As Gornick implies, the passage of time, and posthumous revelations, has taken the shine off the image of Beauvoir and her accomplice in literary celebrity, Jean-Paul Sartre. Subsequent biographies have revealed that they both sometimes behaved abominably towards other people. I guess it leaves those of us who, as impressionable students, were dazzled by them, looking naive. So what? Everybody was young and foolish once. And whatever one thinks about its author with the 20/20 vision of hindsight, The Second Sex was a genuinely pathbreaking book.
“Politics” is, it seems, inescapable. Christos Tsiolkas joins Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens to discuss whether we should preserve ways — in literature, in art, in comedy, in sport — to escape the limits of political conflict.