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Many people (among them Henry James) have considered Honoré de Balzac to be the greatest of all novelists. Eugénie Grandet, his spare, classical story of a girl whose life is blighted by her father’s hysterical greed, goes a long way to justifying that opinion. One of the most magnificent of his tales of early nineteenth-century French provincial life, this novel is the work of a writer on whom nothing was lost, and who represents most fully the ability of the human animal to understand and illuminate its own condition.
In a gloomy house in provincial Saumur, the miser Grandet lives with his wife and daughter, Eugénie, whose lives are stifled and overshadowed by his obsession with gold. Guarding his piles of glittering treasures and his only child equally closely, he will let no one near them. But when the arrival of her handsome cousin, Charles, awakens Eugénie’s own desires, her passion brings her into a violent collision with her father that results in tragedy for all.
The Charterhouse of Parma chronicles the exploits of Fabrizio del Dongo, an ardent young aristocrat who joins Napoleon's army just before the Battle of Waterloo. Yet perhaps the novel's most unforgettable characters are the hero's beautiful aunt, the alluring Duchess of Sanseverina, and her lover, Count Mosca, who plot to further Fabrizio's political career at the treacherous court of Parma in a sweeping story that illuminates an entire epoch of European history.
"Stendhal has written The Prince up to date, the novel that Machiavelli would write if he were living banished from Italy in the nineteenth century," noted Balzac in his famous review of The Charterhouse of Parma. "Never before have the hearts of princes, ministers, courtiers, and women been depicted like this. . . . One sees perfection in every detail. . . . [It] has the magnitude of a canvas fifty feet by thirty, and at the same time the manner, the execution, is Dutch in its minuteness. . . . The Charterhouse of Parma often contains a whole book in a single page. . . . It is a masterpiece."
This edition includes original illustrations by Robert Andrew Parker and Notes and a Translator's Afterword by Richard Howard.
Molière himself first played the hapless merchant, and this believable character in an all too believable predicament both startled and delighted his public. This highly successful translation of The School for Wives, directed by Sir Peter Hall, ran in the West End for six months.
This new abridgment is designed to retain the novel’s rich characterizations and relationships, and reproduces individual letters in their entirety whenever possible. This Broadview Edition provides a uniquely accessible entry point for readers, while retaining much of the powerful reading experience of the complete novel.
Rousseau's great epistolary novel, Julie, or the New Heloise, has been virtually unavailable in English since 1810. In it, Rousseau reconceptualized the relationship of the individual to the collective and articulated a new moral paradigm. The story follows the fates and smoldering passions of Julie d'Etange and St. Preux, a one-time lover who re-enters Julie's life at the invitation of her unsuspecting husband, M. de Wolmar.
The complex tones of this work made it a commercial success and a continental sensation when it first appeared in 1761, and its embodiment of Rousseau's system of thought, in which feelings and intellect are intertwined, redefined the function and form of fiction for decades. As the characters negotiate a complex maze of passion and virtue, their purity of soul and honest morality reveal, as Rousseau writes in his preface, "the subtleties of heart of which this work is full."
A comprehensive introduction and careful annotations make this novel accessible to contemporary readers, both as an embodiment of Rousseau's philosophy and as a portrayal of the tension and power inherent in domestic life.
The creative team behind the Donmar’s critically acclaimed production of Life Is A Dream present Von Kleist’s poetic masterpiece, which is considered to be one of the most haunting and beautiful plays of the nineteenth century, exploring honour, courage, ambition and love. Adapted for stage by acclaimed British writer Dennis Kelly, this is an exciting new adaptation of a classic of European literature.
Imposing a rigidly puritanical regimen on the formerly happy household, Tartuffe wreaks havoc among family members. He breaks off the daughter's engagement, attempts to seduce the wife of his host, acquires his patron's property, and eventually resorts to blackmail and extortion. But ultimately, his schemes and malicious deeds lead to his own downfall.
Attacked by the Church and twice suppressed, Tartuffe opened to packed houses in 1669. Teeming with lively humor and satirical plot devices, this timeless comedy by one of France's greatest and most influential playwrights is essential reading for students of theater and literature.
Père Goriot — one of the outstanding novels in The Human Comedy, Balzac's panoramic study of Parisian life — features richly detailed settings, a skillfully related plot, and a vibrant cast of characters. Young Rastignac's acquaintance with the elderly widower Goriot, a formerly wealthy merchant impoverished by the demands of his fashionable daughters, lies at the heart of this story of love and greed. Acclaimed by critic Leslie Stephen as "the modern King Lear," Père Goriot offers a timeless view of the tragedies behind the prosaic details of everyday life.
Nausea is the story of Antoine Roquentin, a French writer who is horrified at his own existence. In impressionistic, diary form he ruthlessly catalogs his every feeling and sensation. His thoughts culminate in a pervasive, overpowering feeling of nausea which “spreads at the bottom of the viscous puddle, at the bottom of our time — the time of purple suspenders and broken chair seats; it is made of wide, soft instants, spreading at the edge, like an oil stain.”
Winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature (though he declined to accept it), Jean-Paul Sartre — philosopher, critic, novelist, and dramatist — holds a position of singular eminence in the world of French letters. La Nausée, his first and best novel, is a landmark in Existential fiction and a key work of the twentieth century.
Rousseau's five-part approach devotes the first three sections to Emile's early education, including the child's interactions with the larger world and the selection of a trade. The fourth part explores the cultivation of sentiment, with particular focus on natural religion. The book concludes with a profile of Emile's prospective bride, Sophie, that emphasizes the role of mothers in educating their children but encourages women to be submissive to their husbands—a view that excited controversy even among Rousseau's contemporaries and helped inspire Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
* why did Aeschylus introduce the second actor?
* why did Sophocles develop character drawing?
* why are some of Euripides' plots so bad and others so good?
Greek Tragedy is neither a history nor a handbook, but a penetrating work of criticism which all students of literature will find suggestive and stimulating.
Early drafts of the play were written by Jarry in his teens to ridicule one of his teachers. The farce was done in the form of stylized burlesque, satirizing the tendency of the successful bourgeois to abuse his authority and become irresponsibly complacent. Ubu — the cruel, gluttonous, and grotesque main character (the author's metaphor for modern man) — anticipated characteristics of the Dada movement. In the 1920s, Dadaists and Surrealists championed the play, recognizing Ubu Roi as the first absurdist drama.
Throughout the work, Aristotle reveals not only a great intellect analyzing the nature of poetry, music, and drama, but also a down-to-earth understanding of the practical problems facing the poet and playwright. Now, in this inexpensive edition of the Poetics, readers can enjoy the seminal insights of one of the greatest minds in human history as he sets about laying the foundations of critical thought about the arts.
In this powerful play, a landmark of modern drama, Chekhov masterfully interweaves character and theme in subtle ways that make the work's climax seem as inevitable as it is deeply moving. It is reprinted here from a standard text with updated transliteration of character names and additional explanatory footnotes.