March 31, 2007


Reading Amit Varma's post, I had to look up the word tristesse since it is a new word for me. In doing so, I found there is a book called Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan. (Btw, Webster gives the meaning as melancholy.)

Thanks to reader, I gleaned the first para of the book...which moved me and left me feeling tristesse, if you will.. (Maybe that's what they call non-coital tristesse, Amit?)

A strange melancholy pervades me to which I hesitate to give the grave and beautiful name of sorrow. The idea of sorrow has always appealed to me, but now I am almost ashamed of its complete egoism. I have known boredom, regret, and occasionally remorse, but never sorrow. Today, it envelops me like a silken web, enervating and soft, and sets me apart from everybody else.

Even in translation, that was something! Never heard of the author before today but makes one want to read more!

Disclaimer: Maybe it was not the words that moved me. Maybe, I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Am spending the morning surfing as I listen to Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Dinah Washington, and Ella...oh...Ella....God Bless her soul!


1) The wiki entry for Francoise Sagan, says Bonjour Tristesse means "Good Morning, Heartache." So, what am I feeling - melancholy or heartache? I think it may be nothing that serious - just ennui.

Also, wiki enlightens that and the title Bonjour Tristesse is the French translation of this Billie Holiday song. Nice coincidence!

The wiki article also tells us about some of the troubles she had in the last years of her life before her death in 2004 due to tax evasion problems with the French government...sad end to her life!

4) Here is a Paris Review interview with the author.

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