Read Eugenie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac Free Online
Book Title: Eugenie Grandet|
The author of the book: Honoré de Balzac
Edition: REA Multimedia
Date of issue: April 7th 2011
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 13.82 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.7
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A tragedy in disguise.
This story takes place in the town of Saumur. That is where Eugénie and her normal family live. Her father is a miserly former cooper who hides his fortune from her wife and daughter and forces them to live in an old and frozen house, which he doesn't want to repair because, well, money must be spent and that is exactly what he tries to avoid. Reading this novel made me chuckle several times because let's face it, we have all met a Felix Grandet in real life, at least once. A person who accumulates money simply to see its splendor on the table. He needs to know money is there so he can feel safe. He doesn't have a coat to cope with a freezing afternoon but he sure feels secure while contemplating a pile of money somewhere under his roof. The way those people think it is truly remarkable. They want to make a lot of money, they don't want to spend a dime and before they realize, their lives are over. They merely existed, for they have never lived. Unfortunately, they can't take their wealth to the grave — or wherever we go after we part from this world. If there is such a place. From a practical point of view, only the heirs might be grateful for that kind of life.
Well, I don't know what I was talking about exactly, but it seems like a good time to say that Balzac described places, situations and characters to the last detail, dexterously escaping from tedium, most of the times. His vivid writing allowed me to feel as if I were there, living in an ancient house, sharing moments with poor Eugénie, chatting about how every man who approaches her has an agenda. For that is the other side of this story: people being around other people only to see what profit they might find, since life is a business transaction. Some young men were sent to visit Eugénie as to transmit their marriage proposals, because their families knew about her wealth. Naturally, such thoughtful and hypocrite maneuvers are not something that only appear in the upper class, just as real friendship might be found in every social sphere.
In the end, Eugénie's kindness and noble spirit had to coexist with the avarice of her father, with the materialism of her world. Regardless of the selfish atmosphere in which she had to breathe, she learned that another source of happiness lies in the act of helping others.
This wonderful novel discloses many interesting aspects of our nature. The impact of money on people and their relationships. The superficiality it often helps to attain. The constant search for love in a world of possessions.
Prisoner, tell me
'I thought I could outdo everybody in the world in wealth and power, and I amassed in my own treasure-house the money due to my king. When sleep overcame me I lay upon the bed that was for my lord, and on waking up I found I was prisoner in my own treasure-house.'
Gitanjali or Song Offerings: Introduced by W. B. Yeats, Rabindranath Tagore
Aug 18, 2013
* Edited on March 2017
** Also on my blog.
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Read information about the authorHonoré de Balzac was a nineteenth-century French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of almost 100 novels and plays collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1815.
Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multi-faceted characters; even his lesser characters are complex, morally ambiguous and fully human. Inanimate objects are imbued with character as well; the city of Paris, a backdrop for much of his writing, takes on many human qualities. His writing influenced many famous authors, including the novelists Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, Henry James and Jack Kerouac, as well as important philosophers such as Friedrich Engels. Many of Balzac's works have been made into films, and they continue to inspire other writers.
An enthusiastic reader and independent thinker as a child, Balzac had trouble adapting himself to the teaching style of his grammar school. His willful nature caused trouble throughout his life, and frustrated his ambitions to succeed in the world of business. When he finished school, Balzac was apprenticed as a legal clerk, but he turned his back on law after wearying of its inhumanity and banal routine. Before and during his career as a writer, he attempted to be a publisher, printer, businessman, critic, and politician. He failed in all of these efforts. La Comédie Humaine reflects his real-life difficulties, and includes scenes from his own experience.
Balzac suffered from health problems throughout his life, possibly due to his intense writing schedule. His relationship with his family was often strained by financial and personal drama, and he lost more than one friend over critical reviews. In 1850, he married Ewelina Hańska, his longtime paramour; he died five months later.
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