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the novelist and essayist Benoite Groult, figure of french feminism is dead, announced Tuesday, June 21, his family .
January 31, 1920, André and Nicole Groult expecting their first child, a little Benedict. But it was a girl. Then it was Benoite. Four years later would come another daughter Flora. This name Benoite was deemed too rough for a little girl and was substituted him Rosie. Rosie wait for his late teens to understand that Benoite, drier, less cutesy, suited him much better. Her mother, sister of fashion designer Paul Poiret, was fashion designer. She had, besides her husband, many admirers of female friendships or love affairs, including Marie Laurencin, who was the godmother of Benoite. She conveyed her daughter’s “frenzied taste of life” . “I admired my mother in block writes Benoite Groult in his autobiography, My escape , but all she did in detail bristled me: I ‘ hated fashion hats, dresses customer, horror receptions, great dinners. “
It was Flora, the youngest, a beautiful blonde who loved dresses created by her mother. Benoite was not jealous, she always had a fondness for his sister, they wrote books together, she was close to her until her death in 2001, after Alzheimer long illness. Nicole was a girl in his image, Flora, and the father, André – decorator who had specialized in the work of stingray – had Benoite, who shared his taste for physical and mental effort, and, like him, loved Brittany Nicole hated. Benoite Groult had until the end of his life a home in Britain.
As a teenager, Benoite was not merely lose interest in her clothes, she has worked to become ugly, as she recalled in the book where she claimed her feminism, So be it “ the idea my future repute, my success as a human being, passed by an absolute obligation to land a husband, and a good one, was enough to turn the pretty girl I see on my childhood photos grayish teenager and stop acne afflicted child and seborrhea, feet inside, hunched and œ that appeared when he fled a representative of the male. “ But this instinctive revolt was still far from an awareness of the need to assert feminist fight for a woman’s destiny traced in advance.
When Benoite is 23, in 1943, his mother was already concerned about the view “style St. Catherine ” if it does not marry before 25 years. After missing “a beautiful party” , the son of the writer Georges Duhamel, she became engaged to a medical student Peter Heuyer. They married the 1 st June 1944, after the stay of Peter Heuyer in a sanatorium. They say he cured his tuberculosis, but a month after his marriage, he relapsed and died forty days later. Young widow in Paris released Benoite refuses to let go of grief and joined with Flora volunteers who visit Paris to Americans. She falls in love with a soldier but does not want to follow in America. However, they maintain a relationship, tell it, making this man a fisherman in his novel The vessels of the heart in 1988.
Despite this early widowhood and the meeting with the American, Benoite remarried very quickly, in 1946, with a seductive journalist Georges de Caunes. They had two daughters, in two years, Blandine and Lison, and their marriage did not last long. Although Benoite make him a magnificent portrait in My escape, he much preferred the evenings with friends to his wife. Having two daughters were unrewarding for a “macho” but Benoite no longer wanted his child, she preferred an abortion under conditions that tells in My escape and seem today ‘ hui a barbarism of another age.
Finally, if one may say she married after her divorce, Paul Guimard, with which it remained until the death of this one 2 May 2004. He had another charm as that of Georges de Caunes: an incurable nonchalance, an absolute disdain for what others call the work. Benoite Groult knew that “had not vowed to monogamy” and everything would be easy. But he began with another life, which led to his destiny novelist and feminist. They had a daughter, Constance, as Benoite wanted a child of the man she loved.
Of all the fights
Encouraged by Paul Guimard, Benoite and Flora Groult published in 1962 Journal duet . The book is well received. It is followed by The Plural (1965) and There was twice (1967). Benoite but feels they want to enclose it in “women’s literature” , and again with the support of Paul Guimard, she published in 1975 So be it ( which will have a new edition, prefaced by it, in 2002). She was a little taken aback by the radical young feminist, post-1968, and she decided to put it in its own way. His book not only liberated women of her age – she spoke to them of them of their excessive indulgence towards their husbands, their sense of sacrifice – but has allowed these women, who were young feminist mothers “revolutionary” to better understand their daughters.
as Simone de Beauvoir when Second sex , Benoite Groult believed that his daughters would be spared her experiences, but added a reflection that women can still think about: “Nothing will change profoundly as long as it is women themselves who provide men their extra troops, as long as ‘they will be their own enemy. “
After this stunt, Benoite Groult, internationally recognized, never gave weapons, participating in all women fighting and even engaging in a struggle that divided feminists, that the feminisation of names of professions. From 1984 to 1986, she chaired the Terminology Commission for the feminization of trade names, grades and functions, created by Yvette Roudy, Minister of Women’s Rights. This fight as she won, and now those who hate be described as “writers” or “authors” there are constraints, against their will.
After Feminism masculine , in 1977, Benoite Groult has returned to the novel with the Three quarters of the time, in 1983 and the vessels of the heart, in 1988, this love story “parallel” this affirmation of love and sexual freedom that we felt it was autobiographical and which conventional shocked some people. Then came Pauline Roland or how freedom came to women (1991) This insurance male (1993) and a first autobiographical essay Story of a evasion (1997).
“A frenzied taste for life”
Then Benoite Groult was interrupted for almost ten years, to the point that when it published The star key in 2006, his publisher was perplexed. She had not been somewhat forgotten? It was not understood that in thirty years we went from the question “how to have or not a child” to “how old” and “how to die.” The Star key was a huge success. Benoite Groult speaks of old age “we can not say” , because it would be “seek to describe snow to people who live in the tropics. Why spoil their life without relieving his? “. She, who joined the association for the right to die with dignity is outraged by the comments that keeps him on death: “Claiming the right to choose my death as I had once claimed that of give or not life, that I found myself in the same position before the same nomenklatura beggar! Now they spoke to me as a little girl when I was twice the age of all these doctors and was not guilty of having too old for my taste! My life was no longer mine! “
Based on this success, she resumed, reviewed and completed his autobiography, entitled My escape (2008). We find a woman who has always cultivated his passion and love of the houses in Brittany, in Hyères, Ireland. We share long fishing trips with Paul Guimard, their trips by boat. It reaffirms its desire always to alternate great fights, political commitments – Paul Guimard and Benoite Groult were relatives of François Mitterrand – and small pleasures of life: a romantic sea dinner with friends. In a word, and repeating the adage that mother why she had mixed feelings yet, Benoite Groult sends his readers a beautiful message: “Having a frenzied taste for life”
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