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The tragedy Cromwell was actually completed and read to friends if not to others; nay more, the manuscript exists in the hands of M. Spoelberch de Lovenjoul, the great authority on Balzac's life and bibliography; but it has never been published. The novels, Cocqsigrue and Stella , proved abortions, but were only the first of many attempts at his true way until he found it.

Drama he never abandoned; but for him it was always an error. But though there is not yet in them anything more than the faintest dawn of the true Balzac, though no one of them is good as a whole, and very few parts deserve that word except with much qualification, they deserve far more study than they have usually received, and it is difficult to apprehend the true Balzac until they have been studied. They ceased for a time, not because of the author's conviction of their badness though he entertained no serious delusions on this subject , nor because they failed of a certain success in actual money return, but because he had taken to the earliest, the most prolonged, and the most disastrous of his dabblings in business—this time as a publisher to some extent and still more as a printer and type-founder.

Not very much was known about his experiences in this way except their general failure, and the result in hampering him with a load of debt directly for some ten years and indirectly for the whole of his life till in MM. Hanotaux and Vicaire published the results of their inquiries into the actual accounts of the concern. There seems to have been no reason why it should not have succeeded, and there has been claimed for it first, that it provided Balzac with a great amount of actual detail which he utilized directly in the novels, and secondly, that it gave him at whatever cost a still more valuable experience of practical life—the experience which has so often been wanting to men of letters.

It was Balzac's habit throughout his life to relieve the double pressure of debt and of work by frequent excursions into the country and abroad. On this occasion he fled to Brittany with an introduction to a M. Here he obtained some of the direct material, and most of the scenery and atmosphere, for what he himself recognized as his first serious attempt in novel-writing, Les Chouans , or, as it was at first called, Le Dernier Chouan.

This book obviously written in direct following of Scott, of whom Balzac was a lifelong admirer has been very variously judged—those who lay most stress on his realism thinking little of it, while those who maintain that he was always a romantic "with a difference" place it higher. It has at any rate brilliant colouring, some very vivid scenes, and almost more passion as well as "curtain" at its ending than any other of his books. Though not without a touch of melodrama it differs utterly from the confused and tedious imitations of Mrs Radcliffe, M.

A Vast Choir of Voices: On Claude Lanzmann

Lewis and C. At the same time Balzac was engaged on a very different work, the analytic-satirical sketches which compose the Physiologie du mariage , and which illustrate his other and non-romantic side, again with some crudity, but again also with a vast advance on his earlier productions. Both were published in the year , from which his real literary career unquestionably starts.

It had exactly twenty-one years to run. The history of these twenty-one years, though in consequence mainly of the diligence and luck as a collector of the above-named M.

Full text of "Latin Quarter = Scènes de la vie de Bohème"

The first has some small resemblance to Scott's similar experiences, though in Balzac's case there was no great crash but a lifelong pressure; on the other hand, his debts were brought upon him by a long course not so much of extravagance in actual expenditure though there was something of this as of financial irregularities of almost every description,—anticipations of earnings, costly methods of production he practically wrote his novels on a succession of printed revises , speculations, travel, and lastly the collection of curiosities. As regards the second, although his fashion of life made him by turns a hermit and a vagrant, he was on good terms with most of the famous men of letters of his day from Hugo downwards, and seems never to have quarrelled with any man, except with some of his editors and publishers, by his own fault.

Balzac was indeed, in no belittling sense of the word, one of the most good-natured of men of genius. But his friendships with the other sex are of much more importance, and not in the least matters of mere gossip. His sister Laure, as has been said, and a school-friend of hers, Mme Zulma Carraud, played important and not questionable parts as his correspondents.


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But at least three ladies, all of a rank higher than his own, figure as his "Egerias" to such an extent that it is hardly extravagant to say that Balzac would not have been Balzac without them. Of hers we have practically none and it is exceedingly hard to form any clear idea of her, but his devotion is absolutely beyond question.

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Business, friendship and love, however, much more other things, were in Balzac's case always connected with and on the whole quite secondary to work. He would even sometimes resist the commands by which at long intervals Mme Hanska would summon him to see her, and abstract the greater part of his actual visits to her in order to serve this still more absorbing mistress. Nor did he by any means abandon these by-works after ; indeed, he at one time started and almost entirely wrote, a periodical called the Revue parisienne.

He wrote some dramas and planned many more, though the few which reached the stage left it again promptly. But on the whole he did devote himself to his true vocation, with a furious energy beside which even Scott's, except in his sadder and later days, becomes leisurely. Balzac generally wrote dining early and lightly, and sleeping for some hours immediately after dinner from midnight till any hour in the following day—stretches of sixteen hours being not unknown, and the process being often continued for days and weeks. Much pains have been spent upon this title and Balzac's intentions in selecting it.

But the "Human Comedy," as a description for mere studies of life as his, will explain itself at once or else can never be explained.

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Of its constituents, however, some account must be given, and this can be best done through an exact and complete list of the whole work by years, with such abbreviated notes on the chief constituents as may lead up to a general critical summary. Of the two capital works of , we have spoken. The brightness touches the face of my sister Marta, sitting on her made bed, and it touches the face of my sister Maria, sitting on the floor, on her feet, her knees bent in front of her, leaning against the wall.

Marta has a boyfriend and no one knows, no one can know, only Maria. Sometimes, at mealtimes, Maria and Marta look at each other because something reminds them of their secrets. Maria dreams of the day when she too will have a boyfriend, she dreams about him. For a moment, like a flash she thinks she sees his face: every detail, his eyes, his lips, his lines that seem so real.

Marta and Maria merge their voices with dreams. Marta says what she is feeling and recounts a thousand times every little meeting with her boyfriend, everything she believes, everything she understands. Marta listens to her sister, imagining herself with the same dilemmas as a heroine from a romantic novel.

Their voices are feminine and bright. The evening draws slowly to a close.

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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Balzac, Honoré de

Simao comes home from work, he walks past me and past my mother. Time is calm on the objects and on the movement of the world. My father will come home later. Until then, the evening falls from the sky like a rain of torn paper. NEWS: from onwards I will be working almost exclusively on book projects. Brief bio: I graduated with an Honours degree in Spanish and Portuguese in , having been awarded a prestigious translation prize in my final year.

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Sun Court bibliography

While music criticism in early modern France shared its history with journals such as the Mercure galant , it neither emerged from a journalistic tradition nor depended on journals for its themes. This means that as journalistic criticism grew in importance over the eighteenth century, it drew on topics established elsewhere — often in salons and private publications — that had less to do with particular performances than with defining the proper role of music in society. The composer, work or performer mattered, but usually within some larger social context. If the resulting criticism at times bears little resemblance to modern counterparts, it nevertheless offers something equally valuable: opportunities to observe a nation publicly weighing the roles it wished music to adopt.