Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes (French Edition) [Honoré de Balzac, Peter Lely] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Un soir de Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes. by Honoré de Balzac · Download. No Description Available. Fiction Literary · From the same author · Les Marana. A Harlot High and Low, novel in four parts by Honoré de Balzac, published in –47 as Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes. It was also.
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A Harlot High and Low by Honoré de Balzac
Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Fourtisanes Page. Rayner Heppenstall Translator, Introduction. Finance, fashionable society, and the intrigues of the underworld ba,zac the police system form the heart of this powerful novel, which introduces the satanic genius Vautrin, one of the greatest villains in world literature.
Paperbackpages. Published September 26th by Penguin Classics first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign wt. To ask other readers questions about A Harlot High and Lowplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about A Harlot High and Low. Lists with This Book. Jul 16, Henry Martin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Why should anyone care about Esther, a prostitute from a young age, a harlot with powers over men?
Why should anyone care about a spoiled feeble individual such as Lucien, the dt whose ambitions are to secure a noble title and live in luxury for the rest of his life?
The same Lucien who, by the way, in Lost Illusions ruined his sister and her husband, the only man that cared for him. Yes, it is all Balzac’s fault. This unbelievable author has taken over most of my readi Why should anyone care about Esther, a prostitute from a young age, a harlot with powers over men?
Splendeurx unbelievable author has taken over most of my reading time for the past several months, and I do not see the end of this ‘binge’ arriving anytime soon.
Balzac wrote in a style like no other. His descriptions are vivid, his metaphors exquisite, and his understanding of humanity alarming. And this is precisely why I enjoy his writing. It is as if one was reading two works at once: One, a social commentary on the high society of Paris.
The other, a psychological study of the characters. And what characters those are. It’s been said courtisaned throughout his work, about three thousand characters circulate splendsurs his novels.
Some appear more frequently than others do; yet they are never the same. Depending on the narrator, they are all depicted as the narrator sees them, which, is a unique approach. But I had already made this observation in my previous reviews of his other works, so I shall not bore you with the details.
Balzac created faulty characters that often cross social boundaries and norms, while, on the surface, they hold on to strict moral codes of the time. His men are often cold and removed, his women often passionate beyond reason. Yet, they all wear the masks society expects of them, and appear untouched by the events around them.
Deep inside, however, they love and hate, cherish and condemn, and often sell their souls to maintain the facade of perception.
One cannot help but sympathize with them, whether they are likeable or not, because Balzac masterfully shows both sides of their personalities. Even in the case of the original villain, Jacques Collin, Balzac creates a softer side to the man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. After reading this book, I am still amazed at how well it ties together with the books I read earlier, and how everything becomes full circle.
Of course, a new circle begins, spun off the threads of the original circle, but Balzac does not leave the reader hanging with a cheap plot line to spur the reader’s curiosity.
Each novel has its own end, its own closure. Yet, a few books later, a character reappears, enters the scene, and proves the reader wrong all along. And for this, I adore his writing. So what is this book about? Well, it is about Lucien, the poet; Esther the prostitute; and a villain who has a soft spot for the former whom he wants to see rise in society while using the latter to secure it.
Throw in a few counts and countesses, a greedy banker, politicians who care more about their future than justice, spies, the secret police, some forged bills, drugs, poison, murder, kidnapping, mistresses and lovers, gambling, splendeur a love one would die for, splendeufs you have it. Oh yes, don’t forget the powerful social commentary that Balzac did so well. It’s a complicated yet rewarding read. It also brings in characters from other novels that are not directly tied to any of the above mentioned.
Nevertheless, if my previous reads have taught me anything, it is to expect the unexpected, so I’m fairly certain that the tale spun here will continue elsewhere.
View all 4 comments. Oct 12, Cindy Newton rated it really liked it Shelves: I didn’t find out until I was well into this book that it is coourtisanes part of a series, so I feel that I missed out on a deeper level of meaning that exists for people who read the books in order. That being said, it was still an engrossing read. It is the tragic love story of a beautiful prostitute, her adored, socially-ambitious poet, and the cunning escaped convict who controls them like a puppet-master. The novel is chock-full of keen insight into human nature, society, the politics of power I didn’t find out until I was well into this book that it is actually part of a series, so I feel that I missed out on a deeper level of meaning that exists for people who read the books in order.
The novel is chock-full of keen insight into human nature, society, the er of power, greed, and lust, and the venal behavior that often masquerades as justice.
This is complicated by Lucien’s passion for the lovely Esther, the harlot mentioned in the title. Herrera manipulates both of these lovesick young people, guiding their steps precisely to fulfill his ultimate goal–Lucien’s marriage and embrace by the highest of French society. This plot requires Esther’s alliance with a infatuated older nobleman, the Baron Nucingen. She reluctantly allows herself to become the kept woman of this enormously wealthy man, milking him of hundreds of thousands of francs in the process–all in service of her beloved Lucien’s social aspirations.
I’ll leave you to discover msres rest, but the plot careers between the drawing rooms and boudoirs of the cream of French society to the meanest cells of the Conciergerie, the dreaded French prison. During the course of the story, Balzac’s clever pen reveals that there is very little difference to be found between the behavior of the elite of the French aristocracy and the desperate ruffians incarcerated in the prison.
People are people, he seems to say with a cynical smirk. I’m going couurtisanes seek out the other volumes in this multi-novel epic, and try to forget that I already know what happens to Lucien and Esther.
A Harlot High and Low | novel by Balzac |
Mar 10, Jonfaith rated it really liked it. So Balzac’s father added the “de”. It was invented not inherited. Actually it the author himself, not his bourgeois father. The entire novel is serial cons against the Church, society, the bourgeois and finally the Courts. I obviously didn’t swallow this novel wh So Balzac’s father courtisanex the “de”.
I obviously didn’t swallow this novel whole. This approach necessitated ongoing rereading to reorient.
A Harlot High and Low
I’d like to think this enriched the experience. It is a must read and one of the greatest books by the already splendid and prolific Balzac. Inat the last opera ball of the season, several masks were struck by the beauty of a youth who was wandering about the passages and greenroom with the a Description: Inat the last opera ball of the season, several masks were struck by the beauty of a youth who was wandering about the passages and greenroom with the air of a man in search of a woman kept at home by unexpected circumstances.
The secret of this behavior, now dilatory and again hurried, is known only to old women and to certain experienced loungers. In this immense assembly the crowd does not trouble itself much to watch the crowd; each one’s interest is impassioned, and even idlers are preoccupied.
Jun 07, Anachronist rated it really liked it. Balzac explores the artistic life of Paris inand furthermore the nature of the artistic life generally. He does it in a great way. He starts a simple story of a weak young man helped by an older, more experienced and cunning tutor and then it explodes into a multi-novel epic. The deception, corruption, and trickery, at every level of society are brilliantly displayed, often a Balzac explores the artistic life of Paris inand furthermore the nature of the artistic life generally.
The deception, corruption, and trickery, at every level of society are brilliantly displayed, often almost off-hand, in casual conversation because everyone expects nothing different.
There’s a great cast of secondary characters, too, from the maids Herrera uses in his carefully orchestrated plans to various members of high society. I liked this book especially because, although Balzac doesn’t do badly with the romance he builds his novel around, he doesn’t really have much patience for it.
He, like me, is not a romantic person at heart, believing in more primal instincts — survival, cunning, logic. Criminals are perceived similarly — the author even admires them for being true to themselves and their instincts. Small wonder Vautrin steals the show in every part of his series.
Balzac’s writing, even at its messiest, it’s never less than forceful. The best thing about him is that he never offers a didactic or ‘social’ novel mind you we are dealing here with an 19th century writer! A novel meant to be about prostitution, with a courtesan or harlot in the title, manages to dispense with her services for its entire final part: A Harlot High and Low is part of Balzac’s grand ‘Human Comedy’ series, and like many of his novels it’s one that seems to get out of hand.
And speaking of that period…I do wonder how Esther managed such a long seclusion. During that time she led a life of a vampire and should have succumbed to serious depression — think about vitamin D deficiency among other things…also the obsession of the rich old banker with a prostitute was presented a bit over the top.
Well- different times, different criteria. At last, Balzac’s inability to make Esther and Lucien more forceful heroes, do prevent A Harlot High and Low from being a great novel, but it’s nevertheless a very good one.