Phenomenology 2010

Volume 4, 2011

Selected Essays from Northern Europe

Silvia Stoller
Pages 304-314

The Sleep of the Beloved
Beauvoir on Patriarchal Love

What does love have to do with sleep? In her philosophical essay The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir reflects upon the sleep from the perspective of existentialist feminism, focusing on the French writer Violette Leduc and her novel Je hais les dormeurs from 1948 in which she describes how a woman unloads her hate for a man while he sleeps. These few passages remained widely unexplored within the phenomenological and feminist research. In this article, I explore Beauvoir’s existentialist reading of Leduc and suggest some alternative conclusions.