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Droll Stories by Honoré de Balzac

Droll Stories (1961)

by Honoré de Balzac

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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978813,417 (3.81)37



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Showing 4 of 4
A set of light, fun short stories about love. Done in an imitation of Rabelais' style. Intricate wordplay and innuendo about love. A lot is lost in translation, but some of the simple lewd humor shines through. ( )
1 vote HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
Book Description: Pennsylvania: The Franklin Library, 1978. 22x15cms. Limited edition (The Collected Stories of the World's Greatest Writers) hc red leather, gilt-blocked with raised spine bands, mauve watered silk eps & matching satin placemarker. 424pp Translated by J. Lewis May with num. b/w illusts by Elaine Raphael & Don Bolognese & authors port. by Roy Anderson.
  Czrbr | Jun 7, 2010 |
These are some stories translated from Old French to English about life in Tourraine, France, in the 16th century... mostly as it related to scandals involving sex, elopements, drama in royal/noble families, drama @ French & English court, and/or adultery. Pretty shocking what Honoré de Balzac actually comes out and says, cloaking the scandalous parts of stories with amusing metaphors that are only too easy to guess. Here's a passage out of his short story "The Reproach":

"The sweet wench and her well-beloved were busy trying to catch, in a certain lake that you probably know, the little bird that never stays in it, and they were laughing and trying, and still laughing" (183).

The translation sometimes makes it difficult to understand the more subtle references, unfortunately. I'm sure it would be doubly hilarious in its original French. Still, I'm pleased that this text was translated at all. It certainly does give one a good idea of what people were like back then, 5-600 years ago. According to the translator's intro, they all appreciated a good, crude joke. If you can, too, then you'll enjoy Balzac's Droll Stories. ( )
1 vote KendraRenee | Jan 24, 2010 |
The book is French so can't really review the text but the book itself is antique. Very old but still holding together. The picture plates inside are amazing. There are many of them instead of one in a chapter. It is amazing just to watch the pictures alone. ( )
  Zohrab | Mar 18, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (143 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Balzac, Honoré deAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Artzybasheff, BorisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berg, WillIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boyd, ErnestEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doré, GustaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ewald, JesperTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hage, Ted deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kare, KaukoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kivimies, YrjöTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savage, SteeleIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Widmer, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is a book of the highest flavour, full of right hearty merriment, spiced to the palate of the illustrious and very precious tosspots and drinkers, to whom our worthy compatriot, Francois Rabelais, the eternal honour of Touraine, addressed himself.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 141791193X, Paperback)

1932. Balzac was originally trained as a lawyer before deciding his dream was to become a writer. He is now regarded as one of the creators of realism in literature and his huge production of novels and short stories are collected under the name La Comedie Humaine. This volume contains 30 of Balzac's tales split into three sections. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:07 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Set in medieval Europe, these stories were Balzac's attempt to write in the great tradition of Rabelais and Boccaccio, to render the Middle Ages with a touch of raunchy humor, and to provide a delightful portrait of medieval France. Balzac took the old themes that had delighted his ancestors--the tales of faithless wives and confiding husbands, of monks incredibly endowed for amorous athleticism, of lusty wenches and adventurous lads, and of great bouts of eating and drinking.… (more)

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