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The Diary of a Chambermaid

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3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  541 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
"I am no saint; I have known many men, and I know, by experience, all the madness, all the vileness, of which they are capable. But a man like Monsiuer?" -- from THE DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID

The famous anarchist and art critic Octave Mirbeau (1848-1917) inspired not one but two films (from Jean Renoir and Luis Bunuel) with his often forgotten classic THE DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAI
...more
Paperback, 392 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by Harper Perennial (first published 1900)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,419)
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Sarah
Jul 17, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
À travers le discours à la première personne d'une servante, le portrait qu'Octave Mirbeau dresse des classes dominantes de la fin du XIXe siècle, de la bourgeoisie, parisienne ou de province, de la noblesse (forcément) désargentée, n'est pas tendre. Il est même sans pitié. Les domestiques ne sont pas épargnés non plus. Chez Mirbeau, l'être humain est vil. S'il lui arrive de faire preuve de bonté, il est aussitôt victime d'un coquin mal intentionné.

Henry Caro-Delvaille, La Jeune Servante

Quand la servante raconte son histoire, on y cr
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Stela
Jul 20, 2015 Stela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modernism, reviews

Si j’avais été plus familière avec la biographie mouvementée d’Octave Mirbeau, peut-être j’aurais été moins surprise à la lecture de ce livre qui a contredit en tout temps mon horizon d’attente suggéré par le titre. Mais, dans ma bonne tradition, si je n’ai pas d’avance des connaissances sur un auteur ou une œuvre, je ne m’informe qu’à la fin d’une lecture

Je peux maintenant dire qu’à la fin je n’ai pas été étonnée d’apprendre que l’écrivain a été un anarchiste. Il y a, dans son œuvre, une volont
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Eadweard
I usually read the source first and then watch the movie adaptation(s), this time I couldn't help myself. It's easy to see why Luis Buñuel adapted this (already having directed The Exterminating Angel and later making The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie). I found the most recent adaptation (2015) to be okay, and I have yet to watch Renoir's.

Through Celestine, Mirbeau makes it clear to us how he viewed the people and society of turn of the century France. He relentlessly attacks the bourgeoisi
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Sally68
Tre stelline e mezza...
Siamo in Francia, nel 1900 e questo libro è uno spaccato dell'epoca..Dove Celestine
racconta,anche in modo divertente, attraverso pagine deliziose e spudoratamente sincere
quello che era il suo rapporto con i suoi datori di lavoro,
dove spesso queste povere cameriere venivano scelte come
merce in vendita, subivano angherie e dovevano sottomettersi al volere
dei loro padroni. Tra malizie, misfatti , perversioni quella era la società di allora...
Celestine, protagonista memorab
...more
LaBioVaincra
J'ai ADORÉ ce livre.

Je l'ai trouvé subtil malgré l'impression que l'héroïne rentre dans le tas (comme quoi... c'est subtil). Intéressant historiquement et socialement, ce n'est pas très subjectif et j'ai bien aimé ça. Célestine a bien sûr ses propres opinions, mais on n'a pas l'impression que l'auteur veut nous faire penser ce qu'elle dit. Par exemple, elle affirme que ses maîtres sont des pourris et que c'est le cas de tous les riches, mais l'auteur n'hésite pas à nous parler de certains riche
...more
Esther
Journal intime très représentatif du genre fin-de-siècle: décadence de la noblesse, dépravation des mœurs, indifférence face à la religion, sexe gratuit et original (fétichisme, violence, homosexualité, perversité, pédophilie...), mélange des classes sociales, sens blasé de la vie, tout y est. Célestine est un personnage contradictoire: elle déteste avoir des maîtres mais adore servir dans une riche maison où elle peut toucher les belles étoffes; elle se rit des tares de ses maîtres mais ne s'em ...more
Philippe Bernard
Mar 07, 2012 Philippe Bernard rated it really liked it
La satire est tordante dans les deux premiers tiers, un peu moins à la fin où on rit jaune devant les excès de l'auteur qui noircit un peu trop le tableau et force un peu trop le trait. Peinture sociologique outrancière mais bien sentie d'une époque faisandée qui nous ménera tout droit aux deux grandes guerres mondiales, une époque pourtant incroyablement riche au plan artistique et créatif (ceci expliquant peut-être cela) comme en témoigne cet ouvrage (le plus connu) de Mirbeau qui donne envie ...more
Yulia Vineman
Oct 19, 2015 Yulia Vineman rated it really liked it
I wish there was a moral lesson in it, and a positive outcome that is reached through virtue rather than vice. But the narrative rather shows the unavoidable corruption of one's soul due to circumstances that the characters are doomed to.

Although the outcome is: "...and they lived happily ever after", there is no sense of satisfaction in it particularly because of the above mentioned reasons. But since the narrator's goal was to reflect the dark truth of social realities in his environment, it
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Ad Blankestijn
The outspoken diary of Célestine R., a chambermaid, who exposes the hypocrisy and perversions of bourgeois society, before herself becoming "one of them." InMirbeau's fin-de-siecle, satirical novel, Célestine comes to work for the Lanlaires, an estranged couple living on a large estate in Normandy, while telling tales about her previous employers in flashbacks. The book was shocking because a chambermaid was given voice here via her so-called diary, and what a voice! She exuberantly hangs out al ...more
Anaïs
Jul 28, 2015 Anaïs rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 out of 5 stars
I read this book about a year ago and I remember liking it but also thinking it was kind of strange
The bedchamber maid was strong minded and I never thought that the main character would be like that, reading only the summary I imagined her somewhat shy, which she wasn't.
In this book, every single charcater has flaws which I liked to read about and seems to be believable and down to earth.
However, don't be looking for something with an extroardinary plot : this book only deals
...more
Libri &
Jul 30, 2015 Libri & rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Siamo nella Francia di inizio '900, osservata dal punto di vista della cameriera Célestine: la ragazza ha delle difficoltà a trovarsi a proprio agio nelle case in cui le capita di lavorare, per questo è passata da una famiglia parigina benestante all’altra, fino ad approdare nella proprietà dei Lanlaire, nella cittadina normanna di Le Mesnil-Roy. A causa del suo mestiere, Célestine è entrata in contatto con diverse famiglie borghesi, e in forma diaristica ne racconta l’ipocrisia e la corruzione: ...more
Chrichrilecture
nul
Nul il ne se passe rien de passionnant le livre est dur a finir trop lassant heureusement il est gratuit sur kindle vue la médiocrité du livre je ne payerait pas pour aller voir le film
Theut
Apr 12, 2015 Theut rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Celestine è un personaggio scandaloso: è una cameriera che non nasconde il suo amore per il sesso e di aver conosciuto molti uomini, sia per amore sia per pietà. Dai suoi racconti emerge il lato nascosto della buona società, di chi dovrebbe dare in qualche modo l'esempio e che invece dimostra le sue piccinerie o perversioni in mille modi davanti a chi li conosce senza maschere.
Celestine non è simpatica, ma nemmeno vuole esserlo: lei racconta semplicemente la verità, per quanto spiacevole essa si
...more
Boris
Aug 17, 2014 Boris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"L'adoration du million!... C'est un sentiment bas,
commun non seulement aux bourgeois, mais à la plupart
d'entre nous, les petits, les humbles, les sans le sou de ce
monde. Et moi-même, avec mes allures en dehors, mes
menaces de tout casser, je n'y échappe point... Moi que la
richesse opprime, moi qui lui dois mes douleurs, mes vices,
mes haines, les plus amères d'entre mes humiliations, et mes
rêves impossibles et le tourment à jamais de ma vie, eh bien,
dès que je me trouve en présence d'un riche, je
...more
Anabel
Jun 30, 2015 Anabel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Libro gratuito en la boutique kindle en francés, lo bajé sin una expectativa particular. Ahora que lo terminé puedo decir que fe una excelente idea bajarlo. Bajo el formato de un diario de una mucama, Mirbeau nos ofrece una deliciosa critica de su tiempo. Las situaciones descritas son extremas, rozando lo absurdo, lo que nos demuestra la época de tensiones, de rivalidades ideologicas y politicas que desencadenarian en las guerras que vendrian luego. Recomendadisimo a aquellos interesados en la v ...more
Amandine
Jul 11, 2010 Amandine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 19e-siècle
Au début du livre, l'attitude hautaine et supérieure de cette femme de chambre parisienne envers ses nouveaux maîtres provinciaux m'exaspérait au plus haut point et m'empêchait un peu d'apprécier pleinement le livre: comment en profiter vraiment quand on a envie de donner des baffes continuellement à la narratrice? L'entrée en matière de Mirbeau dans laquelle il disait n'avoir fait que retravailler le journal d'une femme de chambre ne m'a pas vraiment plue non plus: je trouve ce procédé assez ty ...more
Cassie
Jan 22, 2013 Cassie rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: turn of the century French readers
Recommended to Cassie by: used book store
Shelves: erotica
Celestine is a hard lady to like. The majority of the novel revolves around how digusted she is with the "simpletons" and "peasants" she's surrounded by, how much more she is above her fellow servants and her Mistress and Master--all because she once worked in Paris. It's trying on the mind to read over and over how miserable a character is, especially when they do nothing to try and improve their surroundings. Even when Celestine shows some form of positive emotion, the emotion is diluted by he ...more
Irene
Sep 14, 2007 Irene rated it liked it
An extremely French book in subject and dialogue. (No, I don't read French, but I enjoyed the attitude.) The title claims it's a "naughty French novel" though I don't recommend it to those seeking porn--because porn, it's not. Rather, it's "naughty" in its continual indictment of the idle and undeserving rich, the corrupt, morally bankrupt nature of all human beings, and especially the disgusting hypocrisies of the religious and obnoxiously pious. The narrative did take the point of view that se ...more
Andrew Pritchard
It was more interesting than Venus in furs, which isn't saying much. In any case it wasn't what I had hoped for or expected. It hints at erotica, but that's about all. There were certainly books before Diary of a Chambermaid which were quite graphic in sexual detail, as well as many books shortly after it and ever since. As a historic view of French life at the turn of the 19th century it might have more value however. But if your looking for erotica give this one a miss!
Adi
Nov 30, 2014 Adi rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. I believe this is the first diary I have ever read, and it did not disappoint. It was written in a pleasant way, the characters were mostly interesting, and on occasions the story was even amusing. For me it was interesting to learn more about the dynamics between the masters and the servants in the French countryside in the end of 19th century.
Nibelheim
Mar 31, 2008 Nibelheim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un excellent livre, très noir, proposant une vision très pessimiste de la société. A travers l'expérience et l'évolution même de Célestine, nous découvrons un monde triste dont les piliers s'effondrent, un monde où tout le monde est pourri et baigne dans le vice. Et cela, sous la plume acérée d'Octave Mirbeau, par l'intermédiaire d'une jolie femme de chambre.

"Ah ! ceux qui ne perçoivent, des êtres humains, que l’apparence et que, seules, les formes extérieures éblouissent, ne peuvent pas se dout
...more
Andrea Amadio
Sep 28, 2015 Andrea Amadio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A me potete dire quello che volete sui francesi: mi potete dire che puzzano, che fanno schifo, che la loro è una lingua orrenda, ma non potete dirmi che la loro letteratura - e il loro cinema - non siano ad un livello superiore. Scrivere di una cameriera che racconta vizi e virtù di un'epoca, fra i più nefandi, per poi farla cadere nel vizio ancora più turpe, beh... Tanto di cappello. Ennesima volta in cui l'erotismo è DAVVERO erotismo, e non c'è niente da fare ma quando si parla di sesso e pass ...more
Cocconauta
un libro che sia stato trasposto in un film in b/n (The Diary of a Chambermaid, Jean Renoir 1946 e Le journal d'une femme de chambre, Luis Buñuel 1964)
Eva K
May 25, 2015 Eva K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Drôle et émouvant, le tout narré par une femme, un délice!
Helen Damnation
Jan 30, 2013 Helen Damnation rated it really liked it

Celestine recollects her (mis)adventures as a chambermaid for a variety of households, detailing the ugliness that lies behind all the different kinds of doors of late 19C France. In a manner that is devoid of sentimentality towards any class, no matter how low, we watch first as Celestine, whose impulses are always towards freedom no matter how much trouble it causes her, becomes more owned than she ever was by her employers and then in her turn becomes them.



Bettie☯
Mar 31, 2015 Bettie☯ rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Laura, Wanda et al



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoHgW...

Description: "I am no saint; I have known many men, and I know, by experience, all the madness, all the vileness, of which they are capable. But a man like Monsiuer?" -- from THE DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID

The famous anarchist and art critic Octave Mirbeau (1848-1917) inspired not one but two films (from Jean Renoir and Luis Bunuel) with his often forgotten classic THE DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID. Telling the scandalous story of Celestine R., a fisherman's daughter
...more
Diana
Non mi ha convinto del tutto.
Per il momento in cui è stato scritto è sicuramente interessante e innovativo, ma la protagonista non mi è piaciuta fin dall'inizio, e questo non ha aiutato nella lettura.
è stato comunque una lettura divertente come spaccato di una società a noi molto lontana nel tempo e negli approcci... o almeno speriamo!
Sara
Apresenta uma sucessão de desventuras que pinta as gentes das classes altas da época como grotescas e ridículas. Pessoalmente, achei a caracterização da personagem interessante, especialmente no modo como se abordam as idiossincracias e contradições da sua personalidade, mas o estilo não me cativou.
Vanessa Deroo
Dec 31, 2015 Vanessa Deroo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last book of the 2015 challenge is French. A raw, crude, somewhat funny diary of a French maid in the 1900s, during "l'affaire Dreyfus" and with a background that is unfortunately too common.
An interesting, if rough, read.
Géraldine
Apr 15, 2010 Géraldine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
Ce livre ne ressemble pas du tout à ce que j'imaginais. C'est assez dur, voire cru, et à mon avis pas si éloigné que ça d'une certaine réalité de l'époque. Il m'intriguait depuis longtemps, c'est lu :)
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“Si infâmes que soient les canailles, elles ne le sont jamais autant que les honnêtes gens.” 1 likes
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