Honoré de Balzac

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Honoré de Balzac Empty Honoré de Balzac

Post by kosovohp on Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:39 pm

By 1832, Honoré de Balzac had begun to make a name for himself as a writer. The second of five children, Balzac was sent to the Oratorian College de Vendôme at the age of eight.[1] He returned from the school six years later, sickly and weak. He was taught by tutors and private schools for two and a half years, then attended the Sorbonne in Paris. After training as a law clerk for three years, he moved into a tiny garret in 1819 and began writing.[2]
His first efforts, published under a variety of pseudonyms, were cheaply printed potboiler novels. In 1829 he finally released a novel under his own name, titled Les Chouans; it was a minor success, though it did not earn the author enough money to relieve his considerable debt.[3] He found fame soon afterwards with a series of novels including La Physiologie du mariage (1829), Sarrasine (1830), and La Peau de chagrin (1831).[4]
In 1831 Balzac published a short story called "Les Proscrits" ("The Exiles"), about two poets named Dante and Godefroid de Gand who attend the Sorbonne at the start of the fourteenth century. It explores questions of metaphysics and mysticism, particularly the spiritual quest for illuminism and enlightenment. Balzac had been influenced greatly as a young man by the Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg, whose theories permeate "Les Proscrits".[5] The story was published – alongside La Peau de chagrin, which also delves into metaphysics – as part of an 1831 collection entitled Romans et contes philosophiques ("Philosophical novels and stories").[6]

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