Simone de Beauvoir's Midnight Writing Snack

Simone de Beauvoir's Midnight Writing Snack

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Luke Dempsey
Jul 5, 2016
Simone de Beauvoir Illo
(Image credit: Brittany Keats Cerullo)

When you're burning the midnight oil and your stomach starts to grumble, what should you reach for to fuel you through the night? We decided to go directly to the source. We mean writers, of course. After all, who knows better the pain and pleasure of the midnight munchies than the literary set?

This month, we asked 20 authors, past and present, to share what they snack on in the wee hours.

Prolific and groundbreaking, Simone de Beauvoir is considered the mother of modern feminism, especially after the publication of her seminal work, The Second Sex, in 1949. A fierce French existentialist intellectual, de Beauvoir also campaigned for women's rights, including the right to not be seen as mere chattels chained to the kitchen. But that doesn't mean she didn't appreciate good food.

Her personal writings, especially, are filled with meals she enjoyed, and imagery like this from the opening pages of Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, describing a trip to New York City: "When I was grown-up I wanted to crunch flowering almonds trees, and take bites out of the rainbow nougat of the sunset. Against the night sky of New York, the neon signs appeared to me like giant sweetmeats and made me feel frustrated."

Simone de Beauvoir's Favorite Midnight Snack: Andouillette

In France, she liked to discuss philosophy over a meal. Just after World War II broke out, she writes about one evening at a Parisian café called Rotonde (her usual hangout, Dome, was too full), before the Nazis arrived, where she "ate an andouillette while telling ... heaps of stories, especially about the Lunar Woman."

Do you go savory for your midnight snack, too? Tell us your go-to cased meat.

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