Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Old Goriot is the most accessible , and Balzac favourite , of the vast set of novels that became known as the Human Comedy.A major inspiration for the realism , in location and character development, was Walter Scott.This Book is the entry point to Balzac i would recommend as it contains within a fairly short read all the relevant and notable landmarks and devices one needs to develop an understanding of the vital contribution to the Historical and Individual psychological portrayal Novels we take for granted from the Great Works of Tolstoy to the works involving the Anti-Hero.

Balzac regarded the Novel as an instrument of scientific enquiry into societal relations and Human Nature.

Balzac also characterises Society and its ills , both in structural corrosion and individual petty competitiveness for spurious short lived goals which to little to quell the restless spirit even when achieved , usually at great personal materially and inwardly wellbeing costs to both the individual and those around them.

The review below is a fairly decent one of the Book and its place in the Balzac Canon.