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Balzac
About the book
  • Published: 1 August 2002
  • ISBN: 9780099429579
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

Balzac


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After his brilliant lectures in The Living Novel on the English, Russian and French novelists, and his celebrated portrait of a spendthrift in A Cab at the Door, V.S. Pritchett turns his command of irony and comedy to the most extravagant of all great novelists, Honore de Balzac.

Balzac was one of the founding geniuses among the world's great novelists. V.S. Pritchett presents a life-size portrait of the man inside the artist, the exuberant, uncouth provincial who combined encyclopaedic knowledge with the life of an exhibitionist and a would-be dandy, a gourmet, a disastrous financial speculator, a successful pursuer of aristocratic women, a born salesman and an untiring traveller. Yet, with some truth, Balzac called himself a monk, working his sixteen hours a day and keeping going on an ocean of strong coffee. When he died, he left the huge monument of the Comedie Humaine, an unsurpassed picture of French society from the rise and fall of Napoleon until the revolution of 1848.

  • Pub date: 1 August 2002
  • ISBN: 9780099429579
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

V S Pritchett

Sir Victor Pritchett was born above a toyshop in Ipswich, Suffolk in 1900. His family moved constantly during his childhood and he left school at sixteen to work in the leather trade in London. In the 1920s he became a journalist, first during the Irish Civil War and later in Spain: his first book, Marching Spain, was published in 1928.

From that time on, although he held several academic posts, he was first and foremost a writer, achieving fame for his short stories and wide admiration for his journalism and his criticism, particularly his weekly column "Books in General" for the New Statesman in the 1950s, in which he surveyed the whole range of European literature. He became President of the Society of Authors, was a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Academy of Arts and Sciences, and also President of the International P. E. N. He became C. B. E in 1968, was knighted in 1975, and was made Companion of Honour in 1993. He died in London, in March 1997.

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