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Eugénie Grandet by Honorat de Balzac
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Eugénie Grandet (1833)

by Honorat de Balzac

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2,857403,646 (3.72)1 / 128
'Who is going to marry Eugenie Grandet?'This is the question that fills the minds of the inhabitants of Saumur, the setting for Eugenie Grandet (1833), one of the the earliest and most famous novels in Balzac's Comedie humaine. The Grandet household, oppressed by the exacting miserliness of Grandet himself, is jerked violently out ofroutine by the sudden arrival of Eugenie's cousin Charles, recently orphaned and penniless. Eugenie's emotional awakening, stimulated by her love for her cousin, brings her into direct conflict with her father, whose cunning and financial success are matched against her determination to rebel.Eugenie's moving story is set against the backdrop of provincial oppression, the vicissitudes of the wine trade, and the workings of the financial system in the aftermath of the French Revolution. It is both a poignant portrayal of private life and a vigorous fictional document of its age.… (more)
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Title:Eugénie Grandet
Authors:Honorat de Balzac
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Eugénie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac (Author) (1833)

  1. 10
    Anna Of The Five Towns by Arnold Bennett (KayCliff)
  2. 00
    Old Goriot by Honoré de Balzac (CarlAnFoto)
    CarlAnFoto: Pai Goriot (em português)
  3. 00
    Washington Square by Henry James (Sakerfalcon)
    Sakerfalcon: Similar stories of daughters oppressed by overbearing fathers, and what happens when a young suitor enters their lives ...
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English (24)  Spanish (6)  Italian (3)  French (3)  Portuguese (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Finished this one today, which is the authors first book. His style is considered to be realism. Eugenia is the only child of a miserly wine grower and her mother. She is raised in a very miserly manner, counting out sugar cubes, cups of milk, etc. Everything is rationed but she is a prize catch to any lucky mail as she will be wealthy. A cousin arrives and Eugenia falls in love but his arrival is not a good omen, he has arrived because of his father's debts and suicide. His uncle arranges to send him away to the indies where he works in the slave trade and other things like usery etc. Eugenia waits for his return, and while she waits she becomes more like her father. The novel explores material desires and one line in the book states that Christianity is a misers religion.

"Principal issues include social ambition, thwarted dreams, disappointed love, greed, and underpinning everything else the accumulation of property and the yearning for social status. Balzac on the other hand is one of literature’s most famously intrusive narrators. He pretends to be offering a neutral and unbiased account of events. This is in keeping with his claim that he is acting like a scientist or a professional sociologist, recording the history of French manners in the post-revolutionary epoch." ( )
  Kristelh | Apr 30, 2021 |
Più che Eugénie Grandet verrebbe da chiamarlo Monsieur Grandet, per il rilievo che Balzac dà al personaggio per i tre quarti del romanzo e per la straordinaria caratterizzazione. La povera Eugénie, come, del resto, la madre e la serva Nanon, resta sullo sfondo sin quasi alla fine del romanzo e si vede relegata al mero ruolo di stereotipo, senza grandi picchi e solo con tardive evoluzioni. Un romanzo che mi ha convinto a metà e mi ha fatto rimpiangere, talora, le straordinarie caratterizzazioni zoliane. ( )
  Carlomascellani73 | Apr 5, 2021 |
Colección: Historia Universal de la Literatura
Nº 1 ( )
  Aido2021 | Apr 4, 2021 |
I read this after a long, unfulfilling, opaque, modernist novel. Suffice to say, my palate is cleansed. As ever, Balzac, despite the fact that he couldn't write a decent sentence if you gave him a copy of Gide's collected works and told him you didn't mind if he plagiarized one, holds your attention by exaggerating everything to absurd dimensions, including his sense of his own importance. You want to know what capitalism looks like? It looks like this. Grandet makes Scrooge look like some soft-hearted dandy's version of greed.

***

"Misers hold no belief in a life beyond the grave, the present is all in all to them. This thought throws a pitilessly clear light upon the irreligious times in which we live, for today more than in any previous era money is the force behind the law, politically and socially. Books and institutions, the actions of men and their doctrines, all combine to undermine the belief in a future life upon which the fabric of society has been built for eighteen hundred years. The grave holds few terrors for us now, is little feared as a transition stage upon man's journey. That future which once awaited us beyond the Requiem has been transported into the present. To reach per fas et nefas an early paradise of luxury and vanity and pleasure, to turn one's heart to stone and mortify the flesh for the sake of fleeting enjoyment of earthly treasure, as saints once suffered martyrdom in the hope of eternal bliss, is now the popular ambition! It is an ambition stamped on our age and seen in everything, even the very laws whose enaction requires the legislator to exercise not his critical faculty, but his power of producing money. Not 'What do you think?' but 'What can you pay?' is the question he is asked now. When the doctrine has been handed down from the bourgeoisie to the people, what will become of our country?" ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
The plot is not exceptional but the main focus is really on examination and development of characters. The authors concept of women seems to inhibit the credible development of their characters compared with the men. (that, or greed is more interesting to depict than cloying virtuousness) This, combined with the transition to focus on women in the latter half could be why it falters toward the end. Still, it has the solid delivery and style of classic French novels. ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (288 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Balzac, Honoré deAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buzzi, GiancarloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Citron, PierreEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Combé-Mazee, J.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crawford, Marion AytonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deledda, GraziaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hofmannsthal, Hugo vonPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunt, Herbert J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laín Martínez, MilagroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marriage, EllenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masterman, DodieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raphael, SylviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reed, HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reim, RiccardoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roldanus jr., W.J.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
A Maria,
Que votre nom, vous dont le portrait est le plus bel ornement de cet ouvrage, soit ici comme une branche de buis bénit, prise on ne sait à quel arbre, mais certainement sanctifiée par la religion et renouvelée, toujours verte, par des mains pieuses, pour protéger la maison.
To Maria
Your portrait is the fairest ornament of this book, and here it is fitting that your name should be set, like the branch of box taken from some unknown garden to lie for a while in the holy water, and afterwards set by pious hands above the threshold, where the green spray, ever renewed, is a sacred talisman to ward off all evil from the house.
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In some country towns there exist houses whose appearance weighs as heavily upon the spirits as the gloomiest cloister,the most dismal ruin, or the dreariest stretch of barren land.
In some country towns there are houses more depressing to the sight than the dimmest cloister, the most melancholy ruins, or the dreariest stretch of sandy waste. [Ellen Marriage Tr.]
Quotations
Charles was a thorough child of Paris, with a Parisian's habit of mind..
He had received the detestable education of a world in which more crimes (in thought and word at least) are committed in one evening than come before a court of justice in the course of a whole session; a world in which great ideas perish, done to death by a witticism, and where it is reckoned a weakness not to see things as they are. To see things as they are – that means, believe in nothing, put faith in nothing and in no man, for there is no such thing as sincerity in opinion or affection; mistrust events, for even events can be manufactured. To see things as they are you must weigh your friend's purse morning by morning; you must know by instinct the right moment to interfere for your own profit in every matter that turns up; you must keep your judgement rigorously suspended, be in no hurry to admire a work of art or a noble deed, and give every one credit for interested motives on every possible occasion.
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'Who is going to marry Eugenie Grandet?'This is the question that fills the minds of the inhabitants of Saumur, the setting for Eugenie Grandet (1833), one of the the earliest and most famous novels in Balzac's Comedie humaine. The Grandet household, oppressed by the exacting miserliness of Grandet himself, is jerked violently out ofroutine by the sudden arrival of Eugenie's cousin Charles, recently orphaned and penniless. Eugenie's emotional awakening, stimulated by her love for her cousin, brings her into direct conflict with her father, whose cunning and financial success are matched against her determination to rebel.Eugenie's moving story is set against the backdrop of provincial oppression, the vicissitudes of the wine trade, and the workings of the financial system in the aftermath of the French Revolution. It is both a poignant portrayal of private life and a vigorous fictional document of its age.

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