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An Eye for an Eye

by Simone de Beauvoir

Translated from the French with an introduction by Lisa Lieberman

Where does vengeance end and justice begin?  The question is no easier to resolve today than when Simone de Beauvoir wrote this compelling essay in the aftermath of World War II.  The immediate occasion for “An Eye for an Eye” was the execution by firing squad of French collaborator Robert Brasillach, a prominent right-wing author who had edited a fascist newspaper during the Occupation.  Beauvoir had been in the courtroom for Brasillach’s trial and admits that she was moved by the man’s dignity on the stand.  Nevertheless she and Jean-Paul Sartre refused to sign the petition circulated by leading cultural figures of the day calling for his pardon.  

In this essay, published in 1946 and now translated from the French with an introduction by Lisa Lieberman, she explains why. 


An Eye for an Eye details:

ISBN: 9781937853211

Words: 8,613

Pages: 19


Read a sample of  An Eye for an Eye >>

Tags:  Nazis - Paris - death penalty - Vengeance - Nazi collaborators - World War II