'You can leave a forest, but you can never leave a cloister; you are free in the forest, but you are a slave in the cloister.' Diderot's The Nun (La Religieuse) is the seemingly true story of a young girl forced by her parents to enter a convent and take holy orders. A novel mingling mysticism, madness, sadistic cruelty and nascent sexuality, it gives a scathing insight into the effects of forced vocations and the unnatural life of the convent. A succès de scandale at the end of the eighteenth century, it has attracted and unsettled readers ever since. For Diderot's novel is not simply a story of a young girl with a bad habit; it is also a powerfully emblematic fable about oppression and intolerance. This new translation includes Diderot's all-important prefatory material, which he placed, disconcertingly, at the end of the novel, and which turns what otherwise seems like an exercise in realism into what is now regarded as a masterpiece of proto-modernist fiction. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
La importancia del papel de Diderot dentro de la novelística del siglo XVIII lo sitúa, junto a Sterne y Jean-Paul, como uno de los grandes precursores y uno de los primeros autores en cuestionar las bases sobre las que se asienta este género, que, por aquel entonces, comenzaba a imponerse a todos los demás. Obras como "Tristram Shandy" y "Jacques el Fatalista" quiebran el esquema clásico que servía de base a la narrativa desde la época de Cervantes y suponen una ruptura considerable con respecto al rigor estructural con que habían sido construidas las novelas de sus antecesores.
Extrait : "Mon père était avocat. Il avait épousé ma mère dans un âge assez avancé ; il en eut trois filles. Il avait plus de fortune qu'il n'en fallait pour les établir solidement ; mais pour cela il fallait au moins que sa tendresse fût également partagée ; et il s'en manque bien que j'en puisse faire cet éloge."
Denis Diderot (1713-1784) was among the greatest writers of the Enlightenment, and in Jacques the Fatalist he brilliantly challenged the artificialities of conventional French fiction of his age. Riding through France with his master, the servant Jacques appears to act as though he is truly free in a world of dizzying variety and unpredictability. Characters emerge and disappear as the pair travel across the country, and tales begin and are submerged by greater stories, to reveal a panoramic view of eighteenth-century society. But while Jacques seems to choose his own path, he remains convinced of one philosophical belief: that every decision he makes, however whimsical, is wholly predetermined. Playful, picaresque and comic, Diderot's novelis a compelling exploration of Enlightment philosophy. Brilliantly original in style, it is one of the greatest precursors to post-modern literature.
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