Belle de Jour (novel)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Belle de Jour is a novel by French author Joseph Kessel, published in 1928 by Gallimard.


The novel opens with an event from Séverine Sérizy's childhood, in which a mechanic touches the eight-year-old on her way from her bedroom to her mother's. The story then follows Séverine as a young, beautiful housewife. It is difficult for her to fulfill her sexual affinity for masochistic desires with her husband, Pierre Sérizy. Although they love each other, physical intimacy is a problem, which frustrates them both. Following Monsieur Husson's mentioning of a brothel, Séverine chooses to seek satisfaction as a prostitute with the pseudonym Belle de Jour (Engl. the beautiful of the day), as she works from two to five o'clock each day, returning to her unaware husband in the evening. Séverine becomes entangled with one of her punters, Marcel, who is a young gangster. He provides with the thrills and excitement contained in her fantasies. The situation becomes more complicated when Séverine decides to leave the brothel, with her madam's (Madame Anaïs) agreement, after finding Marcel has become too demanding, and jealous of her husband. Husson has also discovered her secret as a potential, though unwilling, client. One of the gangster's associates tracks Séverine to her home address. Marcel visits her, and threatens to reveal her hidden identity, but Séverine persuades him to leave. Marcel waits outside for her husband to return home and shoots him three times before escaping but eventually being shot by the police. Pierre survives, but is firstly left in a coma. The police are unable to find a motive for the attempted murder, but after Pierre leaves hospital, paralyzed and sitting in a wheelchair, Husson visits him and possibly tells him the truth.

Film adaption

Belle de Jour (film)

The novel was adapted into a film. 1967 Luis Bunuel directed the motionpicture starring Catherine Deneuve

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Belle de Jour (novel)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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