Read The Droll Stories of Honore de Balzac by Honoré de Balzac Free Online
Book Title: The Droll Stories of Honore de Balzac|
The author of the book: Honoré de Balzac
Edition: Kessinger Publishing
The size of the: 6.65 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1620 times
Reader ratings: 5.9
Date of issue: April 30th 2004
ISBN 13: 9781417911936
Format files: PDF
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I enjoyed "taking a break" with this book; its humorous style and short story format made it ideal for filling in odd moments throughout the day and providing relief from heavier reading.
I really can't understand why any careful reader would think this book dull. True, most of the stories utilize the same main themes (cuckoldry being the most common, I think), but the quality of the writing makes the common-theme stories unique and engaging throughout. If something seems odd or nonsensical upon the first reading, I would suggest going back over the passage to look for double (or triple, in some cases) meanings -- I definitely would have missed a lot of the charming humor Balzac employs if I had not slowed down at certain points when reading his work. I'm sure a lot of his "pun power" was lost in translation, but the editor of the edition I read made quite an effort to fill-in the English reader to the lost complexity whenever he could, a practice I found very helpful.
I loved the amazing engravings featured in the work -- their complexity and macabre styling was quite impressive, so don't skip by them if you happen to have an edition where they are included.
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Read information about the authorHonoré de Balzac was a nineteenth-century French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of almost 100 novels and plays collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1815.
Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multi-faceted characters; even his lesser characters are complex, morally ambiguous and fully human. Inanimate objects are imbued with character as well; the city of Paris, a backdrop for much of his writing, takes on many human qualities. His writing influenced many famous authors, including the novelists Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, Henry James and Jack Kerouac, as well as important philosophers such as Friedrich Engels. Many of Balzac's works have been made into films, and they continue to inspire other writers.
An enthusiastic reader and independent thinker as a child, Balzac had trouble adapting himself to the teaching style of his grammar school. His willful nature caused trouble throughout his life, and frustrated his ambitions to succeed in the world of business. When he finished school, Balzac was apprenticed as a legal clerk, but he turned his back on law after wearying of its inhumanity and banal routine. Before and during his career as a writer, he attempted to be a publisher, printer, businessman, critic, and politician. He failed in all of these efforts. La Comédie Humaine reflects his real-life difficulties, and includes scenes from his own experience.
Balzac suffered from health problems throughout his life, possibly due to his intense writing schedule. His relationship with his family was often strained by financial and personal drama, and he lost more than one friend over critical reviews. In 1850, he married Ewelina Hańska, his longtime paramour; he died five months later.
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