Cousin Pons (Poor Relations, Part 2) (Penguin Classics)

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9780140442052: Cousin Pons (Poor Relations, Part 2) (Penguin Classics)

Mild, harmless and ugly to behold, the impoverished Pons is an ageing musician whose brief fame has fallen to nothing. Living a placid Parisian life as a bachelor in a shared apartment with his friend Schmucke, he maintains only two passions: a devotion to fine dining in the company of wealthy but disdainful relatives, and a dedication to the collection of antiques. When these relatives become aware of the true value of his art collection, however, their sneering contempt for the parasitic Pons rapidly falls away as they struggle to obtain a piece of the weakening man's inheritance. Taking its place in the Human Comedy as a companion to Cousin Bette, the darkly humorous Cousin Pons is among of the last and greatest of Balzac's novels concerning French urban society: a cynical, pessimistic but never despairing consideration of human nature.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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About the Author:

The son of a civil servant, Honoré de Balzac was born in 1799 in Tours, France. After attending boarding school in Vendôme, he gravitated to Paris where he worked as a legal clerk and a hack writer, using various pseudonyms, often in collaboration with other writers. Balzac turned exclusively to fiction at the age of thirty and went on to write a large number of novels and short stories set amid turbulent nineteenth-century France. He entitled his collective works The Human Comedy. Along with Victor Hugo and Dumas père and fils, Balzac was one of the pillars of French romantic literature. He died in 1850, shortly after his marriage to the Polish countess Evelina Hanska, his lover of eighteen years.

Review:

Novel by Honore de Balzac, published in 1847 as Le Cousin Pons. One of the novels that makes up Balzac's series La Comedie humaine (The Human Comedy), Cousin Pons is often paired with La Cousine Bette under the title Les Parents pauvres ("The Poor Relations"). One of the last and greatest of Balzac's novels of French urban society, the book tells the story of Sylvain Pons, a poor musician who is swindled by his wealthy relatives when they learn that his collection of art and antiques is worth a fortune. In contrast to his counterpart Cousin Bette, who seeks revenge against those who have humiliated her, Cousin Pons suffers passively as his health deteriorates and he eventually dies. Balzac shows how a person without means can be crushed by a society that has no values except material ones. -- The Merriam-Webster Encylopedia of Literature

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1978. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Mild, harmless and ugly to behold, the impoverished Pons is an ageing musician whose brief fame has fallen to nothing. Living a placid Parisian life as a bachelor in a shared apartment with his friend Schmucke, he maintains only two passions: a devotion to fine dining in the company of wealthy but disdainful relatives, and a dedication to the collection of antiques. When these relatives become aware of the true value of his art collection, however, their sneering contempt for the parasitic Pons rapidly falls away as they struggle to obtain a piece of the weakening man s inheritance. Taking its place in the Human Comedy as a companion to Cousin Bette, the darkly humorous Cousin Pons is among of the last and greatest of Balzac s novels concerning French urban society: a cynical, pessimistic but never despairing consideration of human nature. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780140442052

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1978. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Mild, harmless and ugly to behold, the impoverished Pons is an ageing musician whose brief fame has fallen to nothing. Living a placid Parisian life as a bachelor in a shared apartment with his friend Schmucke, he maintains only two passions: a devotion to fine dining in the company of wealthy but disdainful relatives, and a dedication to the collection of antiques. When these relatives become aware of the true value of his art collection, however, their sneering contempt for the parasitic Pons rapidly falls away as they struggle to obtain a piece of the weakening man s inheritance. Taking its place in the Human Comedy as a companion to Cousin Bette, the darkly humorous Cousin Pons is among of the last and greatest of Balzac s novels concerning French urban society: a cynical, pessimistic but never despairing consideration of human nature. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780140442052

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