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Eve and David

Honoré de Balzac

Book Overview: 

Ève and David is the final book in Balzac’s Lost Illusions trilogy, which is part of his sweeping set of novels collectively titled La Comédie Humaine. The story is set in post-Napoleonic France. In the first volume of the trilogy, we meet Lucien Chardon, an aspiring poet frustrated by the pettiness of provincial life. In the second volume (A Distinguished Provincial at Paris) Lucien, now using the more aristocratic-sounding surname "de Rubempré," leaves his family in order to seek fame and fortune in the literary world of Paris. By the end of that book, he faced imminent emotional and financial collapse.

In this present volume, the reader is returned to the provincial town of Angoulême, where Lucien's sister Ève and her husband, Lucien's friend David, have been desperately struggling against clever competition to keep a their printing shop afloat. Their situation is complicated when Lucien's financial distress spills over into their lives.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ghly-colored account, therefore, is reduced to the one thousand francs, with an additional thirteen francs for expenses of protest, and half per cent for a month's delay, one thousand and eighteen francs it may be in all.

Suppose that in a large banking-house a bill for a thousand francs is daily protested on an average, then the banker receives twenty-eight francs a day by the grace of God and the constitution of the banking system, that all powerful invention due to the Jewish intellect of the Middle Ages, which after six centuries still controls monarchs and peoples. In other words, a thousand francs would bring such a house twenty-eight francs per day, or ten thousand two hundred and twenty francs per annum. Triple the average of protests, and consequently of expenses, and you shall derive an income of thirty thousand francs per annum, interest upon purely fictitious capital. For which reason, nothing is more lovingly cultivated than these little "accounts . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Impressionante como Balzac disseca a sociedade francesa do século XIX e mostra as consequências do espírito da Revolução, que prossegue até nossos dias. O antigo regime foi derrubado pelo povo, mas a nova elite burguesa não parece muito melhor e uma nova aristocracia se consolida, talvez ainda mais

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For the most part , it felt like reading a text book . There is always something to take away from old texts though .The fine detail of the paper and printing press and some French history was worthy of a read . I appreciated the last part on the story about Lucien meeting the Spanish priest while c

Nessa terceira parte (Os Sofrimentos do Inventor) Lucien termina seu aprendizado à força com a ajuda de um padre digno de Maquiavel, veremos os resultados em Esplendores e Misérias das Cortesãs...
Gostei particularmente dessa edição da Abril cheia de notas de rodapé que nos salvam das citações mais o

Parece que Balzac escreveu esta 'segunda parte' uns oito anos depois da primeira - tem já uns truques narrativos e até uma espécie de 'diabolus ex machina', que aparece do nada para salvar o personagem, comprando-lhe a alminha.

O amargor, o cinismo, o sarcasmo são o tom da história que não se chama c

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