Pere Goriot (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Pere Goriot (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Pere Goriot (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by Honore de Balzac

Pere Goriot, by Honore de Balzac, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

A supreme observer and chronicler of nineteenth-century French society, Honoré de Balzac wrote a vast number of novels and short stories collectively known as The Human Comedy. These books were unsurpassed for their narrative drive and scope, their large casts of vibrant, diverse, and interesting characters, and their obsessive interest in and examination of virtually all spheres of life.

The greatest of these novels is Père Goriot, which opens in a dirty boarding-house where three of the novel’s main characters live. Goriot is a father who sacrifices his wealth and health so that his two daughters can gain access to Parisian high society. He pays off their debts, succumbs to their lavish demands, and receives nothing but scorn in return. His fellow boarder is the mysterious Vautrin, one of Balzac’s most remarkable creations. A criminal mastermind, Vautrin recognizes that the social contract is nothing but a fraud for those without money and power. Finally, there is Rastignac, who represents one of Balzac’s favorite themes—the ambitious young provincial fighting for advancement in the competitive world of Paris. With Goriot and Vautrin acting as surrogate fathers, Rastignac begins his climb up the social ladder—only to discover that there is a spiritual cost to be paid for life’s apparent prizes.

Peter Connor is Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Barnard College, Columbia University. He is the author of Georges Bataille and the Mysticism of Sin (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000). He has translated Bataille’s The Tears of Eros (City Lights Press, 1989), as well as many works in the area of contemporary French philosophy, including The Inoperative Community, by Jean-Luc Nancy (University of Minnesota Press, 1991).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593082857
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 07/01/2005
Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 68,474
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.12(d)

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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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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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