The Nun by Denis DiderotThe Nun by Denis Diderot

The Nun

byDenis DiderotTranslated byRussell Goulbourne

Paperback | October 15, 2008

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''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 succes 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.
Russell Goulbourne is a Lecturer in French a the Unviersity of Leeds.
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Title:The NunFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:240 pages, 7.72 X 5.08 X 0.59 inShipping dimensions:240 pages, 7.72 X 5.08 X 0.59 inPublished:October 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199555249

ISBN - 13:9780199555246

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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From the Author

''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 succes 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.

Editorial Reviews

`Russell Goulbourne''s wide-ranging introduction shows clearly how the work''s past significance and it present meaning are linked: Goulbourne''s excellent translation maintains the reader''s involvement without sacrificing accuracy.'' Times Literary Supplement