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Balzac's Lives
$24.95

Balzac's Lives

By Peter Brooks
Paperback
280 pages
October 2020
Enter the mind of French literary giant Honoré de Balzac through a study of nine of his greatest characters and the novels they inhabit. Balzac's Lives illuminates the writer's life, era, and work in a completely original way.

Balzac, more than anyone, invented the nineteenth-century novel, and Oscar Wilde went so far as to say that Balzac had invented the nineteenth century. But it was above all through the wonderful, unforgettable, extravagant characters that Balzac dreamed up and made flesh—entrepreneurs, bankers, inventors, industrialists, poets, artists, bohemians of both sexes, journalists, aristocrats, politicians, prostitutes—that he brought to life the dynamic forces of an era that ushered in our own. Peter Brooks’s Balzac’s Lives is a vivid and searching portrait of a great novelist as revealed through the fictional lives he imagined.
“As I read the book, I enjoyed Brooks’s sharp insights, which suggest the ways in which Balzac’s proto-modern world is not so different from our own. But I also felt a more basic, visceral pleasure.” —Naomi Fry, The New Yorker
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French
French