Sherry's Reviews > Bonjour Tristesse

Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan
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's review
Dec 14, 2010

did not like it
Read in December, 2010

I saw this movie one afternoon on TCM w/ my husband, and was quite intrigued. Bonjour Tristesse translates to "Hello Sadness" Of course I had to find the book.

The title comes from a French poem "À peine défigurée" by Paul Éluard (1895–1952) and is written on the first page of this story in French.

Adieu tristesse,
Bonjour tristesse.
Tu es inscrite dans les lignes du plafond.
Tu es inscrite dans les yeux que j'aime

Tu n'es pas tout à fait la misère,
Car les lèvres les plus pauvres te dénoncent
Par un sourire.

Bonjour tristesse.
Amour des corps aimables.
Puissance de l'amour
Dont l'amabilité surgit
Comme un monstre sans corps.
Tête désappointée.
Tristesse, beau visage.

It is translated to English as:

"Scarcely Disfigured" Text: Paul Éluard (1895–1952)(possibly Barely Disfigured?)

Farewell sadness,
Hello sadness.
You were in line with the lines of the ceiling.
You were in line with the eyes that I like.

You are not completely the misery,
For the poorest lips denounce you
By a mouse.

Hello sadness.
Love of the nice bodies.
Power of love of which courtesy arises
As a monster without body.
Disappointed head.
Sadness, beautiful face.

Originally published in 1955 - this book apparently was a huge sensation. I wonder if one of the reasons it was so known was because of the sexual implications and specifications that were written about. argh! In the movie - those things were not so open. For this reason I don't recommend this book.

The book might also have been popular for the glimpse it gave into a life of a father who lived in happiness as a playboy, and of his teenage daughter Cecile. She is brought along to the clubs and is witness to the revolving women coming, living in, and leaving her home. The daughter begins to know and understand that this is not considered the proper way to be living, but at the same time excuses it because it is what she knows, and she loves her father dearly. Then one day Anne arrives. . .

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