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The Nun

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  2,672 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Diderot's The Nun (La Religieuse) is the seemingly true story of a young girl forced by her parents to enter a convent and take holy orders. A novel mingling mysticism, madness, sadistic cruelty and nascent sexuality, it gives a scathing insight into the effects of forced vocations and the unnatural life of the convent. A succès de scandale at the end of the eighteenth cen...more
Paperback, 189 pages
Published July 28th 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1792)
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The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasMadame Bovary by Gustave FlaubertLes Misérables by Victor HugoThe Stranger by Albert Camus
Classic French Literature
29th out of 205 books — 137 voters
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryLes Misérables by Victor HugoThe Stranger by Albert CamusThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasMadame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Best French Literature
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lynne King
“So you’re not going to come to see me anymore?”
“No, dear Mother.”
“And you won’t let me come and see you in your cell anymore?”
“No, dear Mother.”
“Will you refuse my caresses?”
“It will be very difficult for me to do so, for I was born affectionate and I like being caressed, but I must. I’ve promised my confessor and I made a vow before the altar.”

Looking at the above, is that the normal conversation between a nun and her mother superior? Perhaps it was at that particular time?

On that note, where...more
MJ Nicholls
I’m applying for positions of paid work at the moment (known as a “job”—so I’m told), and after about a month of no replies I’m about ready to sign up for the convent. I would love to be a nun! Provided I had computer and broadband access, and was permitted to read any book I so pleased, I’d put on my habit and sing the sacraments! Unfortunately all the nun positions are filled at the moment, despite me faking three months nunning experience on my CV. (I’m considering changing the name on my CV...more
Anthony Vacca
Wowzers! how I loved this book. At face value, this is a slim and straight-forward epistolary novel about a young woman who is forced into covenant life by her awful, self-absorbed parents, who then proceeds to stand firm to her ideals as she is antagonized by sadistic, power-hungry hypocrites and mentally disturbed sex fiends. While Diderot was very much an atheist, he does a praiseworthy turn here giving voice to a sincerely religious narrator that has no desire to live the claustrophobic and...more
Jonfaith
Man was born to live with his fellow human beings. Separate him, isolate him, his character will go bad, a thousand ridiculous affects will invade his heart, extravagant thoughts will germinate in his brain, like thorns in an uncultivated land.

Given the untimely arrival of our Arctic Vortex, it is fitting that The Nun shudders with a frozen despair. Bone chilling mornings are well suited for such guided tours of the dark side. Abandon your preconceptions of the Enlightenment and moral cautionary...more
knig
Jan 05, 2012 knig rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to knig by: sourced from MJ
Shelves: whatthe-hell
This went down in one sitting: less a tribute to the literary merits of this novel and more an expose of my coarse, voyeuristic nature. Of the very base, chav chasing, track suit wearing, Vicky Pollard yeah but no but yeah variety where I settle my newly acquired Christmas overhang on the settee, spread out the fries and Baconnaise washed down with a spot of bitter shandy and munch my way through this epic saga of nuns being very, very naughty. In France. And, lets face it, nobody does naughty l...more
Rowena
This is an interesting novella, written in the form of a letter, by a nun to someone she hopes will help her break the vows which she took by force.

The young French girl, Suzanne, is a victim of circumstances, hated by her family through no fault of her own, and forced to enter a convent. She takes the orders against her wishes although she realizes she has no vocation.

At the convent she falls into the bad books of the Mother Superior and is abused horrifically, sadistically even. Some of the me...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 28, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core, classics
Funny classic novel about a nun! This novel was originally written as a joke! And a joke it should be read and enjoyed!

La Religieuse (The Nun) is an 18th century French novel, by Denis Diderot. Completed in c. 1780, the work, however, wasn't published until 1796, after Diderot's death. Diderot wrote a letter to his retired companion Marquis de Croismare to entice him to retreat back to Paris. The letter was supposed to be from a nun incarcerated in a convent asking Croismare to save her. Many o...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly

A novel about nun-and-nun lesbian love. In a broader context, about what happens when piety is imposed against one's free will. From his personal experience, Denis Diderot knew it is tragic. His own sister, forced into an Ursuline convent, lost her mind and died there, insane. He himself was once locked up in a monastery by his own father who had wanted him to become a priest. He escaped and instead married his Nanette.

This is an 18th century novel and when it was written by this Frenchman Dider...more
mai ahmd
من الروايات الكلاسيكية الجميلة والتي غفل عنها القارىء العربي بسبب عدم ترجمتها لذلك أوجه تحية لمشروع كلمة للترجمة على مبادرتها الجليلة في أحياء هذا الكتاب وإخراجه للنور .. تدور فكرة الرواية حول راهبة أدخلت قسرا للدير وقدمت نذورها دون رغبة في ذلك مما جعلها تعاني الأمرين لفقدانها حريتها حيث اقترنت لديها فكرة الإنضمام للدير بفكرة العبودية فحاربت بشتى الطرق للحصول على حريتها ، احتقرت تلك الغباوة السعيدة التي تظهر بها زميلاتها والتي يتفاخرن بها لنيل الرضا واعتبرتها تفاهات لايمكن أن تقوم بها ، هذا الإخ...more
ايمان
خشيت لمدة طويلة اقتحام عالم ديدرو فكما اعلم انه عالم موسوعي فهالني ان اقتحم روايتاه التي قد تكون مغرقة في مفردات غريبة و صعبة..الترجمة العربية شجعتني و لم اندم وروز مخلوف ابدعت بصدق في الترجمة ..الرواية بدأت برسالة مطولة لراهبة تعيش الأمرين بين عائلة قتلتها الاسرار ففضلت الأم تقديم سوزان كقربان للدير علها تكفر عن خطيئتها و بين ثلاث اديرة كل منها كانت له عذاباته التي تنسيها في سابقاتها..سوزان الفتاة المتصالحة مع ذاتها رغم صغر سنها البريئة و التي تعرف بالضبط ما الذي تستطيع تقديمه لله و لنفسها حارب...more
Lynn Beyrouthy
Denis Diderot. A name that frequently resonated in my ears during French Literature classes but never sparked my interest until I read a review of this book by one of my goodreads friends Joselito, and I have been fascinated by this book ever since. The story of a girl stripped of her freedom, forced to join the convent against her will, imprisoned and mistreated in that wretched place of seclusion and worship, and who finally falls into the deep abyss of libidinous vices with a perverted Mother...more
Pierre E. Loignon
Diderot, c’est pour moi l’écrivain aventurier, l’écrivain de la liberté pure, toujours en mouvement, toujours vif et brillant. Il joue dans l’écriture avec une liberté admirable, toujours rempli de surprises, il aborde tout avec la même légèreté triomphante.
Il va de soi qu’un individu de ce type est très difficile à saisir car sa liberté l’entraîne toujours à explorer de nouvelles possibilités d’existences. Il a ainsi la réputation d’avoir été un matérialiste athée alors qu’il me paraît générale...more
Ryan Lieske
Published over two hundred years ago, I can only imagine what kind of uproar and scandal it must've caused, because it's still pretty caustic and racy, even by today's standards. Telling the sad story of a young woman forced into a convent, Diderot takes aim at organized religion and the social stigmas of his time. The violence, both physical and emotional, is brutal. And Diderot doesn't shy away from frank depictions of lesbianism. While on the surface the book is certainly aiming to shock, the...more
Aljoharah Alobaikan
الراهبه روايه فرنسية من الادب العالمي الكلاسيكي
كتبت عام ١٧٨٠م ونشرت عام ١٧٩٦ اي بعد وفاة كاتبها دني ديدرو
هي مذكرات لراهبه صغيرة السن اجبرت على دخول الدير وعلى الرهبنه لادري هل هي روايه تحكي قصة واقعيه ام انها مجرد تصور واقعي لما يحدث فيدور الرهبنه
تحدث الكاتب عن محاولات الراهبه للتخلص والخروج من الدير حيث ان القوانين الدينيه تمنع الرجوع عن قرار الرهبنه اذا اقسم ونذر الشخص نفسه للرب فيمنع عودته للجياة العاديه
الروايه وصفت بشكل دقيق مايحصل خلف الاسوار وكيف يتم تعذيب من يخالف القوانين بشكل لايتخيله ع...more
El
Dec 18, 2008 El rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to El by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (198/1001)
This deserves a good ol' fashioned, "Dirty!"

This practical-joke-turned-novel is an exceptionally accessible eighteenth-century novel about a young woman, a product of her mother's infidelity, who is forced into a convent. The overwhelming descriptions of her time spent in the convent with the other nuns is enough to turn one from Christianity, so powerful are the images of sadistic behavior. Quite racy for being written in 1760.

I always knew I would make a really bad nun. But it was Diderot who...more
Alex
Ah...it's pretty good? It doesn't get into the hot girl-on-girl action 'til like halfway through the book, and then it's super not hot. If you're looking for hot 18th-century girl on girl action, you gotta go with Fanny Hill.

It's pleasant and enjoyable to read. I think one problem with The Nun is that I read it right after The Monk, which is way awesomer. If you're only going to read one blasphemous 18th-century lit book this ear, it has to be The Monk, and you can put that on your movie poster...more
Lona
هنالك حلقة مفقودة حالت دون انسجامي مع الرواية، قد تكون السياق الزمني للأحداث أو موضوع الرواية بحد ذاته أو الأسلوب الكتابي أو أحياناً تفكك النص أو القفزة العجيبة! للأحداث في نهايتها أو لسهولة انسياب الصفحات (لخفة المحتوى بطريقة سيئة) أو.. أو.. أو.. يبدو أنها حلقات وليست بالواحدة


كلمة حق تقال: أن أجمل ما فيها طرافة الخدعة الدنيئة_الشيطانية التي صاحبت تأليف الرواية، نسج خيوط الخدعة المؤلف بمساعدة مجموعة من أصدقائه تجاه شخص ما مستغلين طيبته، الخدعة احتلت الجزء الأخير من الرواية ولهذا فهو أكثرها إمتاع
...more
Safey
رواية فرنسية من القرن الثامن عشر على شكل رسالة من فتاة شابة "سوزان" يجبرها أهلها بأن تكون راهبة
بالإكراه ترسلها إلى المركيز "دي كرواسمار" ليخلصها من العذاب و الاضطهاد و الظلم و اللانسانية التي كانت
تمارس عليها من قبل راهبات الدير الذي سجنت فيه.
كم هو مؤلم أن تتجرع عذاب إنسان مظلوم مغلوب على أمره حتى و لو على الورق دون أن تستطيع أن تفعل له شيئاً.
الرواية (الرسالة الرئيسية) أعجبتني كثيراً من الناحية الأدبية و من ناحية الطرح و الموضوع و الشخصيات و
استطعت أن أتخيل أحداثها أمامي و كأنها فلم سينمائي و ا...more
Yann
Brrr, une critique sans concessions des couvents et de l'ambiance qui y régnait au XVIII eme siècle. J'ai beaucoup aimé.
Zainab

Denis Diderot اول قراءة لـ

صرآحة آكثر شئ فجأني جدا هو الجزء الاخير ، الذي يتكلم عن "المقلب" الذي حدث لـ المركيز دي كرواسمار والذي كان سبباً في كتابة ديدرو لرواية
:D

الرواية كئيبة ...تتحدث عن الجزء المظلم من حياة الراهبات ، وطبيعة العيش في الدير وشخصية البطلة وان كانت متناقضة .. الا انها تمثل حالة التمرد ، علي طبيعة الاكراه والحصار والطقوس المظهريةو ضياع حيوية البشر وطاقاتهم في أديار الرهبان والراهبات

ربما بالغ ديدرو في وصف قساوة الأمهات
رئيسات الأديار وشقاء الراهبات وحزنهن

الا انه ابرز صور معاناة
...more
Lavinia
I found Diderot’s confessional style a bit tiring. And yes, I have to admit I expected all throughout the novel for Suzana to run with some of her confessors, somewhere in the country living happily ever after and having a bunch of kids.

***
putin cam obositor stilul asta confesional abordat de diderot. deci da, admit cu semi-perversitate ca am asteptat ca suzana sa fuga de la manastire cu vreun duhovnic, ascunzindu-se in vreun capat de tara, traind o dragoste patimasa. not the case.

"iata unde du...more
theduckthief
"It was then that I felt the superiority of the Christian faith over all the other religions of the world; what profound wisdom there was in what blind philosophy calls the folly of the cross." - page 82

Suzanne Simonin is a simple French girl who finds herself packaged off to become a nun due to circumstances beyond her control. Suzanne happens to be the product of an affair and her mother decides Suzanne has to make up for those sins. As well, her parents and step-sisters are concerned about fa...more
Vibina Venugopal
Set during 18th century France, the story is about Suzanne who is forced to become a nun by her parents..Growing up unloved, as she is born to her mother by a secret lover...Suzanne though dares to refuse when asked by the priest at the alter on the day of sacred vows, but then fates has it hard on her..Her parents die and she has no where to turn to..At the nunnery she is subjected to n number of agony both mental and physical..Taunt and harassment becomes an everyday event as her dark days unf...more
Kristi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Johanna
I enjoyed this scandalous little tale about the moral and physical woes of being a nun. Paradoxically it would appear that the protagonist, who claims she has no religious conviction or vocation as a nun, turns out to be the most pure at heart than the rest of the monasteries that she is exposed to. I can see how the author may have treated the subject matter as a theme to poke fun at, but the finished product is a moving account of a young woman forced to take the cross against her will. The pr...more
Madeline
a two day read. addictive because of the (seeming) simplicity and straightforwardness of the narrative.

diderot has a bit of fun with this one. he creates the most pitiable and innocent character he can and then puts her through all sorts of misery from being forced to walk on broken glass to unwanted lesbian advances.

told from the point of view of the character allowing for that old "is this a reliable narrator?" question. especially because her age is completely unpredictable throughout the boo...more
Amal
رواية كُتبت كـ "مزحة" لإعادة صديق إلى أصدقاءه !!! ه

الروايه هي سلسلة من الأحداث المختلقة ، أساسها هو خبر عن راهبة أرادت نقض نذورها باللجوء الى القضاء

تتحدث الرواية عن حياة مختلقة للراهبة ومعاناتها وما تعرضت له من عذابات واضطهاد في ثلاثة أديرة متتالية ، ونبذ من والدتها ووالدها (الذي سأسميه بذلك مجازا) ..ه

كُتبت بهدف إعادة صديق للكاتب إلى باريس حيث كان ، عندما تأخرت عودته من الريف ، بعد أن كان قد وعد بعدم التأخر ! ه

طبعا تمت الاستعانة بعدد من الاصدقاء لذلك ، وتمت مراسلة الصديق المسكين ، الذي ما لبث ا...more
Amany
من اصعب الروايات التى قرأتها, بغض النظر هل كل ما ذُكر فيها صحيح أم لا , ولكنها مؤلمه
تجسد الروايه حياه واقعيه لراهبه, لم تكن تحلم ولا تريد هذه الحياه , أُجبرت عليها , مرت بثلاث اديره ف مده رهبنتها
من الاول حيثُ الحبس والعزل الانفرادى
الى الثانى وهو الأشد قسوه , فقد ذاقت من العذاب ألوان يقشعر لها البدن, ولم أكن اعرف انه من الصعب الرجوع ف قرار الرهبنه الى ذلك الحد ,
الى الدير الثالث حيثُ ارتكاب كل ما يخالف الدين والاخلااق.

بعد قراءه الروايه تتأكد ان الدين هو محل استغلال من أُناس عديمى الضمير
ف جميع ال...more
Zerge
The wicked librarian refused to lend it to me, so I had to ask my mother to borrow. Actually I wanted to read it because she mentioned some funny story about a nun who was caught with her priest lover and hurriedly put his underwear on her head instead of her veil. Of course there was no such story in this book, but later I read it in a collection titled Peasant Decameron. Shame on me, this is my most vivid memory about the book. I should really re-read it, but somehow never have the mood, it wa...more
Katie Grainger
Quite an interesting little tale here. A novel that was never meant to be a novel but written as a practical joke by The author after himself and a friend were chatting about nuns.

The novel follows the fortunes (or lack) of Suzanne who is forced to become a nun when she confides in her Mother that her sister's suitor is giving her the eye. It turns out the Suzanne is illegitimate and is eventually committed to the convent full time. While a nun all sorts of misfortune befalls Suzanne which is d...more
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Denis Diderot (October 5, 1713 – July 31, 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer. He was a prominent persona during the Enlightenment and is best known for serving as co-founder and chief editor of and contributor to the Encyclopédie.
Diderot also contributed to literature, notably with Jacques le fataliste et son maître (Jacques the Fatalist and his Master), which emulated Laurence...more
More about Denis Diderot...
Jacques the Fatalist Rameau's Nephew / d'Alembert's Dream Le neveu de Rameau Supplément au Voyage de Bougainville Paradoxe sur le comédien

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“لا أطلب من الله تليين قلوب من شاء أن يجعلني تابعة لهن ,بل أطلب أن يمنحني القدرة على الألم ,وأن ينقذني من اليأس وأن يأخذني إليه بلا إبطاء” 3 likes
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