Oeuvres complètes de Buffon.Tome 4 PDF

The Comédie humaine was the result of a slow evolution. In this letter, Balzac went on to say that the « Etudes de Moeurs » would study the effects of society and touch on all genders, social classes, ages and professions of people. Oeuvres complètes de Buffon.Tome 4 PDF, the « Etudes philosophiques » would study the causes of these effects. Finally, the third « analytical » section would study the principles behind these phenomena.


Oeuvres complètes de Buffon. Tome 4
Date de l’édition originale : 1884-1886

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In 1839, in a letter to his publisher, Balzac mentioned for the first time the expression Comédie humaine, and this title is in the contract he signed in 1841. For this edition, novels which had appeared in serial form were stricken of their chapter titles. Balzac’s intended collection was never finished. In 1845, Balzac wrote a complete catalogue of the ensemble which includes works he started or envisioned but never finished. Balzac’s works were slow to be translated into English because they were perceived as unsuitable for Victorian readers. Balzac then gives an extensive list of writers and works that influenced him, including Sir Walter Scott, François Rabelais and Miguel de Cervantes.

He also notes his desire to go behind the surface of events, to show the reasons and causes for social phenomena. Because of its volume and complexity, the Comédie humaine touches on the major literary genres in fashion in the first half of the 19th century. Although the bulk of the Comédie humaine takes place during the Restoration and the July Monarchy, there are several novels which take place during the French Revolution and others which take place in the Middle Ages or the Renaissance, including « About Catherine de Medici » and « The Elixir of Long Life ». Many of Balzac’s shorter works have elements taken from the popular « roman noir » or gothic novel, but often the fantastic elements are used for very different purposes in Balzac’s work. His use of the magical ass’ skin in La Peau de chagrin for example becomes a metaphor for diminished male potency and a key symbol of Balzac’s conception of energy and will in the modern world. Balzac frequently bemoans the loss of a pre-Revolutionary society of honor which has now become — especially after the fall of Charles X of France and the arrival of the July Monarchy — a society dominated by money.

The other source of power is rank. People of good blood aspire to a title, while people with titles aspire to the peerage. Two young men dominate the Comédie humaine: Lucien de Rubempré and Eugène de Rastignac. Both are talented but poor youths from the provinces, both attempt to achieve greatness in society through the intercession of women and both come into contact with Vautrin, but only Rastignac succeeds while Lucien de Rubempré ends his life by his own hand in a jail in Paris. Another contrast is between Emile Blondet and Raoul Nathan.

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