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Archive for March, 2005|Monthly archive page

Bonjour Tristesse

In Novel on March 12, 2005 at 3:33 am

bonjour.jpgBonjour Tristesse (1955)
by Françoise Sagan

I better write down my thoughts before my memory starts to fade. I admit I read this solely out of my slight Francophile tendency and cute cover. ^_- Bonjour Tristesse means ‘Hello Sorrow.’ Author Françoise Sagan, one of famous French literary prodigies , wrote it when she was only 17 years old, published in 1955. It’s a juvenile novella about that awkward stage of ‘not a girl but not yet a women’, full of teen agnst and resistence toward adult/social expectation and confirmity. Though in today’s standard it is a rather cliche-ridden and dated coming-of-age story. The heroine’s supposedly scandalous acts of rebellion are rather…normal and her ‘schemes’ felt preposterous. Speaking from my generation and background, it reads like the comics by Ai Yazawa (flawed young heroine’s struggling between pleasure and responsibility & right amount of realism, characters with complex emotions and motivations, soupy drama, romance and bittersweat ending ;D). However the romance plot between the heroine and Mr.bland was so boring and forgettable. The best part was the central relationship between the heroine and her father’s fiance Anne. I especially enjoy stories exploring conflict between the young and old (why I dig Wes Andersen). I disagree with the introduction in this edition that put far too much weight on the relationship between the heroine and her father, which in my opinion is not as important as the one between heroine and Anne. All in all the book is a fun light read, written with delicacy and complex understanding of thinkings and emotions.

According to Sortie (a Francophile mook ^_-) Bonjour Tristesse was inspired by Billie Holiday music, with songs such as ‘Good Morning Heartache.’