The Works of Honoré de Balzac - Vol. 6

The Works of Honoré de Balzac - Vol. 6

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The Works of Honoré de Balzac - Vol. 6

The Works of Honoré de Balzac - Vol. 6

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Opinions of Mémoires de Deux Jeunes Mariées will vary in pretty direct ratio with the general taste of the reader for Balzac in his more sentimental mood, and for his delineations of virtuous or "honest" women. As is the case with the number of the Comédie which immediately succeeds it in Scènes de la Vie Privée, I cannot say of it that it appeals to me personally with any strong attraction. It is, however, much later and much more accomplished work than La Femme de Trente Ans and its companions. It is possible also that opinion may be conditioned by likes or dislikes for novels written in the form of letters, but this cannot count for very much. Some of the best novels in the world, and some of the worst, have taken this form, so that the form itself can have had nothing necessarily to do with their goodness and badness by itself.

Something of the odd perversity which seems to make it so difficult for a French author to imagine a women, not necessarily a model of perfection, who combines love for her husband of the passionate kind with love for her children of the animal sort, common-sense and good housewifery with freedom from the characteristics of the mere ménagère, interest in affairs and books and things in general without, in the French sense, "dissipation" or neglect of home,-- appears in the division of the parts of Louise de Chalieu and Renée de Maucombe. I cannot think that Balzac has improved his book, through he has made it much easier to write, by this separation. We should take more interest in Renée's nursery--it is fair to Balzac to say that he was one of the earliest, despite his lukewarm affection for things English, to introduce this important apartment into a French novel-- if she had married her husband less as a matter of business, and had regarded him with a somewhat more romantic affection; and though it is perhaps not fair to look forward ti the Député d' Arcis (which, after all, is not in this part probably Balzac's work), we should not in that case have . . .

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