Saturday, 4 August 2012

Denis Diderot "The Nun"

Tough thing. But having studied the history, laws and manners of those époques, I understand that Diderot put in a heap all that was likely to take place.

I remember how I read the book at one sitting, and left the reading room with a slightly clouded head. I was quite in a shock from the nun’s mother (who was at first indifferent to her proper honor, and then to the daughter’s life), from the society, and, finally, from the nuns, whose severity is comparable with the best traditions of prison torture campaigners. As they say, any fish rots from the head, but where's the head in this case? Here is your monkshood, which must preach Love, Kindness and Chastity. Neither the first, nor the second, nor (that's a surprise!) the third was there. Moral of the book - either you face the crowd and risk to be crushed (what would have happened to the nun in the end), or you give in and ... become the same as they.

In fact, it is written quite boldly for Diderot's time.

A story associated with the book.

I sat and read it in the university's library. A classmate came up, which, as it turned out, had already read the "The Nun".

- Hi, she said. What are you puffing over? Are you going to the lecture?
- I am torturing "The Nun", I answered without hesitation. - Twenty minutes left, so I have time.
- Poor thing, said the classmate. Not only she was first tormented in one convent, and harassed in the other one, now you torture her and will do it for another twenty minutes!
I got a little bit uneasy.

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