Pere Goriot [NOOK Book]

Overview

Pere Goriot is widely considered Balzac's most important novel. This is the story of the relationship between a doting father and his two adult daughters. Blinded by his love for his children, Pere Goriot can not see their flaws and gives them everything they ask for even though the giving destroys him. A cautionary tale about the dangers of placing society and money before all else.

A cynical and panoramic view of 19th century ...

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Pere Goriot

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Overview

Pere Goriot is widely considered Balzac's most important novel. This is the story of the relationship between a doting father and his two adult daughters. Blinded by his love for his children, Pere Goriot can not see their flaws and gives them everything they ask for even though the giving destroys him. A cautionary tale about the dangers of placing society and money before all else.

A cynical and panoramic view of 19th century Paris.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781625584892
  • Publisher: Start Publishing LLC
  • Publication date: 12/17/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 229
  • Sales rank: 573,615
  • File size: 383 KB

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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Table of Contents

1 Private Lodgings 7
2 Afternoon Calls 59
3 Entry into Society 95
4 Trompe-la-Mort 151
5 The Two Daughters 215
6 Death of a Father 251
Afterword 277
Selected Bibliography 285
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2008

    Charming and Poignant

    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!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2007

    no Balzac readers?

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    Boring.

    Too much talking and not enough action.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Keeping up with the Joneses?

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted August 3, 2010

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    Posted October 14, 2011

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    Posted August 4, 2009

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    Posted November 24, 2013

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    Posted December 10, 2010

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    Posted March 14, 2011

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    Posted January 25, 2011

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    Posted February 26, 2009

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    Posted October 17, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

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