Simone de Beauvoir and Romania: A Distant Gaze (Circa 1965-1977)

Romania is one of the very few countries in the former Eastern Bloc that Simone de Beauvoir never visited. It is also a former European Communist country to which she least refers in her memoirs despite changing socialist ideologies under Nicolae Ceauşescu having, as this article will investigate, progressively moved closer, so it seemed, to her own political ideological stance. Two central questions arise. Why did Beauvoir, the experienced traveller with an insatiable curiosity for the world, never find herself within the physical boundaries of Socialist Romania and why did Romania officially remain aloof with this internationally acclaimed writer and philosopher who could have advocated the Romanian socialist cause?

Key words: Simone de Beauvoir, Nicolae Ceauşescu, Romania, Communism, Women's Rights, Abortion.