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Hello I m C cile Manny You as bored with this party as I am How bored are you Very I believe I m enjoying it slightly than you Were you often this bored when you were my age How old are you Seventeen Um I m trying to remember I think so So what did you do I read a lot Me too Anything you d recommend Category Something for a cynical girl who wants to be a famous author You ve read Bonjour Tristesse Uh uh It might inspire you She published it very young, and it s excellent And the heroine s first name is the same as yours Any other reasons You don t like your stepmother much, do you You got that one right Well, it has detailed, step by step instructions on how to kill her and get away clean Hey Now I really must read it Thanks You re welcome Want to come upstairs for a bit You won t be offended if I say no It s okay I ll find some other middle aged man to seduce How about him over there He looks promising Good luck Okay, well, nice talking And I ll check out the book I enjoyed meeting you too Let me know what you think I will Bye Bye. Fran oise Sagan s amoral novel of a schoolgirl s summer romance, scandalised French society at the time, and, in the process, catapulted her into the limelight, at age only eighteen Not that it really did her any good, being blighted by drink, drugs and unhappy relationships thereafter.The narrative is told by seventeen year old C cile, holidaying on the C te d Azur with her widowed father, a rou who has brought along his young girlfriend The daughter is exploring her own first sentimental and sensual adventure, a swiftly consummated romance with a handsome law student, when the unexpected arrival of an older woman, a friend of her late mother, disrupts the self indulgent haze of high summer First the newcomer takes charge, ordering C cile to terminate her romance in order to stay indoors and do her homework Then she and the father fall in love To prevent their marriage the daughter devises an ill fated plot in which the pretence of an affair between her boyfriend and the father s dumped girlfriend is intended to provoke jealousy and restore the status quo.The amorality and sensualism of the characters seem less shocking today, but on the whole the book won me over for two reasons it s matter of fact, existential style that evoked Albert Camus, and the setting the sun and the sea of the French Riviera, plus of course there s the sex, the gambling, and riding about in fast automobiles Bonjour Tristesse stands today as a fascinating look at a France that no longer exists It is an invocation of an era, of a time when young people were beginning to seek freedom from the strict bourgeois society of France after the end of WW2.Loved the movie as well, probably just as much as the book. This is why I don t read books written by teenagers Banal and melodramatic A bored, spoiled 17 year old who has a bit of a crush on her playboy daddy hates her soon to be stepmother Cue never ending angst, alcohol, scheming, glam life, underage sex, and boredom, boredom, boredom, and voila a bestseller and a classic.Please, somebody, get her to do some chores so that she doesn t stuff her head with rubbish I am tired of such tripe being praised because of but the author was only 17 when she wrote it excuse. The French seventeen year old girl narrator is at once astute AND childish The life of leisure that she leads is intoxicating, and her bohemian experiences and attitudes give the work a refreshing polish This is somewhat of the opposite of Catcher in the Rye since Cecile is experienced, active, cool, while Holden Caulfield has all the naivete of a newborn, is of a spectator is simply, when all is said done, just duh hull. La Villa Est Magnifique, L T Br Lant, La M Diterran E Toute Proche C Cile A Dix Sept Ans Elle Ne Conna T De L Amour Que Des Baisers, Des Rendez Vous, Des Lassitudes Pas Pour Longtemps Son P Re, Veuf, Est Un Adepte Joyeux Des Liaisons Passag Res Et Sans Importance Ils S Amusent, Ils N Ont Besoin De Personne, Ils Sont Heureux La Visite D Une Femme De C Ur, Intelligente Et Calme, Vient Troubler Ce D Licieux D Sordre Comment Carter La Menace Dans La Pin De Embras E, Un Jeu Cruel Se Pr PareC Tait L T On Entendait Pour La Premi Re Fois La Voix S Che Et Rapide D Un Charmant Petit Monstre Qui Allait Faire Scandale La Deuxi Me Moiti Du XXe Si Cle Commen Ait Elle Serait L Image De Cette Adolescente D Chir E Entre Le Remords Et Le Culte Du Plaisir Adieu tristesse,Bonjour tristesse.Tu es inscrite dans les lignes du plafond.Tu es inscrite dans les yeux que j aimeTu n es pas tout fait la mis re,Car les l vres les plus pauvres te d noncentPar un sourire.Bonjour tristesse.Amour des corps aimables.Puissance de l amourDont l amabilit surgitComme un monstre sans corps.T te d sappoint e.Tristesse, beau visage Paul luard,Peine D figur e Adieu TristesseBonjour TristesseFarewell SadnessHello SadnessYou are inscribed in the lines on the ceilingYou are inscribed in the eyes that I loveYou are not poverty absolutelySince the poorest of lips denounce youAh with a smileBonjour TristesseLove of kind bodiesPower of loveFrom which kindness risesLike a bodiless monsterUnattached headSadness beautiful face Paul luard,Barely Disfigured As in Paul luard s poem, sadness and foreboding soak this short narrative tingeing it with subtle melancholy disguised in frivolous characters and superficial undertone The irredeemable burden of selfishness, the strain of a guilty conscience, the disillusionment of unveiled truth, the weight of wrong decisions taken on impulse impregnate the voice of capricious and pampered C cile, a precocious seventeen year old girl , who discloses a confession rather than the memories of a summer spent in a paradisiacal villa in the south of France C line s charming and irresponsible father Raymond treats her with the courtesy and tenderness becoming of a lover than a paternal figure and his refusal of all notions of fidelity and serious commitment defines C cile s approach to relationships as passing, rapid, violent and passionate affairs as well as a lifestyle full of free love, lavish luxury, debauchery and hedonistic pleasuresAlthough I didn t share my father s aversion to ugliness, which often led us to associate with stupid people, I felt vaguely uncomfortable with anyone devoid of physical charms p.5 None of her father s numerous and shallow mistresses has ever threatened to disrupt C line and Raymond s unshakable duo until the arrival of Anne, a perspicacious and discerning old friend of C cile s deceased mother Anne s traditional, serious and sensible conduct, which represents the conventional idea of love, marriage and responsibility that C line so much detests, jeopardizes her precious freedom and carefree existence when her father unexpectedly announces his intention of marrying her Blinded by her self interests and unconscious jealousy of Anne for banishing her from being the apple of Raymond s eye, C cile starts plotting a plan with Cyril, his young and golden skinned summer lover, to recover her former bourgeoisie and unorthodox life with her fatherI feared boredom and tranquility than anything In order to achieve serenity, my father and I had to have excitement, and this Anne was not prepared to admit p.82 Bonjour Tristessewas published in 1954, when Fran oise Sagan was barely eighteen years old after having failed her foundation year examinations at the Sorbonne She replaced her original surname by a nom de plume taken from Proust s character the Princesse de Sagan and her rebellious coming of age novel became both a huge success and a scandal for the underlying skepticism regarding conventional institutions like marriage and family as well as for the subtle hint of a disturbing incestuous nature of father daughter relationship that impregnates the story Sagan soon became representative of the bored and disillusioned young generation whose main focus was a superfluous existence immersed in self indulgence and decadent pleasure But both the confessional timbre and the satirical tone of Sagan s voice reverberating in a controlled, even austere writing style, which doesn t succumb to lyricism or redundant literary ornaments, shows me otherwise There is sadness in lonely people trying to fill their artificial relationships with glib gratification There is sadness in daily conversations revealing the meaninglessness of a life dissipated, with no clear direction There is sadness in evoking a decisive moment lost in time, when silence became too heavy of a burden to carry and the sound of fear overcame the music of righteousness, creating a dissonant path of no return There is sadness in shame and remorse There is sadness in a sense of loss Oscar Wilde implied deceit inherently thrives in modern timesSin is the only note of vivid color that persists in the modern worldBoth C line and Sagan knew decisions can t be unmade and that they come with burdensome and sometimes unpardonable consequences One can be courageous and face past transgressions with integrity or elude guilt and create a groundless existence based on self deception and forgetfulness while being condemned to never get rid of the unbearable lightness of perennial sadness Reality might prove to be as complex as human beings are ignorant, but C line s preference to tread the second path proved such an anticlimax that I couldn t get over the irony of choosing sadness to avoid remorse while bearing the ignominy of it all with a distorted smile plastered on C line s pretty and tanned faceA strange melancholy pervades me to which I hesitate to give the grave and beautiful name of sadness p 3 Being stuck on the runway for three hours with Bonjour Tristesse in hand is no fun, I tell you.I read this at a time when I had a lot on my plate I didn t have enough patience to be concerned about the problems of a bunch of vain people who are wealthier than Scrooge McDuck, who spend their days sun bathing and surfing and whose evenings are dedicated to drinking and dancing.Yeah, I agree it is well written for an 18 year old author But it is also so superficial It is natural that the 17 year old narrator acts like a teenager What is extremely annoying is that all the adults behave like teenagers as well The average IQ of all the characters in this book is likely to be very low They simply blame the heat for all their stupidity.Let s meet these characters Cecile spoiled daughter of a rich dad Her life sucks right now, because her dad s girlfriend is trying to make her study for an exam and doesn t let her sleep with the pretty boy Could it be any worse Raymond rich, irresponsible, promiscuous Hey, Raymond, you have a daughter to look after, remember Elsa beautiful, fashionable, DUMB.Occupation being a mistress to rich men.Cyril 25 year old boy that Cecile finds attractive Considering how he gets involved into Cecile s schemes, probably not too bright.Anne cold, calculating, condescending She decided she wanted Raymond in her life, followed him down to his beach house, wore a flattering dress one evening and voila mission accomplished HERE BE A MAJOR SPOILER LOOK AWAY I do have sympathy for Anne s tragic end, but there is this another voice in my head that wants to shout at Anne What are you, a silly teenagerA woman her age should know better than to end her life over a short relationship with a frivolous man known to be loose with women Anne s action is also difficult to digest as there was no indication of love or any real emotion in their relationship The two barely even spoke.Damn, this heat Look where it got her I spent the rest of the flight reading The Stranger which, like this one, featured French people who spent a lot of time on the beach and cursed the heat But then there was so much too Way better So what to say about Cecile and her incessant scheming Apparently a summer on the Med, smoking and drinking on daddy s dollar or franc is not enough for well bred young ladies these days Where swimming, sunbathing and generally being a bright young thing were once enough, Cecile ups the ante and decides that a diverting way to spend the summer is to plot the downfall of her fathers current relationship and in between times, try to loose her virginity to the likeable but none too bright older man with the boat.A girl with undoubtedly cruel intentions and probably a battered and dog eared copy of Les Liasons Dangereuse by Laclos tucked under her mattress Unfortunately all the drinking, smoking and generally being louche don t actually cancel out a moral conscience and before she knows it her frankly childish meddlings are moving at a pace she can no longer control and she veers between desperate guilt and ambivalence as events unfold Ultimately the characters offer you very little to love about them Cecile is naieve and manipulative, Anne is a control freak in a Chanel twin piece and dear old daddy is an aging play boy with a slightly disturbing penchant for girls much closer to his daughters age than his own.Francoise Sagan wrote this book at the age of 18 then presumably sat down, lit a cigarette and pouted over how to spend the next 60 years given that she d already written her great masterpiece which clearly extols her youthful genius Youthful or not,it is a great read, and I liked it a lot It s tightly controlled and well put together a master class in how to be a moody teen but with the classic teen scent of festering bedroom cancelled out by the faint eau de nil of youthful genius. This short and sparkling novel was famously published when the author was just 18 years old While the same length as some short stories, Bonjour Tristesse feels fully formed and deftly plotted The narrator, C cile, is a 17 year old girl enjoying an extended summer holiday in the south of France with her father C cile is pampered, spoilt and somewhat bratty her father, who she worships, is a louche and charming womaniser They see themselves as free spirits, although their easy lifestyle is, of course, only enabled by their significant wealth At the beginning of the book they are staying in a villa along with Daddy s current mistress, Elsa than a decade his junior , and doing little other than sunbathing, swimming and socialising C cile is also conducting a half hearted on her side romance with a young man, Cyril, who is staying in the same resort This dreamy equilibrium is disturbed when her father invites a female acquaintance of his own age Anne, best friend of C cile s late mother to join the trip Anne s presence provokes C cile s jealousy and uspets the balance of her father s relationship with Elsa, leading our narrator to devise a deadly plan.The narrative captures the melodrama and insouciance of teenage years so well I m tempted to say it s incredible that the author managed this when she was still so young herself, but maybe this is the sort of insight you could only have while still living the experience In any case, C cile is an incredibly well drawn teenager and her characterisation displays a remarkable self awareness on Sagan s part I was drawn back into that strange mix of overreacting to the smallest things while at the same time disregarding some of the biggest C cile s father s romance with Anne is the end of the world, and Anne s insistence that she should study for exams nothing short of a life ruining catastrophe, but Cyril s apparent love for her is just a game, one she is not prepared to indulge fully because he likes her too much C cile may be selfish and petulant, but her naivety allows for insights the adults sometimes miss About her father s engagement, for example, I had so often seen him happy on account of a woman well, indeed There is also, sometimes, a sense that the novel is written from a future standpoint, that of a mature woman reflecting on her youth Perhaps this, too, is typical of the character author s age when you re 18, the stuff you did when you were 17 seems a million miles away.With a precocious teenage protagonist, over privileged rich people swanning around doing whatever they want, and a 26 year old man falling in love with a girl who isn t even out of school, you d think I would have absolutely hated this In fact I thought it was utterly brilliant I can t find anything critical to say about it at all I should have read Bonjour Tristesse a long time ago, and I heartily recommend it to anyone who hasn t it only takes about an hour to get through and it s well worth such a small portion of your time. That summer, I was seventeen and perfectly happy My father was forty, and had been a widower for fifteen years He was young for his age, full of vitality and liveliness When I left my convent school two years before and came to Paris to live with him, I soon realized that he was living with a woman But I was slower in accepting the fact that his fancy changed every six months But gradually his charm, my new easy life, and my own disposition, led me to fall in readily with his ways He was a frivolous man, clever at business, always curious, quickly bored, and very attractive to women It was easy for me to love him, for he was kind, generous, gay, and fond of me I cannot imagine a better or amusing companion This lovely little novel, deceptively slim, made me want to read it while lying on a beach It s full of rich French people being delightfully and almost stereotypically French at their villa in the Mediterranean, and all the romantic drama and emotional backstabbing that occurs there The narrator, Cecile, is enjoying her hedonistic lifestyle when her playboy father announces, unexpectedly, that he is getting married The woman in question is Anne, a family friend who is the opposite of the previous mistresses Cecile s father has had she s elegant, poised, practical, intelligent, dignified, and forty two Cecile recognizes the threat that Anne poses to her carefree life, and decides to destroy the relationship She would gradually turn us into the husband and step daughter of Anne Larsen, that is to say, she would turn us into two civilized, well behaved and contented persons For she would certainly be good to us How easily unstable and irresponsible as we were we would yield to her influence, and be fitted into the attractive framework of her orderly plan of living She was much too efficient Already my father was separated from me I was hurt by his embarrassed face, turning away from me at the table Tears came to my eyes at the thought of the jokes we used to have together, our gay laughter as we drove home at dawn through the deserted streets of Paris All that was over In my turn I would be influenced, readjusted, remodeled by Anne I would not even mind it, she would handle me with such intelligence, humor, and sweetness I wouldn t be able to resist her In six months I should no longer even want to In another writer s hands, this story could have gone horribly wrong Cecile has every opportunity to turn into a spoiled rich brat who can t stand the idea of being forced to behave like an adult with responsibilities, and the way she tries to destroy her father s happiness could be seen as the actions of a borderline psychotic The genius of Sagan s book is that she doesn t try to justify Cecile s actions We see the horrible truth of what Cecile is doing, and so does Cecile Every few chapters sometimes every few pages Cecile will have a moment of clarity, and realize that Anne is a good person and that her father is happy, and she regrets her meddling But then she goes right back to her destructive plan, because she can t help herself By letting us see Cecile wrestling with her own conscience, and ultimately being unable to resist her destructive urge, Sagan creates one of the best portrayals of a teenage girl I ve ever read Although I did not share my father s intense aversion to ugliness which often led us to associate with stupid people I did feel vaguely uncomfortable in the presence of anyone completely devoid of physical charm Their resignation to the fact that they were unattractive seemed to me somehow indecent For what are we looking for if not to please I do not know if the desire to attract others comes from a superabundance of vitality, possessiveness, or the hidden, unspoken need to be reassured.