Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"The Imaginary Mistress" by Honore de Balzac (1843, a novella component of The Comedie Humanine )

"The Imaginary Mistress" is a comedic work and a satire of high  society in France in the 1830s.  There are three central characters in The Imaginary Mistress.  The estimated reading time is only sixty minutes and I think it is worth the time.  There is really nothing remarkable about it but it is fun to read of the foibles of rich aristocrats, imagine we are watching a beautiful young countess being dressed for a ball, viewing the sumptuous furniture, and watching the money flow.

A rich French woman marries a very rich Polish count.  The count has a very close friend, also a Polish nobleman and a fellow veteran.  He is not as rich as the man that married and he manages the financial affairs of his friend.  As I read this I wondered if the use of Polish noble men was kind of a message to his amorata, a Polish countess.  The plot, involving a woman who rides horses in a circus, among others and a terrible illness,  is pretty melodramatic and predictable.  It was a fun read.

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