A Certain Smile

A Certain Smile

Infobox Book |
name = A Certain Smile
title_orig = "Un Certain Sourire"
translator = Irene Ash

image_caption =
author = Françoise Sagan
cover_artist = Catherine Denvir
country = France
language = French
genre = Romance novel
publisher =
pub_date =
english_pub_date = 1956 (1st English language edition)
pages =
isbn = NA

"A Certain Smile" (known in French as "Un certain sourire"), written in 1958Fact|date=October 2007 , is Françoise Sagan's second book. It tells of a student's love affair with a middle-aged man.

Plot introduction

The novel is about Dominique, a bored twenty year old law student at the Sorbonne in mid-1950s Paris. The back of the 1986 Penguin English translation describes Dominique as young, thin and cynical.

Plot summary

Dominique, a student in Paris has a lover, Bertrand, who one day introduces her to his businessman uncle Luc and his wife Françoise. Both Luc and Dominique are aware of their mutual attraction from the beginning, but Dominique holds off for fear of hurting both Bertrand and Françoise, to whom she forms a close attachment. They decide to become lovers, however, spending two weeks in Cannes and promising to not fall in love. Both have a deep fear of hurting their partners, but more so of becoming bored. At the end of these two weeks and on their separation Dominique realises that she may well be in love with Luc. They spend other nights together, but this time tinged with the sadness that Luc does not love Dominique back. When Françoise eventually finds out about the affair, Dominique must learn to get over Luc and accept the transience of their relationship.

Characters in "A Certain Smile"

*Dominique - Main character and narrator of the novel
*Bertrand - Dominique's lover at the start of the novel, also a student at the Sorbonne
*Luc - Bertrand's uncle, an older businessman who becomes Dominique's lover
*Françoise - Luc's wife. Forms a deep attachment to Dominique before the affair
*Catherine - Dominique and Bertrand's friend
*Alain - A student intellectual who 'befriends' Dominique after her return from Cannes


Major themes

The novel's fairly straightforward narrative belies the attitudes of the main characters. Dominique and Luc are terrified of boredom, but seemingly relish in the transience of their situation.


The novel was parodied by Jean Kerr in Harper's Bazaar in 1956 as "Bonjour Ennui".

Publication history

*1956, France, Penguin ISBN 0-14-001444-6

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См. также в других словарях:

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  • Smile — Smile, v. t. 1. To express by a smile; as, to smile consent; to smile a welcome to visitors. [1913 Webster] 2. To affect in a certain way with a smile. [R.] [1913 Webster] And sharply smile prevailing folly dead. Young. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Un certain sourire — Données clés Titre original A Certain Smile Réalisation Jean Negulesco Scénario Frances Goodrich et Albert Hackett d’après le roman de Françoise Sagan, Un certain sourire (Éditions Julliard, 1956) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The Shadow of Your Smile (album) — Infobox Album | Name = The Shadow of Your Smile Type = Album Artist = Astrud Gilberto Caption = Released = October 21, 1965 Recorded = 1964 Genre = Bossa Nova Length = Label = Umvd Labels Producer = Reviews = Last album = The Astrud Gilberto… …   Wikipedia

  • Un certain sourire — A Certain Smile    Drame psychologique de Jean Negulesco, d après le roman de Françoise Sagan, avec Christine Carère, Rossano Brazzi, Joan Fontaine, Bradford Dillman.   Pays: États Unis   Date de sortie: 1958   Technique: couleurs   Durée: 1 h 46 …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

  • Premios Óscar de 1958 — Anexo:Premios Óscar de 1958 Saltar a navegación, búsqueda La 31ª entrega de los premios Óscar se celebró el 6 de abril de 1959 en el RKO Pantages Theatre de Hollywood, siendo presentada por Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, David Niven, Laurence Olivier,… …   Wikipedia Español

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