...

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