Maurice Merleau-Ponty

1908 (Rochefort-sur-Mer, France) – 1961 (Paris)

Sartre, de Beauvoir and Lévi-Strauss were all fellow-students who remained colleagues and friends (Merleau-Ponty was in love with de Beauvoir’s closest friend). He founded an influential review with Sartre and Aron, working alongside de Beauvoir editorially and remaining in philosophical dialogue with her (the friendship with Sartre ended with a disagreement over marxism). When the exiled Gurwitsch arrived in Paris he attended Merleau-Ponty’s lectures and became close. Virilio and Foucault were among his students. Leiris attempted suicide after an evening at Merleau-Ponty’s. He himself (another evening) threw gravel at Gréco’s window, vainly hoping to seduce her.