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

Monday, March 30, 2015

"Gambara" by Honore de Balzac (1837, A Short Story, A Component of The Human Comedy)


"Balzac’s most remarkable characteristic is a sort of exultant reveling in every kind of human passion, in every species of desire or greed or ambition or obsession which gives a dignity and a tragic grandeur to otherwise prosaic lives. There is a kind of subterranean torrent of blind primeval energy running through his books which focusses itself in a thick smouldering fuliginous eruption when the moment or the occasion arises. The “will to power,” or whatever else you may call it, has never been more terrifically exposed."  From "Balzac" by John Powys

"Gambara", sometimes published as "Gambar", is, along with "The Unknown Masterpiece", pretty close to Balzac's artistic manifesto.  The story begins, as do other of Balzac's works, with a well dressed man on a nocturnal stroll through a part of Paris known for prostituition.   I guess this probably would attract more readers than a story starting with a stroll the a part of town known for milinary.  From here we end up spending most of the story in the company of an aspiring opera writer.  Balzac clearly feels very strongly about his ideas on creativity, I think a a deep level they are, in his mind, tied in with male sexuality.  

Mel u

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