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Review All Men Are Mortal Simone de Beauvoir 11 February 2019If you are into Existentialism or even Absurdism, then this is the book for you Simone de Beauvoir has indeed excelled herself with combining her own philosophical leanings with a rather fascinating historical novel starting in 1279, in a castle in the city of Carmona in Italy, with immortality thrown in with our hero Raimondo Fosca This individual would end up ruling Carmona.These were difficult and hazardous times as Italy was not unified at the time and regions such as Florence and Genoa were constantly searching for ways and means to increase the size, power and wealth of their provinces Carmona was viewed as a desirable target to acquire at whatever cost and it seemed at the time as if it would fall but then cause and effect entered the equation Food was so low the situation was desperate and then like a miracle one of the beggars came out with a bottle of this Egyptian elixir which evidently made one immortal if one had the courage to drink it Fosca was concerned about the future of Carmona, especially as the plague had started to gain a hold, and so it was tried on a mouse first of all This poor creature then had its neck twisted and it indeed lived to tell the tale and to do so continuously for immortality as Fosca did indeed do.Fosca spent many centuries in different places, and countries, and with different women, having children who invariably tried to kill him because of his immortality They all failed of course But there is a price with immortality because Fossa was soon very aware of the meaning of existence He began to have nightmares and yet life continued That in itself proved to be the nightmare.He was even an advisor to Charles V and initially wanted to make him the ruler of the universe but soon realised that there was no universe.Fosca travelled endlessly over the centuries but existence was always the same, no change.Then he finds himself in Paris in the twentieth century and meets Regina, an aspiring egotistical actress and it is this individual who asks Fosca to tell her his life story as he had mentioned that he was immortal but even being immortal has a price as she soon finds out.As for the ending, I believe that there are several interpretations but it is the screaming, especially the first scream that confused me Why . When The Beautiful, Ambitious Actress Regina Takes Fosca Into Her Life And Learns His Amazing Truth, She Is Obsessed With The Thought That In His Memory Her Performances Will Live Forever But, As He Recounts The Story Of His Immortal Existence Over Than Six Centuries, As She Learns Of His Involvement In Some Of The Most Significant Events In History And How Human Hope And Love Have Withered In Him, She Finally Understands The Implications For Him And For Love . . My name is Raymond Fosca I was born in the city of Carmona, in what is now Italy I am over seven hundred years old I am immortal.People imagine that eternal life would be the greatest of all blessings, but they are wrong nohorrible curse can be imagined I know, as no mortal man can, the futility of all action For centuries, I strove to preserve the honour and independence of my beloved city I fought bitter wars against our neighbors I forced my citizens to toil and suffer in the service of what I believed was a greater good I discovered, too late, that all my efforts had been in vain, that their only effect had been to weaken Italy against the rapacity of France, Germany and Spain I decided that my error had been to limit the scope of my efforts to a single country I manoeuvred between the thrones of kings I tried to steer Europe towards a peaceful and united empire I succeeded only in creating still greater bloodshed and misery I am separated by centuries from my own time, my own people all those I have cared for are dead even their memories have faded I no longer see their faces clearly in my mind I no longer hear their voices From time to time, and despite all my precautions, I have been unable to stop myself from falling in love with a woman For a few years, she allows me to become alive again, makes me feel a mortal man bound to his time then she grows old she discovers my secret she comes to hate me she dies once again, I am alone I try to care for my children if I protect them, they too come to hate me if I do not, their foolishness and egotism soon destroys them.I wished to tell my story, but I lack the gift I searched for a person who could help me in the end I discovered a woman of unusual gifts, a writer, a philosopher, some would say a genius She listened carefully she transformed my words into an elegant book she published it there were a few positive reviews it enjoyed a moderate success a few decades later, it had almost been forgotten I would not give up I imagined that I had perhaps aimed too high, that a less intellectual approach would besuccessful I found another writer, a vulgar American she changed every detail of what I had told her I could not even recognise myself in her novel she assured me that her alterations were necessary in order to gain the public s attention the book received worldwide acclaim it was read by everyone, widely imitated, turned into a film the author wrote threebooks, each one stupider than its predecessor she only becamefamous and successful.Mortal reader, you do not understand your happiness You do what you can for the years you are on Earth, and the knowledge of your inevitable death gives your short life meaning I wish that I, too, could die but I cannot. . . Tous les hommes sont mortels All Men Are Mortal, Simone de Beauvoir All Men Are Mortal French Tous les hommes sont mortels is a 1946 novel by Simone de Beauvoir It tells the story of Raimon Fosca, a man cursed to live forever The first American edition of this work was published by The World Publishing Company Cleveland and New York, 1955 It was adapted into a 1995 film of the same name 1984 1362 415 1377 413 9646819028 1378 1380 1383 1386 1389 9647443285 1392 413 1393 20 Insects were scurrying about in the shade cast by the grass, and the lawn was a huge monotonous forest of thousands of little green blades, all equal, all alike, hiding the world from each other Anguished, she thought, I don t want to be just another blade of grass Part historical fiction part philosophy, All Men are Mortal by Simone de Beauvoir was written, I can only imagine, to make us wonder about life itself In the first section we read about Raymond Fosca s relationship with Regina, a self obsessed actress, and how when she learns of his immortality falls in love with him She imagines she could live forever through his memory of her Then there is his tale, through war and peace and death, of course, with hints of happiness That endlessly repeats itself We read that any victory or progress is ephemeral, and for every marginal advance there is a catastrophic retreat What futility De Beauvoir s novel is written to show the futility of immortality and perhaps to show us the purpose of human life even if death is unavoidable The clearest glimpse or her explanation of it all can be read in a conversation that Fosca has with one of his descendants, Armand, a participant in the revolutionary movement Raymond narratesI don t believe in the future, I said There will be a future, that at least is certain But all of you speak of it as if it were going to be a paradise There won t be any paradises, and that s equally certain Of course not He studied me, seemed to be searching my face to find the words that might win me over Paradise for us is simply the moment when the dreams we dream today are finally realized We re well aware that after that other men will have new needs, new desires, will make new demands I ve had a little smattering of history You re not teaching me anything Everything that s ever done finally ends by being undone I realize that And from the hour you re born you begin to die But between birth and death there s life In my opinion, we should concern ourselves only with that part of the future on which we have a hold But we should try our best to enlarge our hold on it as much as possible You admit, I said after a short silence, that you re working for only a limited future A limited future, a limited life that s our lot as men And it s enough, he said If I knew that in fifty years it would be against the law to employ children in factories, against the law for men to workthan ten hours a day, if I knew that the people would choose their own representatives, that the press would be free, I would be completely satisfied Again his eyes fell upon me You find the workers conditions abominable Well, think of those workers you know personally, only of them Don t you want to help change their lot in life All Men are Mortalis an intriguing, provoking and haunting work which will leave a lasting impression in reader s mind 4 stars, recommended.