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Belle du Seigneur
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Belle du Seigneur (Les Valeureux #3)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  1,105 ratings  ·  99 reviews
« Solennels parmi les couples sans amour, ils dansaient, d'eux seuls préoccupés, goûtaient l'un à l'autre, soigneux, profonds, perdus. Béate d'être tenue et guidée, elle ignorait le monde, écoutait le bonheur dans ses veines, parfois s'admirant dans les hautes glaces des murs, élégante, émouvante, exceptionnelle, femme aimée, parfois reculant la tête pour mieux le voir qui ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 1110 pages
Published February 1st 1998 by Folio (first published 1968)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Manny
This is a great novel about romantic love; alternately, one could say that it's about what it's like to be a sex and love addict, since it doesn't portray romantic love very positively. The three main characters are Ariane, her husband Didi, and Solal, who later becomes Ariane's lover. The first third is mostly about the young married couple. Didi is one of the great idiots of literature, and everything he does sets Ariane's teeth on edge. She wishes every minute of the day that she hadn't marri ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
You're a married guy. You have more than one college degree. You read voraciously--books, serious magazine articles, newspapers. You are one of the highly respected people in your profession. Whenever you speak your mind, your colleagues listen.


You have a wife. She barely got passed college. She watches TV every time that her favorite soap operas are on. She doesn't read books, or any of the serious stuffs you read, although she browses over fashion magazines every now and then.

Like normal coupl
...more
Philippe Malzieu
This book should be read young. There is lightness, air is soft, merry seduction. I am Solal.I imagine Ariane. And then there are the 100 last pages. I reach there not. I read the others quickly, but these last pages, I do not arrive. I slow down. The separation appears inevitable. It's umbearable. It's a form of resistance. When the book is finished there is bitterness. Does happy love exist?
Asa
I had two problems with this book: it was too long (800 pages) and I got frustrated at all the things the author didn't do, that he only mentioned or didn't get to at all. Cohen writes about this great passionate affair between Solal and Ariane, and to make things interesting it's Europe in the 1930s, Solal is Jewish and Ariane is married and Protestant. During the book Solas loses his job and his French citizenship because he wanted the League of Nations, that he worked for, to help the Jews in ...more
Julia Hendrix
Jun 17, 2010 Julia Hendrix rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Julia by: Madame Cui
Dans le doute, s'abstenir, le mieux étant l'ennemi du bien -p.108

Il y pensait sans cesse, n'osait pas -p.138

c'est le grand baiser noir battant l'aile -p.209

les hommes ont des mamelles petites qui ne servent à rien pourtant complètes avec mamelons celles des femmes sont bien plus belles ils nous imitent mais c'est raté tandis que nous on ne leur a rien emprunté tout est à nous -p.215

tout le terrible attirail d'une faible femme invincible -p.255

Enfin, un peu de vie avant beaucoup de mort! -p.273

il
...more
Raphaël
ma déception est à la hauteur des éloges dont on m'a toujours abreuvé... et c'est bien parce qu'on me l'avait tant vanté que je suis allé jusqu'au bout, j'ai même relu le début, puis les fameux chapitres 35 et 36, pour être certain de ne rien rater, essayer de comprendre ce qui n'allait pas chez moi, mais rien n'y a fait...

Lecture globalement pénible, je n'ai pas du tout accroché au style, trop de répétitions, trop d'ellipses, trop de lyrisme... Les personnages sont caricaturaux. Toute l'histoir
...more
Dr Zoule
Aug 04, 2009 Dr Zoule added it
Shelves: milestones
I remember reading this book during my long hours of duty at the military hospital. I remember feeling on edge as I was approaching the end. I remember isolating myself on the Colonel's secretary office to read the last pages undisturbed. I remember being devastated by the tragic beauty of the book.
William
What is worse than a bad book? A 1110 page bad book...

I started "Belle du Seigneur" with high hopes. Geneva is my home town, so I believed it would be wonderful to have a great novel set there. Also, this book was published in the 1960s, a decade which (in my view) is already quite poor in good french literature. Cohen has written a number of books, so I hoped that if this was good, I would be able to discover a treasure of great french books.

But then I read it.

I understand now why nobody ever t
...more
Adam
When I first enquired about this novel at my local branch of Waterstone's bookshop, the assistant looked it up on his computer and told me that although it was available in paperback, it was quite expensive (more than £17). I bought it over the internet, and realised the reason. The novel is the size of a telephone directory.

I read an English translation of this story, which was originally written in French.

In brief (and I emphasise, 'brief'), the story concerns the lives of an official at the L
...more
Bieiris
Pero, ¿cómo coño puede darle alguien cinco estrellas a este engendro pestilente? Un desperdicio de buena prosa puesta al servicio de personajes vomitivos. Una historia de amor, por llamar a esta pesadísima broma de alguna manera, que revuelve las tripas. ¿Y se trata de una obra maestra de la literatura francesa del XX? Ne me fais pas chier.
Arwen56
Libro originalissimo, che non so se rileggerei, benchè molto mi sia piaciuto. Non sono neppure in grado di commentarlo in modo coerente. Decisamente "spiazzante".

Lyv
Belle du Seigneur, c'est plus de mille pages décrivant l'histoire d'amour de Solal et Ariane
Solal est beau, intelligent, et a une excellente position. Toutes les femmes sont à ses pieds.
Ariane, issue d'une famille noble, est mariée à Adrien Deume, un employé administratif que l'on ne peut s'empêcher de mépriser au bout de quelques pages. Certain de la fidélité d'Ariane, seul l'avancement de sa carrière le préoccupe. Or, Solal est son supérieur hiérarchique ! Ce dernier usera de cette position po
...more
Laraemilie
Genève dans les années 1970. Un homme séduisant se déguise en vieillard juif et s’introduit chez Ariane Deume pour la séduire. Cet événement marque le début d’une relation hors du commun entre une femme mariée et le supérieur de son mari. Du mépris à la passion, nous suivrons la belle Ariane et son Seigneur Solal dans leur amour à travers l’Europe de l’avant-guerre.
Autour du couple d’amants gravitent d’autres personnages, tous aussi intéressants les uns que les autres. Nous avons la famille Deum
...more
Lavinia
After the first chapter I thought I will never make it through the 1100 pages. But when at the end of those 1100 pages I was sorry it was ending, I realized I really enjoyed this book. Besides the core of the book, the love as a feeling (as crazyness, I would say), there are a few themes that are being touched and detailed to a certain extent: the nazy opression of jewish people and samples of tragedies this produces (Solal is a sort of representative of his people), the professional incompetenc ...more
Sandra
Una scrittura elegante, piena di virtuosismi verbali, con continui flussi di pensiero dei protagonisti che ne approfondiscono psicologicamente i caratteri e le personalità, rendendoceli immediatamente presenti e vicini.
Come in poche altre occasioni è capitato che la lettura di un libro abbia suscitato in me emozioni diverse.
All'inizio mi sono divertita, i personaggi vengono pennellati da Cohen con acuta ironia, sottolineandone i difetti, che sono i difetti della società bene ginevrina, che vive
...more
Sarah
This book was triply recommended to me, and by people whose literary tastes I don't always agree with, but very much respect. This book pretty much embodied that. The writing was masterful (and I only read the English translation- how fantastic the French must be!)- it was beautiful and maddening, it put you through the paces in a relentless, brutal, amazing way. And there were some fascinating insights about the fact that we all experience life in a deeply subjective way. And the side stories a ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Albert Cohen is an excellent writer and you can keep read him on and on and on and love the way he writes. However, the characters are shallow and you would find yourself spending an hour or so reading about some woman who has the brain of a 13 year old kind. Why are the women so ditzy? The author should not take advantage of the reader and keep him captive audience to reading him for hours talking about silly stuff, just because he knows he has a gift for writing. As readers, we still have to f ...more
Benjamincottin
Aug 04, 2011 Benjamincottin is currently reading it
pour moi ca fait parti des "livres exploits"....horrible à lire, il ne se passe rien, histoire ....euh yen a t il une vraiment ? j'ai lu 500 pages environ, tout cela raconte l'organisation d'un diner où l'invité de marque, ne vient même pas....waouhhhhh

apres c'est sur une fois arrivé à la fin on est content de se dire que c'est enfin terminé et de le mettre en avant dans la vitrine, manière de faire" regardez j'ai lu ce livre il est énorme !!! non non très agréable à lire on ne le sent pas passe
...more
Sissi
L'histoire : celle de la passion entre Ariane, jeune femme à l'imagination débordante mariée à un mari sans intérêt et Solal, beau et brillant séducteur.

Du coup de foudre à la fin tragique, la lente et inévitable désagrégation de la passion est parfaitement traitée dans ce chef d'oeuvre de la littérature au style aussi flamboyant que ses personnages.

Albert Cohen, évoqué pour le Prix Nobel de Littérature, l'aurait mérité ne serait-ce que pour ce roman à l'ironie un peu amère, qui traite du suje
...more
Johan
Reading this book is like trying to eat an overstuffed sandwich, there are simply too many ingredients to make it palatable. A love triangle is blown up out of all proportions and for those who don't get it the first time, everything is repeated again and again. Why the relatives of Solal are introduced is beyond me, as they serve no narrative purpose. And do we really need the multiple monologues of Mariëtte, the housekeeper and her views on Ariane? I was glad the lovers finally opted for the d ...more
Axel Ainglish
Acid, cruel book that somehow tries to finish with any kind of romanticism. It was written when the author was already an old man. Characters are well depicted as well as the social classes they belong to. Though you can soon realise it to laugh about it all, to make it ridiculous. It is considered a sort of literary monument, if not a masterpiece. What happens when love ends or you have done a convenience marriage? -there is no pitty with the mediocre clerk main character, though to me at least ...more
Anne Claire
Attention ! Chef d'Oeuvre !
Nous sommes face à 1100 pages d'une écriture tour à tour mystérieuse et magique, d'un style des plus aboutis, chaque mot semble avoir été choisi avec soin. La construction du roman n'est pas laissée au hasard, les pages défilent sans que l'on s'en aperçoive.
Vous me direz : "qu'est-ce qui ressemble le plus à une histoire d'Amour qu'une autre histoire d'Amour ?" Que nenni !! M. Cohen a su maintenir un climat de suspense malgré la banalité du thème et finalement le peu d'
...more
Cesar Bedon
¿Gran novela? Probablemente sí. ¿Le sobran páginas y capítulos? Sin duda. Capítulos enteros de monólogo interior podrían eliminarse. ¿Tiene personajes que sobran? También. No hay razón mayor para que se le dediquen tantas páginas a los padres de Didi, el esposo. ¿Muestra el autor simpatía por sus protagonistas? Pareciera que no. Sus personajes son tontos --nada de malo en eso-- y de hecho, por momentos su visión es la de un entomólogo. Los personajes de "Bella del señor" son caricaturas, y esto ...more
Lucie
A masterpiece : passion, pride, despair, vanity, faith... it's about all that.
A tragedy under the mask of a comedy, unless it is the other way round.
But above all, the gift of Albert Cohen, that turns this terrific book into a magic, poetic, epic tale.
Cait
I almost threw this book down in frustration so many times because of how good it was, in such a painful way.
Deanne
I found it hard to have any sympathy for Solal or Arianne, but I did enjoy the book.
Elena De col
This book made me understand something important: I still have stories to discover and love and I might find them in novels.

As a history buff and a lover of developed character, I almost believed for a certain period that I will no longer be able to properly enjoy a novel unless it was a novel older than 60 years.

Belle du Seigneur proved me wrong: there is not a single character who is not interesting, not a single useless part, not a single poorly-written page. This book is extraordinarly rich
...more
Hai Yan
On n'en ressort pas indemne.
Roseb612
O knize se říká, že je to největší milostný román 20.století - je to ale spíš tragédie. Tragický příběh dvou lidí, kteří se nedokázali posunout ve své lásce dál než za první vášnivé a "předstírací" období. Člověka občas napadá, jak by bylo krásné, kdyby si vztah uchoval to prvotní kouzlo, ale tady je vidět, že "kouzlo" je oprávněně časově ohraničené, vášnivou láskou nelze žít navždy.
Forma románu je místy dost náročná na čtení (proudy vědomí), ale časem tomu člověk přivykne a ke konci už se to č
...more
Christina
My heart is breaking.



Solal and Ariane are shown as supremely flawed beings throughout the story. She for her naive and selfish searching, and he for knowing better.



Their journey is at times comical, and the moments of levity are welcome in this otherwise dark novel. Solal's uncles and the Deume's offer a perfect glance into the backgrounds of Solal and Ariane...of what they ultimately escape.



Cohen does a masterful job of conveying the inner turmoil of the characters through a stream of consciou
...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Born Abraham Albert Cohen in Corfu, Greece, in 1895, as part of an important Sephardic Jewish community on the island. Albert’s parents, who owned a soap factory, moved to Marseille, France when he was a child. Albert Cohen discusses this period in his novel Le livre de ma mère (The Book of my Mother). He studie
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More about Albert Cohen...

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Les Valeureux (4 books)
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“Un soir qu'ils étaient couchés l'un près de l'autre, comme elle lui demandait d'inventer un poème qui commencerait par je connais un beau pays, il s'exécuta sur-le-champ. Je connais un beau pays Il est de l'or et d'églantine Tout le monde s'y sourit Ah quelle aventure fine Les tigres y sont poltrons Les agneaux ont fière mine À tous les vieux vagabonds Ariane donne des tartines. Alors, elle lui baisa le la main, et il eut honte de cette admiration.” 10 likes
“Elle avait tout aimé de Marseille, la bruyante rue Longue-des-Capucins aux victuailles étalées et criées, la halle aux poissons et ses gaillardes fortes en gueule, la rue de Rome, la rue Saint-Férréol, la Canebière, le Vieux-Port, les étroites rues patibulaires et cordiales où circulaient dangereusement, déhanchés, des messieurs félins et grêlés de variole.” 3 likes
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