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Belle de jour

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  565 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
The startling and groundbreaking novel that inspired Luis Buñuel's film by the same name is finally available once more. In a world that blurs the lines between feminism and female sexuality, Belle de Jour remains as vital and controversial today as it was in its 1960 debut.

Severine Serizy is a wealthy and beautiful Parisian housewife. She loves her husband, but she cannot
Paperback, 188 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by The Overlook Press (first published 1928)
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Aug 15, 2016 Eirini rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
H νέα,όμορφη,καλοπαντρεμένη και φαινομενικά ευτυχισμένη Σεβερίν βασανίζεται απο ανομολόγητα πάθη τα οποία δεν μπορεί να μοιραστεί με τον αγαπημένο της σύζυγο.Θα προσπαθήσει να βρει μια διέξοδο απο τις μαζοχιστικές φαντασιώσεις που την κατατρέχουν,δουλεύοντας σε έναν οίκο ανοχής ως πόρνη με το ψευδώνυμο Ωραια της ημέρας αλλά τα πράγματα πηγαίνουν απο το κακό στο χειρότερο καθώς το πάθος της γίνεται εξάρτηση και εμμονή ενώ οι τύψεις για αυτό που κανει στον άντρα της και ο φόβος οτι όλα θα αποκαλυφ ...more
Akemi G
Nov 25, 2015 Akemi G rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-fiction
This is the original novella that became the movie, which features Catherine Deneuve. It seems there are a few other books with similar titles, so please be careful.

This small book defies easy definition and categorization. Let's start with what this book is NOT about. The protagonist is not a bored housewife. She loves her husband very much--to the painful level. And it's not just sex with other men that she wants. If that were all she wanted, the ending doesn't make sense. And if you want to
Sarah Goodwin
Mar 07, 2013 Sarah Goodwin rated it really liked it
I bought this because of the title, and because it reminded me of the other Belle de Jour, the call girl's diary (I've only read the second one, but wow, I stopped after thirty pages, it was that aimless - eventually I'll give the other one a try). I'm a fan of the melodramatic and the freaky, so this was appealing, and I bought it for 50p.

Initially it is quite hard to get into, but, once Severine is installed at the brothel, and I let go of the hope of there ever being a sex scene (there aren't
Ένα τέτοιο σενάριο αν ήταν γραμμένο σήμερα απλά θα το προσπερνούσα. Πώς μπορείς, όμως, να το κάνεις αυτό όταν ο συγγραφέας, και μάλιστα άνδρας, το 1920 τόλμησε να γράψει και να πει δημόσια για το δικαίωμα της γυναίκας στη σεξουαλική της έκφραση και στην πραγμάτωση των φαντασιώσεών της όταν ακόμα και σήμερα υπάρχουν άρρενες που αν το συζητήσουν θα είναι για να χαρακτηρίσουν τη γυναίκα πουτάνα!
Γιώτα Παπαδημακοπούλου
"Η Ωραία Της Ημέρας" είναι ένα από τα πλέον κλασσικά δείγματα ερωτικής λογοτεχνίας, δια χειρός ενός εκ των σημαντικότερων Γάλλων συγγραφέων, του Joseph Kessel, το οποίο και πρωτοκυκλοφόρησε σε εφημερίδα της εποχής ως ιστορία σε συνέχειες, το 1928. Φυσικά το περιεχόμενο ήταν τέτοιο που για τα δεδομένα της εποχής θεωρήθηκε προκλητικό, με μια μεγάλη μερίδα κοινού και κριτικών να μην διστάσουν να το χαρακτηρίσουν, πορνογραφικό. Αυτός είναι ίσως και ο βασικότερος λόγος για τον οποίο το εν λόγω μυθιστ ...more
Jun 29, 2010 Oriana rated it it was ok
Recommended to Oriana by: Dissident Books
A well-meaning friend gave me this, thinking it was this. It is not. Which kind of sucks. I was hoping for salacity and scandal and all things dirty, but this book is pretty much the opposite. It's really dry, and incredibly melodramatic, the kind of book where everything happens internally, in the oh so scared, tortured soul of our poor heroine, Séverine. She is a beautiful, rich, pampered society lass who is married to a gorgeous young surgeon. Her life, you see, is so wonderful, so carefree, ...more
Sep 06, 2015 Yasemin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yabancı-roman
Facebook bana diyor ki; beş yıl önce tam da bugün izlediğin dört filmin ikisi Luis Bunuel'in. Viridiana ve Simon of desert. Belle de jour da yakın zamanında izlenmiştir kesin, ama film hala aklımda ayrı güzel,kitabı ise daha daha güzel. Pek bir kararsızım. En güzeli yarıştırmamak galiba..Kitaptan film yapmayı inekten bulyon yapmaya benzeten kimdi unuttum ama bu gündüz güzeli için geçerli değil. Tüm gün severine'ye yüz sürüp psikanalize tekrar tekrar aşık olabilirsiniz.
1927 yılında yazılmasına m
Mar 03, 2009 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book of all times! This woman struggles with morality, faithfulness, and self-respect in a changing world for women. It was written in the naturalist style, and the movie that follows was filmed in the nouvelle vague of French cinema. An AWESOME experience!
Eva Sinner
To βιβλίο, που κυκλοφόρησε το 1928, ήταν για την εποχή του προκλητικό και ο συγγραφέας κατηγορήθηκε για ελευθεριότητα, ακόμη και πορνογραφία. Το να μιλάς εκείνη την εποχή για τη σεξουαλικότητα μιας γυναίκας της καλής κοινωνίας και τις "βρώμικες" φαντασιώσεις της που πάνε κόντρα στα κοινωνικά πρότυπα ήταν μεγάλη υπόθεση. Φυσικά, στην εποχή μας, το βιβλίο δε σοκάρει και τόσο. Και όπως λέει και το εισαγωγικό σημείωμα πλέον ξέρουμε ότι "είναι αδύνατον να αποκαλύψεις το δράμα της ψυχής και της σάρκας ...more
Belle de Jour is the story of Séverine Sérizy, a beautiful young housewife married to a successful doctor. Her life is pretty great, except she feels like she cannot fulfil her sexual affinity for masochistic desires with her husband. She gets a job as a prostitute under the pseudonym Belle de Jour, only working from two to five each week day, so she can return before her husband gets home. Her job gets her involved with a young gangster named Marcel who allows her to explore all her sexual fant ...more
Apr 23, 2012 Marsha rated it really liked it
Restless, unhappy and bored in her marriage, a woman turns to a young lover. While the subject is prosaic, the treatment is not. Mr. Kessel has created a tour de force, a story told in dishonestly simple terms. Séverine does not turn from her husband out of hatred but out of spurned love. She wishes him to lean on her but he persistently refuses. Her love has no outlet and thus she becomes involved in a dangerous profession to appease it.

Mr. Kessel has given us more than the portrait of an adul
Jan 30, 2014 Erica rated it really liked it
Not an easy read. Severine's self-destruction is painful and real. Even though she's highly imperfect and makes some selfish, misguided decisions, you can't help but mourn for her and Pierre's fate.

Some of the other reviewers who paint her as a bored housewife fail to take into account that Severine was raped by a plumber when she was 8 years old. This fact is revealed in the prologue and for me it echoed throughout the entire book. How can a woman reconcile sexual pleasure with pure love when h
A. Gulden
Feb 11, 2015 A. Gulden rated it really liked it
The silence between them was thick with their defeat.

Then she realized that this woman drawing nearer was her double, part of herself, and she wanted to detach herself from that reflection, to escape an act of possession she didn’t desire.

It was as if every atom of energy had left her, sucked away by some insatiable mouth.

All her senses were like limp leaves blowing in the wind.

Pierre’s manner, his taste, his desire to please, all were poles apart from something in her that had to be beaten and
Ich habe den Film dazu gesehen von Luis Bunuel. Die Eingangsszene mit der Kutsche und dem Wald, der Bondage von Séverine gefällt mir gut, was gibt es aufregendes?!...Sie behält ihre Eleganz, ist immer elegant gekleidet - auch wenn sie ins BDSM-Bordell geht, in dem sich nur 2-3 andere Dominas oder Sklavinnen befinden, obgleich sie ein abscheußliches unehrliches Wesen ist, das ihrem Partner, dem Chirurgen, was verschweigt. Was gravierendes, unverständliches verschweigt, was meiner Meinung nach dur ...more
Sep 26, 2008 Jeanette rated it liked it
wow...very different from the movie. much more cohesive, and a lot more expressive of an actual dilemma. it's much better at putting the heroine's experience in a context where her actions and desires are surprising, but understandable. because it was so much less weird and graphic than the movie, it also came off as less moralizing. less, "whoa, look what fucked up shit is happening to this fucked up woman"; more, " easy it is for something so simple to go so wrong".
A quick and easy read, took me two days of 4 40-minute subway commutes to complete. As a fan of the film, it was interesting to get a more in-depth, inner thought view of Severine (ah, what a name!), but it still played a little strangely. I was also curious towards the end as the events transpire in a quite different way than the film. The description of Marcel exactly fits the movie, though, I laughed and loved it. Good read, but not amazing.
Emmanuelle Maupassant
In Joseph Kessel’s Belle de Jour (1928), Séverine knows well that her indulgence of her ‘dark’ self – which wishes to lose its conventional, public identity and surrender only to desire and sensation, without thought of consequences – endangers her ‘social’ self.

The story is best known through Catherine Deneuve’s portrayal of the icily beautiful housewife, in Luis Bunuel’s film (1967). Compelled by desires she cannot articulate, let alone share with her husband, Pierre, she is drawn into an alte
Jim Dooley
Oct 29, 2015 Jim Dooley rated it it was amazing
It is always amazing to find a short book written in a seemingly simple style that has so much strength and depth in its presentation. This book is one of those remarkable works. The characters are so vivid, the settings breathe with a life of their own, and the final words don’t signify “The End” so much as they do a haunting memory.

BELLE DE JOUR was known for throwing “decent society” into hysteria when it was published in serialized magazine and book forms because of the central character fra
Oct 20, 2014 Leslie rated it liked it
I've watched Luis Buñuel's Simon of the Desert and Exterminating Angel—one of my favourite films and I was going to watch Belle De Jour when I discovered there was a book, and this book is where Buñuel got his inspiration from. Joseph Kessel's Belle De Jour follows Séverine Serizy, a young and somewhat flighty married woman who has lived a sheltered/pampered life. She and her husband Pierre, a doctor, live a rather comfortable drama free life. Their relationship is kind of odd, yet they seem dee ...more
Grace Yoon
May 29, 2016 Grace Yoon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I first encountered this book for a literature course (titled, "Killer Love: Crime and Passion in Fiction and Film" — how fitting, no?) in fall 2014 and have read it at least 4 times since. Even so, every time it's hard to put down the book, and I'm always amazed by the emotional and intellectual depth of this work. Sure, this could be considered a feminist literature, which is certainly valuable in that way. More than that, however, there's something remarkable about Kessel's take on this unive ...more
Andrea Amadio
May 28, 2015 Andrea Amadio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Che dire? Io il film lo amai e il romanzo mi ha stupito ulteriormente: si parla di "quell'oscuro oggetto del desiderio" che sedusse Bunuel e i freudiani, si parla di amore, puro e ingannevole, e delle conseguenze che gli gravitano attorno; si parla del ruolo della donna, di come i suoi desideri quando vengono soddisfatti nel peggiore sordidume si accompagnano a gravi crimini e misfatti. Si parla di delitto e castigo. Si parla della vita.
Cristina D'ornellas
Jan 08, 2016 Cristina D'ornellas rated it really liked it
This book made me so thoughful about women and how to reach happiness. Still, i couldn't identify to the first character's thoughs, which were very violent and instinctive. But I liked the story and enjoyed it so I recommend it. Plus, it is very well written.
Mar 24, 2014 Beatrice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: precious
depth of passion and most of all, depth of pain and guilt - it's all here.
a beauty full and very rich psychological analysis, great moments of introspection.
ra va si tor.

*oh god, do not give man all he is capable of suffering.
Bueno, la verdad es que me lo esperaba mucho más impactante de lo que en realidad es, dadas las críticas que recibió el autor al publicarlo. Aunque cierto es que, al ser de 1928, la cosa cambia. Normal que se escandalizasen en esa época con las ideas que se tenían entonces...
El estilo me ha gustado; el desarrollo de la historia está bien e incluso la duración del libro es la adecuada. Respecto al final...como buena novela francesa, no defrauda. Trágico pero abierto a la vez; esclareciendo aspect
Aug 01, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it
A slim, breezy book that nevertheless packs a powerful punch, both in terms of plot and emotional insight. Will hold on to this one for future summer re-reads.
Berat Chavez
Mar 18, 2016 Berat Chavez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sayın Joseph Kessel, sevginizde yalnız değilsiniz. Severine karakterinizi sevdim, hatta onu anladım. Herkeste olup da bastırılan, yokmuş gibi davransak yok olacağını çocukça umacağımız tekinsiz dürtülerimizi okumuş bulundum sayenizde. Teşekkür ederim.
Nov 23, 2015 Kurtlu rated it really liked it
Shelves: roman-francais
Uzun zaman önce catherine deneuvelü uyarlamasını izlemiştim. ilk olarak film ve kitap arasında epeyce fark olduğunu söyleyerek, filmi -benim gibi- izlemiş olan okurun yolunu açmak isterim. ancak önemli bir ayrıntı olarak belirtmeliyim ki, çevirinin berbatlığı ve imla hatalarının her sayfada gözünüze sokulurcasına boy göstermesi konsantrasyonu biraz bozuyor. Yine de okumaktan büyük keyif aldım, keşke çevirisi daha özenli olsaymış ve ben önce kitabı okusaymışım. Bu arada haberim yokmuş; filmin bi ...more
Juan Marín
Nov 13, 2015 Juan Marín rated it really liked it
Si te gustó "Relato soñado" de Arthur Schnitzler, te encantará...
Dec 28, 2015 Angie2874 rated it really liked it
Read the French version of this book.
Rosana Íris
May 25, 2015 Rosana Íris rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks, 2015
Decepcionante. O livro é curtinho então a leitura acaba sendo rápida. Mas é preferível só o filme mesmo, COM CERTEZA.
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Joseph Kessel was a French journalist and novelist.He was born in Villa Clara, Entre Ríos, Argentina, because of the constant journeys of his father, a Lithuanian doctor of Jewish origin. Joseph Kessel lived the first years of his childhood in Orenburg, Russia, before the family moved to France. He studied in Nice and Paris, and took part in the First World War as an aviator.

Kessel wrote several n
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