Read The Physiology of Marriage by Honoré de Balzac Free Online
Book Title: The Physiology of Marriage|
The author of the book: Honoré de Balzac
ISBN 13: 9780801855504
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 31.53 MB
Edition: Johns Hopkins University Press
Date of issue: May 19th 1997
Read full description of the books The Physiology of Marriage:It is well known that Balzac had two literary careers--the first, under a pseudonym, writing blood-and-thunder romance novels and the second, under his own name, as the creator of La Comedie Humaine, the vast chronicle of "contemporary life in all its complexity." But, in between these outpourings of fiction, he wrote a work of nonfiction--The Physiology of Marriage--that brought him his first fame as a writer and introduced his now familiar worldview in which passion is held in check by social advantage and blind innocence is the greatest danger to well-being.As forgotten today as Stendhal's much more ardent On Love is renown, The Physiology of Marriage coolly examines the economics and power relationships of seduction and love. Balzac proposes that marriage and the selection of a wife be treated as a science, and examines topics ranging from moral education to methods for foiling adulterous relationships. For all of its apparent misogyny, the Physiology is surprisingly evenhanded in its rough treatment of both men and women (and is said to have been written with the collaboration of two women). Though addressed to a male audience, the book's lively attack on the stale institution of marriage made it most popular with women readers of its day.
"'Policy' in marriage consists of taking advantage of all opportunities offered by the laws, by the system of our morals, by force, and by cunning, for preventing your wife from doing the three things that practically constitute the life of love: writing to her lover, seeing him, and speaking to him."--from The Physiology of Marriage
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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