Pere Goriot

Pere Goriot

3.1 18
by Honore de Balzac
     
 

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In a grimy boardinghouse in a dismal Parisian neighborhood, Balzac sets the stage for his 1834 study of paternal love, greed, envy, and despair. Pere Goriot tells the story of a nineteenth-century counterpart to King Lear, a father so blindly devoted to his undeserving daughters that his tragic realization—'I loved them too much for them to love me at all'See more details below

Overview

In a grimy boardinghouse in a dismal Parisian neighborhood, Balzac sets the stage for his 1834 study of paternal love, greed, envy, and despair. Pere Goriot tells the story of a nineteenth-century counterpart to King Lear, a father so blindly devoted to his undeserving daughters that his tragic realization—'I loved them too much for them to love me at all'—comes too late. This best-known of Balzac's Comedie Humaine novels has all the stylistic elements one might expect: unnerving psychological analyses; vivid physical descriptions, acute observations of the rules governing Parisian society, disarming wit, and unbridled passion. Burton Raffel's translation is responsive to Balzac's style as well as to his words—nothing is suppressed, nothing obfuscated. The result is a highly readable, idiomatic translation of a master storyteller by a master translator.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Balzac's 1834 King Lear-esque novel here gets a little fresh air breathed into it by Burton Raffel, who won the 1991 French-American Translation Prize.
From the Publisher
“The greatest novelist who ever lived.”—W. Somerset Maugham
 
“A man of genius.”—Victor Hugo

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199538751
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
05/05/2009
Series:
Oxford World's Classics Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
919,226
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“The greatest novelist who ever lived.”—W. Somerset Maugham
 
“A man of genius.”—Victor Hugo
John Lyons
This is a terrific rendering of a perennial favorite. Raffel gives us all the lively, dramatic, and colorful Balzac style—I didn't think this could be done in English. It doesn't read at all like a translation—I was caught up completely with the feeling of direct contact with the Parisian life—but Raffel remains faithful to the finest detail.
—(John Lyons, University of Virginia)

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