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Scars on the Soul

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  372 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Twins Sebastian and Eleanor van Milhem, from Castle in Sweden, are idle bourgeoisie. We follow them through romantic entanglements, ennui, and other existential crises. Sagan also interrupts the narrative throughout the book with her own personal insights, such as: "Who reads Proust?" and "What about you, dear readers, what are your lives like?"
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 28th 1978 by Penguin Books (first published 1972)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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Steven Godin
Dec 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: france, fiction
Sagan blends novel and a sort of self-portrait essay to clever effect, stopping every now and then to mull over the boredom and the distaste she now feels for life, while also talking of her characters outside of the story, and wonders whether to put herself as a character inside the story. She wonders whether or not to write at all. Like I said, it was a clever idea, and shows a confident Sagan taking her writing to the next level. For all I liked about it, it was still a frustrating read ...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The heroes of this novel are two Swedish siblings, a brother and a sister, Eleanor and Sebastian. These two siblings have so many things in common that they sometimes seem like a single person and perhaps they even act as one, for it seems that any separation of these two is simply out of the question. The connection Eleanor and Sebastian is strong, but not incestuous in any way (I’m only stressing that because closely bonded blond twins might bright those references in mind you know because of ...more
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, poetic and wonderfully sad novel. This is the second novel I've read by Sagan, the first one being her first "Bonjour Tristesse". While I liked her debut novel, I felt that its potential was not fulfilled. Moreover, I felt that it lack dept and maturity. (Nothing strange since she was 17 when she had written it).On the contrast " Des bleus à l'âme (Scars on the soul)" is almost too mature. I loved this novel, really loved it. It's mature, literal, philosophical...a work of art.

Alor Deng
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german
I don't think she has written anything I will ever dislike. Radiguet, Balzac....welcome Sagan to your club of french geniuses.
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me ha gustado la intervención de más de una voz para contar la historia, primeramente un locutor neutro y por otros momentos la propia voz de Sagan, es así como la novela tiene unos cuantos toques bibliográficos -aunque la autora haya aclarado que no es una novela bibliográfica- creo que aún cuando se diga que es de las novelas más flojas, carentes de descripciones y detalles en sus escenarios y personajes, a mí me parece sincera. Pude contemplar que había cierta carga sarcástica, supongo que ...more
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sagan
If you are a complete Saganophile like me, you are in for a real treat, for it is in this experimental novel that Sagan's own voice shines through - literally. The hedonistic van Milhelms' story - replete with love affairs, long Paris nights and plenty of whisky (what more could we expect?) - is punctuated by Sagan's own musings on life, authorship and the novel itself. Her interruptions are tangential, poetic and captivating - at times wistful and solemn, and at others highly amusing and ...more
Mar 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
"Asta-i sarea pamantului si a acestei existente blestemate.Nu plajele care se-mpart in decoruri de vis, nu Club Mediterranee, nu prietenii, ci ceva fragil, ceva pretios pe care in vremurile astea il distrugem cu buna-stiinta si pe care crestinii il numesc "suflet".(Chiar si ateii,desi nu folosesc acelasi termen).Si, daca nu suntem atenti, intr-o zi o sa ne trezim cu acest suflet in fata noastra, rasufland din greu,cerand mila si fiind plin de vanatai...Si vanataile astea le-am meritat fara doar ...more
Victor Morosoff
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Même si assez difficile (pour moi, au moins) à lire, ce livre projette un univers rempli de luxe, de débauches, de grandes dépenses qui fait rêver - une atmosphere spécifique, ineffable. On peut observer, dans ce récit, une Françoise Sagan très authentique.
Asghar Abbas
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing

One of the best surprises of 2007
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another romance novel, but one that has it's own layer of difference, since it's more an autobiographical work. When you read it, you become aware of author's presence and her references to previous works, as well as her thoughts and feels towards love and life. She doesn't intervene or pick sides, but observes and narrates, as this work may have been inspired by the events she's witnessed or has heard about it. That's, at least, my point of view. The plot is irrelevant, in contrast to the ...more
Sagan’s authorial presence is perceptible in all of her novels, but in this one, she actually inserts her persona as well as her own stream-of consciousness commentaries as part of the novel itself—her thoughts on her characters, feminism, on being a writer, on the literary criticism she has received in the past, etc., are interwoven between the novels regular chapters. To be honest, I would have preferred a more traditional structure for the novel because I thought Sagan’s personal ...more
Stephen B
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, _french
I enjoyed this book a lot - is an interesting way of intertwining autobiography with thoughts on process of writing, the relationship between author and imaginary (I'm assuming) characters, how they may express your thoughts, and how they can be misleading if you believe they directly express the authors thoughts or experiences. That there is a disjoint between public and private persona, and how you perceive yourself - perhaps - told honestly or not. Is all somewhat oblique, and bleak for that ...more
João Moura
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Des Bleus à l'Âme, ou Viver Não Custa em Portugal, é um romance que fala sobre tudo o que aflige e magoa a alma. Ele divide-se em dois: ora versa sobre a vida e alma de um casal de irmãos suecos, as personagens do romance propriemente dito, ora versa sobre as considerações muito acertadas e poéticas da autora sobre a vida, morte, amor, erotismo, sociedade, etc e sobre a vida e alma de todos nós. As partes intercalam-se, mas a mais interessante é parte filosófica e directa da autora, que tanto ...more
Morgan Miller-Portales
First published in France in 1972, ‘Des bleus à l’âme’ by Françoise Sagan is a singular work of lightheartedness and a meditation on the art of literary creation. Alternating between the story of Eléonore and Sébastien, two characters who have previously figured in one of her plays, and lyrical reflections on her success and creative process, Sagan fully succeeds in fashioning something rather delectable. It may not have the intellectual heft of Beauvoir’s memoirs but her charm amply makes up ...more
J Benedetti
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is my favourite Sagan so far, possibly my favourite novel - it achieves what many newer, shitty novels don't, namely a writer shows you how and why their writing is formulated a certain way, you (reader) therefore trust them totally, thus their fiction becomes not only true but real (leaving you susceptible to the writer's whims). N.B. there is nothing tongue in cheek about this novel's presentation.
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gentle, witty walk, hand in hand with Mme Sagan to the depths of the soul of the suddenly grown up children of the city, a look behind the curtains of the "elite", a personal diary hidden between the pages of the story of two extraordinary siblings.
Ala AbuTaki
Jan 18, 2015 rated it liked it
ما أعجبني في الرواية ليست الرواية نفسها ! بل الفصول التي تتحدث فيها الكاتبة عن نفسها وعن شعورها تجاه الشخصيات التي تخلقها في الرواية
جيدة لا أكثر .
Laurent Szklarz
Pas question ici d'histoire mièvre bien écrite mais de regard vif, tranchant et jouissif de l'auteur sur la société. Une introspection géniale. Mon Sagan préféré.
Mar 30, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Je n'ai pas accroché à l'univers ni à la façon d'écrire. J'ai probablement besoin de m'identifier davantage aux personnages ou qu'il se passe plus de choses.
Flora Vickers
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: summer-reads
As always, another beautiful Sagan novel. I held off saying she is my favourite author because I felt guilty for enjoying what many would describe as chick lit - but this is undeniably the opposite
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ce livre-ci était le premier livre de Sagan qui m’a surpris! D’abord, c’est tellement drôle. Moitié romain, moitié essai, Sagan écrit hyper franchement toutes les pensées, et parfois je voulais rire, parfois j’étais étonné parce qu’elle était vicieuse! Encore d’autres fois c’était triste, mais toujours bien écrit. Il y a plusieurs parties que j’ai relues parce que l’écriture était tellement beau et les descriptions ou des phrases intéressantes. L’histoire des Van Milhelms était moins ...more
Daniil Lanovyi
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the style of this little novel. The direct speech from the author creates a feeling of a Sunday afternoon Parisian cafe. Your friend tells you a story, making pauses so you can discuss the pivotal bits. Often discussion wonders off from the main story, but you don't care coz it's only 4pm, and wine is in abundance.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hated-it
I hate this with passion :)
Assez difficile à lire. Trop de voix dans la lecture (dont celle de Sagan), ce qui m’a perturbée et empêchée d’être captivée.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer
This was an odd place to start, being my first foray into Sagan. But it was a literary hug and sanctuary that I needed more than I can describe.

She weaves a story about two Swedish siblings who are aimless in Paris, with her own autobiographical interjections about writing, success, love, men & women & depression. At first put off by the thought, I now see how perfect this experimental novel is.

Both styles/parts succeed highly due to her humor, cynicism and beautiful prose. In such a
Zéro Janvier
Douze ans après "Château en Suède", Françoise Sagan redonnait vie à Sébastien et sa soeur Eléonore, cette fois dans un roman dans lequel Françoise Sagan prend la parole pour parler aussi d'elle et du processus d'écriture. Très plaisant, malgré quelques longueurs.
Goncalo Ferreira
3.5...well...i liked it, it's a good reading, it's light but has more depth than what it seems...i really liked it...i'm still unsure about how would I rate it...I read it in a bad time, I'm full of work, so I'm not focused on it...I'll wait and rate it later
Lolita Sousa
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Isabelle De Meese
Une petite pépite très singulière pour le début des années septante... Sagan hésite entre le roman et l'essai pour finalement livrer un texte sur la création, sur la littérature et sur la vie !
Zorica  Zoric
Mar 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
Jedino sto je dobro kod ove knjige je njen naziv.
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Born Françoise Quoirez, Sagan grew up in a French Catholic, bourgeois family. She was an independent thinker and avid reader as a young girl, and upon failing her examinations for continuing at the Sorbonne, she became a writer.

She went to her family's home in the south of France and wrote her first novel, Bonjour Tristesse, at age 18. She submitted it to Editions Juillard in January 1954 and it
“إن للحياة فترات من الهدنة أحيانا، ينظر المرء فيها إلى نفسه في المرآة وهو
يبتسم ابتسامة خجولة متكبرة ومتواطئة معا، من دون أن يكون له مطلبا آخر
سوى أن يكون حيا ومرتاحا في كيانه، بينما يزقزق عصفور الليل "هوليهوليا". لكن هذه
الفترات نادرة: فالنمورالكامنة في محركاتنا المختلفة لا تلبث أن تستيقظ وتنهش بعضها البعض.”
“ها هي الكلمة المفتاح: العزلة، هذا الأرنب الآلي الصغير الذي يفلت في ميدان سباق الكلاب السلوقية ويركض خلفه كلاب أهوائنا وصداقاتنا اللاهثة والشرهة؛ هذا الأرنب الصغير الذي لا تمسك به أبدا لكنها تعتقد دائما أنه بمتناولها؛ إلى أن يغلق الباب بوجهها، الباب التي تكبح أمامه وتطرق رأسها به، مثل بلوتو. عدد الكلاب التي تشبه بلوتو في الكائنات البشرية...” 7 likes
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