The Wrong Side of Paris

The Wrong Side of Paris By Honoré de Balzac Jordan Stump Adam Gopnik, The Wrong Side of Paris The Wrong Side of Paris the final novel in Balzac s The Human Comedy is the compelling story of Godefroid an abject failure at thirty who seeks refuge from materialism by moving into a monastery l
  • Title: The Wrong Side of Paris
  • Author: Honoré de Balzac Jordan Stump Adam Gopnik
  • ISBN: 9780812966756
  • Page: 461
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Wrong Side of Paris By Honoré de Balzac Jordan Stump Adam Gopnik, The Wrong Side of Paris, the final novel in Balzac s The Human Comedy, is the compelling story of Godefroid, an abject failure at thirty, who seeks refuge from materialism by moving into a monastery like lodging house in the shadows of Notre Dame Presided over by Madame de La Chanterie, a noblewoman with a tragic past, the house is inhabited by a remarkable band of men alThe Wrong Side of Paris, the final novel in Balzac s The Human Comedy, is the compelling story of Godefroid, an abject failure at thirty, who seeks refuge from materialism by moving into a monastery like lodging house in the shadows of Notre Dame Presided over by Madame de La Chanterie, a noblewoman with a tragic past, the house is inhabited by a remarkable band of men all scarred by the tumultuous aftermath of the French Revolution who have devoted their lives to performing anonymous acts of charity Intrigued by the Order of the Brotherhood of Consolation and their uplifting dedication to virtuous living, Godefroid strives to follow their example He agrees to travel incognito to a Parisian slum to save a noble family from ruin There he meets a beautiful, ailing Polish woman who lives in great luxury, unaware that just outside her bedroom door her own father and son are suffering in dire poverty By proving himself worthy of the Brotherhood, Godefroid finds his own spiritual redemption.This vivid portrait of the underbelly of nineteenth century Paris, exuberantly rendered by Jordan Stump, is the first major translation in than a century of Balzac s forgotten masterpiece L Envers de l histoire contemporaine Featuring an illuminating Introduction by Adam Gopnik, this original Modern Library edition also includes explanatory notes.From the Hardcover edition.
    The Wrong Side of Paris By Honoré de Balzac Jordan Stump Adam Gopnik,
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    About "Honoré de Balzac Jordan Stump Adam Gopnik"

    1. Honoré de Balzac Jordan Stump Adam Gopnik

      Honor 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 Com die humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the fall of Napol on 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, mile 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 Com die 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 than one friend over critical reviews In 1850, he married Ewelina Ha ska, his longtime paramour he died five months later.

    397 thoughts on “The Wrong Side of Paris”

    1. THE WRONG SIDE OF PARIS 1848 Honore de Balzac 1 2.This was apparently the last entry in Balzac s great project in literature called The Human Comedy The series consisted of about 80 novels and short story collections that attempted to describe life in Paris after the Revolution In this novel, the protagonist, Godefroid, stumbles upon a family based group who seemed to be involved in a great scheme to right some of the wrongs done to many families by the affairs of the previous government They at [...]

    2. Balzac is an author whose individual works can run the gamut from ill conceived and hastily constructed to sublimely powerful novels such as Pere Goriot, Lost Illusions, A Harlot High and Low, Cousin Bette, and Cousin Pons And I would also have to add The Wrong Side of Paris, which required a re reading to appreciate its power Yet, even Balzac s inferior works have their place This is because the Com die Humaine is like a vast continuum illuminated by greater lights and lesser lights A vast cast [...]

    3. L envers de l histoire contemporaine The Brotherhood of Consolation, Honor de Balzac 1389 280 9789643510848 19

    4. A bit different from the usual Balzac fare I loved the idea a man joins a secret charitable society and gets caught up in the lives of a family that has fallen on hard times Not a thing wrong with this book, only I wish there had been of it Not just the one family , , Balzac ends it quite abruptly,something he occasionally does, and I only forgive him because his writing is so wonderful, his descriptions of character, interiors, the Parisian city scape all so skillfully done, and transport thi [...]

    5. I really wanted to like this book I have wanted to read Balzac for a while and so jumped on this book when I found it on sale at the book store There were some great descriptions and interesting commentaries, but the story was not that engaging and then truncated once things started to get interesting I am a religious person, but I found the religion a little heavy handed, especially in the first part of the book.

    6. WOW Probably the best book I ve read on the essence of charitable giving and the why and the how and the who that recieves the charity Probably a great model for today for anyone who has the resouirces to execute such a comples and somewhat risky approach to giving It certainly makes you understand the critical nature of what is given and who it is given too Worth all the time it takes to understand.

    7. It would appear that far too many great minds go the way of Rochester and find themselves dominated by thoughts of god at the end of their lives It astonishes me that the man who brought us vibrant characters like Rastignac and the Bridau brothers managed to sink so far into maudlin religious apologism The whinging bleeding heart who wrote this book bears no resemblance to the Balzac of former years It would be at home on the bookshelf of a doddering Catholic granny than on one accompanied by Z [...]

    8. Like in The Wild Ass s Skin, this is Balzac at his most eccentric mysticism, magic, secret societies though that s not a good thing at length and Balzac is always over long anyway For a Balzac novel, there aren t nearly enough trivial furniture descriptions, and in English, this practically reads like an English translation of a French translation of mashed up bits from Chesterton and Wells.

    9. I gather Modern Library has been trying to ride coattails of NYRB by reissuing their own selection of forgotten masterpiece s by famous authors If this selection is any indication of their editorial process, they should fold the tent and slink out if town under cover of darkness I love Balzac Cousin Bette and Pere Goriot are among my all time favorite works but this novel was a real disappointment It starts out with some promise, with a mysterious charitable organization that seems potentially [...]

    10. When I was laid up with back trouble in the late 1970s, I set myself a project to read 19th century French fiction, and my favorite was Balzac I read all of the novels in translation in Penguin, and I read many from the Rutgers library, but I never read this book, the last novel he published, and I m reminded why I liked Balzac so much Adam Gopnik s introduction helped me understand that liking despite B s convictions Catholic and monarchist his form is anything but traditional Gopnik calls it [...]

    11. Make you question your own ideas of materialism charity and who will really be there for you in the end.

    12. This, Balzac s last book before he died, is uncharacteristically merciful Yes, there is a Paris so crowded that one can practically smell it yes, there is the stumbling hero yes, there are powerfully individual rooming houses no novelist ever cared about where people lived yes, there are the plot twists that anticipate the detective novel But it is startling to encounter Balzac describing a small group of selfless philanthropists guided by The Imitation of Christ this from the man who opens Cou [...]

    13. THE SEAMY SIDE OF HISTORY is certainly not Balzac s greatest production, but it still captures the attention and is written with Balzacian charm.Godefroid, a young man who has squandered both his opportunities and his fortune, goes to live in the sparse household of Mme de la Charterie and is charmed by both her and his fellow lodgers Although he does not know it at first, all the members of the household once held positions of power but have come together to live frugally and dedicate themselve [...]

    14. This is the last book in Balzac s Com die Humaine series Although it is not as flashy as some of the other works in the series, it still displays Balzac s incredible ability to describe his characters both physically and emotionally, and the world they inhabit His descriptions are like quick pencil sketches with a few short, well chosen strokes a distinct and indelible image is created.This book centers around a disillusioned young man who has run out of his approved options Though he has some i [...]

    15. This new translation retains Balzac s power to bore Still, an interesting tale of a dissipated Parisian finding redemption through a secret Catholic charity Best is the description of the protagonist as a proto hipster Worth quoting at length His sense of his own impotence told him that he could aspire neither to the most blandly respectable of subordinate posts nor to the most mediocre and untaxing sort of Destiny and he had enough will to be continually aggrieved by this, and enough wit to pou [...]

    16. This is my first intro into the literary talent of Balzac my only exposure prior to now is a reference in the music man musical song pick a little Maud Professor, her kind of woman doesn t belong on any committee Of course, I shouldn t tell you this but she advocates dirty books.Harold Dirty books Alma Chaucer Ethel Rabelais Eulalie Balzac Anyway back to the book I knew I would enjoy this author when I read the lines These words, so simple in themselves, were made great by the speaker s intonati [...]

    17. As a creative individual, one of my favorite quotes come from this book The right to be rude is the salary that artists exact for telling the truth I really enjoyed the book I originally didn t think I would get sucked in but eventually I couldn t put it down I found the book at a used book store for a couple of bucks Its not a perfect book but the writing is great Its mostly a social commentary on the nature of charity Its set in France after the revolution After hitting rock bottom the main ch [...]

    18. My first venture into Honore de Balzac s opus The man wrote 92 books in just 20 years 81 are linked la comedie humaine this is the last in that series As Gopnik writes in the intro to this new translation, Balzac was sort of the French version of Dickens in that he shared the 19th century belief that whole worlds can be held in a single book His novels documented the instability of the time and seek to answer the question How do you live decently in a world that lacks decency This particular boo [...]

    19. Even though it s written in prose, it reads very much like poetry It s truly of the slice of life fiction genre The two episodes Madame de la Chanterie and The Initiate really read as snapshots of Godefroid s life While reading it, it seemed to me that the story being told had no real importance and was just a telling of a regular man s life.I liked the translation of this particular edition, though I wasn t readily able to understand the currency and some of the allusions The notes at the back [...]

    20. Balzac can t help himself, despite a didactic premise about a society of selfless people doing anonymous works of charity he can t help but let his characters, intrigues, and places shine through This is a recent translation of the rarely translated last book in the Human Comedy While it s certainly nowhere near the top of that set of works it is well worth reading and a sad reminder that there must be dozens of other Balzac novels that are just as good that haven t been translated in over a cen [...]

    21. Godefroid jeune dandy parisien d sesp r et ruin d cide de se reprendre en main Il d couvre une soci t secr te les Fr res de Consolation richissime qui a d cid de faire oeuvre de charit dans Paris Apr s avoir compris l histoire de ses membres, il d cide de faire partie de cette soci t et remplit rapidement une premi re mission difiante Ce roman en deux parties pr sente une soci t souterraine de Paris On se retrouve presqu en Province Paris Les histoires des personnages un peu invraissemblable ou [...]

    22. Hmmmmter being enchanted by Balzac s Lost Illusions, I found this one disappointing A young man in early 19th century Paris becomes part of a secret society of wealthy religious people who live modestly and use their great wealth to help the poor Could have been an interesting story, but the detailed portrayals of social, cultural and economic life in Paris that made Balzac s Lost Illusions so fascinating were missing in this one.

    23. Penetrating look into Paris of the early 1800s Balzac proves to be a keen observer of human nature and societal structure and writes in a very entertaining manner I waffled between three and four stars only because of the ending, which appeared a hurried attempt to wrap up the story in a fairy tale finale.Don t think that I ll be reading of Balzac, as I suspect that his novels are all cut from the same cloth.

    24. L Envers de l Histoire Contemporine has been translated variously into English as The Brotherhood of Consolation, The Seamy Side of History and The Wrong Side of Paris It is one of Balzac s secret society stories, but this time it is a benevolent secret society I found it fascinating, intriguing, and full of mystery.

    25. Interesting, but not my favorite Balzac Would agree with Saintsbury on this Balzac s awkward and inveterate habit of parenthetic and episodic narratives and glances backward is not obvious here than in many other pieces but there is not, as in some at least of these other pieces strength enough of main interest to carry it off.

    26. I don t know if it was me or if it was Balzac, but I could not get into this book I thought I would like it because I ve read other books by Balzac that I really enjoyed Unfortunately, that was not the case with this one Maybe I will give it a second chance sometimeybe.

    27. This is the last book he published, right Apparently there are at least 80 novels in this Human Comedy series, and I m guessing that other installments are better than this one, which was still good anyway.

    28. I have a policy of finishing a book that I have started, something a friend taught me I plowed through this one, and liked the images of post Revolutionary France But it was dry and cerebral, kind of like reading the dictionary.

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