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, December 13, 2014

A Woman of Thirty by Honore de Balzac (1832, trans. by Ellen Marriage-A Novel - A Component of The Human Comedy)

In which I offer my thanks to Balzac for helping me to understand something.

My Posts on Balzac

To me just reading these lines from the narrative voice of A Woman of Thirty validated my Humaine Comedie project.  For years now in posting pictures of authors I have often done a small collage linking a young and old image together.  Balzac helped me understand why this fascinates me, when Balzac speaks in his own voice, listen carefully, not as an acolyte before the master but listen well.

Jean Rhys

A Woman of Thirty is a work for those reading  The Human Comedy in full.  Like seemingly even in the worst of Balzac, there are moments of brilliance and our picture of life in France circa 1832 to 1842 gets ever more complete.  

Basically it is a study of a marriage of two quite contrasting persons.  Julia is intelligent, sensitive and of course beutiful.  Her husband, much older, is but an ordinary person whose selling point matrimonially was his wealth and family rank.  Julia falls in love with a dashing young army officer and from this infatuation spring a series of bad decisions that greatly harms her children and turn her into a bitter old woman hating her life.  About 25 years are covered. 

In each chapter Balzac shows us how the mistakes she made in the prior chapter impact her life.


I am now reading  A Muse of the Department

Mel u

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