Books: Who Knows?

THE MANDARINS (610 pp.)—Simone de Beauvoir—World Publishing ($6).

Like many of her sisters in what she bitterly refers to as the Second Sex, France's Simone de Beauvoir would rather talk than eat. Since she is the grande dame of French existentialism and all-round good friend of Jean-Paul Sartre who founded it, it goes without saying that there is a minimum of natter in her chatter. She can be wrongheaded, she can make ridiculous statements (America Day by Day; TIME, Dec. 14, 1953), but even her nonsense is the product of one of the sharpest and...

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