Honore de Balzac Pere Goriot

ISBN 13: 9780899682600

Pere Goriot

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9780899682600: Pere Goriot
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In a grimy boardinghouse in a dismal Parisian neighborhood, Balzac sets the stage for his 1834 study of paternal love, of greed, envy, and despair. Pere Goriot tells the story of a nineteenth-century counterpart to King Lear, a father so blindly devoted to his undeserving daughters that his tragic realization - "I loved them too much for them to love me at all" - comes too late. This best-known of Balzac's Comedie humaine novels has all the stylistic elements one might expect: unnerving psychological analyses; vivid physical descriptions, acute observations of the rules governing Parisian society, disarming wit, and unbridled passion.

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Review:

Nobody writes about money like Balzac, and his classic chronicle of a young man from the provinces clawing his way to success in 19th century Paris, even as an older man is victimized by the same milieu, shrewdly captures the financial dimension of so much that goes on between people. The boarding house in which the two protagonists live is a microcosm of their world, and Goriot's treatment by his daughters would make Lear blanch.

About the Author:

Translated by A. J. Krailsheimer, Emeritus Student and former Tutor in French at Christ Church, Oxford

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