Balzac by Graham Robb
A Life

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A compelling portrait of the great French novelist whose powers of creation were matched only by his self-destructive tendencies. Skillfully interweaving the life with the novels, Robb presents Balzac as one of the great tragicomic heros of the 19th century. Photos.

About Graham Robb

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Graham Robb's two previous books, "Victor Hugo" & "Balzac," were "New York Times" Notable Books. He lives in Oxford, England.
Published August 1, 1994 by W W Norton & Co Inc. 521 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Illuminating Balzac more successfully through examining his work than his era, Robb attempts to unravel the novelist's prolific, debt-driven career, his disorderly pursuit of fame and love, and his instinct for financial trouble.

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The Independent

According to Robb, at the end of Balzac's life, when he was 'one of the most famous living people in Europe', his works translated everywhere from Bengal to Boston, strangers on buses discussing the state of his private life as a matter of public interest, ships named after him, souvenir busts of...

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London Review of Books

Once he is seen as a whole, and the image of the fearsomely boisterous social climber, lover and businessman is overlaid on the more familiar image of the chastely deskbound author, Balzac appears as a monstre sacré, hypnotic and appalling by turns in his unpuncturable self-regard.

Feb 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Balzac: A Life

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