THE MANDARINS [WITH TLS REVIEW BY CLIFTON FADIMAN]

Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Company, 1956. First U.S. Edition, First Printing. Octavo, 610 pages; G/none; bound in black cloth, red oval and gilt lettering to spine, red lettering to front cover; some rubbing and wear to boards; top edge of text block black; ownership inscription to ffep dated March 1956; loose within is a 2 1/2 page TLS, dated March 4, 1956, to Eleanor Kask and Donald Friede, a married marketing/editor pair at World Publishing. Written by Fadiman, it is a scathing review of The Mandarins. He comments that "I am sure of two things: a. On a smaller scale, this will repeat its French success, for reasons which have nothing to do with its literaty value, which is questionable, but which have much to do with its talk-value, its scandal-value." "I have tried to make it clear that the reasons why this interesting book baffles me and in the end angers me, because I know how much it means to you, and how many painful and conscientious hours Donald has spend on it (it shows it too--the translation is brilliant). I would not have you think that I do not deeply respect your opinions; if I did not, I would not have spent twenty precious (and by no means wasted) hours on The Mandarins." He closes out the letter by asking them to "Give my regards to Mrs. Sartre, and tell her to stop contemplating her own soul and look at the whole world, in time and space. She is in a way a lucky woman--she still has before her the wonderful experience of growing up."; shelved case 13.

9-17-1302187

Shelved Dupont Bookstore

Price: $500

NOTES

The Mandarins (French: Les Mandarins) is a 1954 roman à clef by Simone de Beauvoir, for which she won the Prix Goncourt, awarded to the best and most imaginative prose work of the year, in 1954. The Mandarins was first published in English in 1956 (in a translation by Leonard M. Friedman). The book follows the personal lives of a close-knit group of French intellectuals from the end of World War II to the mid-1950s. The title refers to the scholar-bureaucrats of imperial China. The characters at times see themselves as ineffectual "mandarins" as they attempt to discern what role, if any, intellectuals will have in influencing the political landscape of the world after World War II. As in de Beauvoir's other works, themes of feminism, existentialism, and personal morality are explored as the characters navigate not only the intellectual and political landscape but also their shifting relationships with each other.; Clifton Paul "Kip" Fadiman (May 15, 1904 – June 20, 1999) was an American intellectual, author, editor, radio and television personality. He began his work with the radio, and switched to television later in his career. Fadiman worked ten years for Simon & Schuster, ending as its chief editor. Fadiman then took charge of The New Yorker's book review section from 1933–1943. [wikipedia]