Pere Goriot

Pere Goriot

3.1 18
by Honore de Balzac
     
 

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About the Series: Each Norton Critical Edition includes an authoritative text, contextual and source materials, and a wide range of interpretations-from contemporary perspectives to the most current critical theory-as well as a bibliography and, in most cases, a chronology of the author's life and work.

Overview

About the Series: Each Norton Critical Edition includes an authoritative text, contextual and source materials, and a wide range of interpretations-from contemporary perspectives to the most current critical theory-as well as a bibliography and, in most cases, a chronology of the author's life and work.

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.
Jack Helbig
Best known for his epic series, La Comedie humaine, Balzac dabbled in the theater. Sadly always debt-ridden, he found playwriting did not pay nearly as much or as quickly as novel writing, so he abandoned the stage. At his death in 1850, the incredibly prolific writer--La Comedie humaine consists of 91 stories and novels--left only five complete plays. Of these, "Mercadet", which wasn't produced in Balzac's lifetime, is the best known, mostly because Samuel Beckett may have based his ever-absent Godot on a minor character in "Mercadet" named Godeau. This obscurity is a shame because "Mercadet" is a charming, likable, if rather light, comedy. True, its plot sounds like a bad sitcom episode: manipulative, money-mad financier Mercadet spins an ever more complicated net of lies to separate investors from their money and gets tangled in the web himself. The play is redeemed, however, by Balzac's gift for creating interesting, original, multilayered characters. In this edition, Robert Cornthwaite's translation is graceful and witty enough to make even the most time-worn plot twists seem fresh.
From the Publisher
“The greatest novelist who ever lived.”—W. Somerset Maugham
 
“A man of genius.”—Victor Hugo

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451512079
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
08/01/1962
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(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)

Meet the Author

Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850) worked for three years in a lawyer’s office, preparing to practice law, but in 1819, he devoted himself to writing. His early stories were hackwork published under various pseudonyms. In 1829, he published La Dernier Chouan, the first story to bear his name and his first success. Over the next twenty years, Balzac’s literary output was prodigious: three or four novels a year, sometimes more. All became part of La Comédie Humaine, a panorama of the whole of French society, some of the most important works of this series being Eugénie Grandet (1833) and Père Goriot (1834). He also wrote plays and the popular Droll Stories (1833).
 
Henry Reed (1914-86) was a noted poet, translator, and writer of radio plays. In addition to Père Goriot, his translations include Eugénie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac. His poems were published in two volumes, A Map of Verona and Lessons of the War.
 
Peter Brooks is the author of a number of books, including Reading for the Plot, The Melodramatic Imagination, and Henry James Goes to Paris. He was a longtime professor of comparative literature and French at Yale University and University Professor at the University of Virginia.

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Pere Goriot (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought a copy of Pere Goirot along with Cousin Bette to feed a new large appetite for books I have developed this year. Over ten years ago, a friend recommended Pere Goriot. I remember thoroughly enjoying the book, along with the basic plot but it being so long ago, my memory was a bit fuzzy. Greatly disappointed with Cousin Bette, with it's copious notes, making it much more of a chore to get through than a pleasurable read, I winced at cracking Pere Goriot.However, I was delighted to find it as charming and entertaining as I did many years ago! Balzac's perception of human nature is truly insightful. Each character's personality and the atmosphere which helps to develop their perspectives make this a timeless human story. One can easily relate to the ambitious Eugene, struggling between the desire for success which require a moral compromise, and being a friend and humanitarian to the self sacrificing character of Goriot. Along with Delphine,desperate to maintain her sanity and luxury, showing only superficial concern for her Father's privation, or the sinister Vautrin, representing a cynical and indifferent approach to hypocritical social and cultural codes. Unlike Cousin Bette, which will be forever confined to the arena of the Franco-phile, literary student, historian, and teacher with it's specified content, Pere Goriot shows Balzac at his best. It offers a realistic, comical,and tragic look into the hearts and minds of the woman and man of every age. Definitely worth reading!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Why is this the 1st review of this wonderful classic? Perhaps it is one of the lesser known classics but please take the time to read this incredibly absorbing read. Goriot is so obssessive in this tale of obssessing over your children and it's consequence still rings true today. Balzac is truly a prose artist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My first experience with Balzac and I'm planning on many more after reading this. Very little action but still kept me turning the pages. I thought it was a terrific reflection of the socioeconomic times and people of France at the turn of previous century. Very readable for the modern reader.
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Too much talking and not enough action.
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MairL More than 1 year ago
I read this 30 years ago and was reminded by a reference in a current nonfiction so decided to give it a revisit. Poor Eugene, trying to social climb with occasional fits of conscience but the tunnel vision of most young people. I probably identify more with old Goriot than I did before. Still a clear rep of society in early 19 century France.
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