The first new English translation for more than 35 years of Balzac's extraordinary The Wild Ass's Skin, it is also the first edition in English to include Balzac's original Preface of 1831. This novel has been freshly translated by Helen Constantine, who captures Balzac's stylistic energy and exuberance. Patrick Coleman's wide-ranging introduction considers the multiple perspectives of the novel, its conceptualization of historical change, and its satirical commentary on contemporary society. His extensive notes clarify Balzac's many allusions to the culture and society of his time. The book also includes an up-to-date bibliography and helpful map of Paris in 1830.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
About the Author
Helen Constantine is an established translator and editor of the international magazine Modern Poetry in Translation. Patrick Coleman is Professor of French at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've only read a few books by Balzac and I found them depressing. This book I liked although it does have it's drawbacks. It's about a poor young man who overnight acquires the power to become rich. Not only rich, but he has the power to do or have anything he wants. There's one catch, as he uses the power he also uses up his life. Do you think he would use that power to do great good in the world? Or at least give himself his heart's desire so that he, at least, could live a happy life? NO. The man is so paralyzed by the fear of losing his life, he never fully lives. The story is good. The setting is excellent, (Paris in the 1600's, I think.) The ending is very passionate. If this book hasn't already been made into a movie, it should be. Oh, the drawbacks- Balzac has his main character go up into the mountains to meditate on the meaning of life for pages and pages and pages. Very tedious reading. Just skip that part and you will find a very enjoyable story.