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Submitted by seddon on Thu, 2008-11-06 12:04

The following was written by Simone de Beauvoir upon leaving America after living and working here for four months. I quote it without further comment. It appeared in her book, AMERICA DAY BY DAY.

“I went to declare the money I had earned during my four months’ tour and to pay the required taxes. In France this business would have taken many days, much coming and going. Here the matter was fixed in a personal way, as always, and settled in half an hour. The official who sat with me to check my figures asked for my word of honor, nothing more. He helped to deduct my expenses: transportation, use of shorthand typists, entertaining, hotels, washing . . .? [Beauvoir’s ellipsis] It was he who made the suggestions with enthusiasm that was altogether touching. He then deplored the fact that the total was not bigger and that there was still tax to pay. Two blows with a rubber stamp and lo! I was free to leave America.”


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