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Modeste Mignon

Honoré de Balzac

Book Overview: 

Modeste Mignon, a young provincial woman of romantic temperament, imagines herself to be in love with the famous Parisian poet Melchior de Canalis. However, he is not moved by her attentions. He invites his secretary Ernest de la Brière to "deal with the matter". Ernest answers Modeste's letters in his name and acts as her lover, disguised as Canalis. The scene changes dramatically when Ernest discoveres that Modest is, in fact, a rich heiress. Would he be able to win her heart despite his lie?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . her sympathy with this tender and dreamy spirit. Canalis does not possess the gift of life; he cannot breathe existence into his creations; but he knows how to calm vague sufferings like those which assailed Modeste. He speaks to young girls in their own language; he can allay the anguish of a bleeding wound and lull the moans, even the sobs of woe. His gift lies not in stirring words, nor in the remedy of strong emotions, he contents himself with saying in harmonious tones which compel belief, "I suffer with you; I understand you; come with me; let us weep together beside the brook, beneath the willows." And they follow him! They listen to his empty and sonorous poetry like infants to a nurse's lullaby. Canalis, like Nodier, enchants the reader by an artlessness which is genuine in the prose writer and artificial in the poet, by his tact, his smile, the shedding of his rose-leaves, in short by his infantile philosophy. He imitates so well the language of our early youth. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The young Modeste Mignon enjoys the writings of the famous poet Canalis. One day in a bookseller's she sees a lithographed portrait of Canalis and is struck by his head "made sublime by commercial requirements." She determines to find out all she can about him and to write to him. Canalis scoffs at

Pendantismul secolului XIX este bine înfăţisat în această carte, care este la fel de modestă precum numele personajului eponim.
Absolut, nu contest tehnica narativă a lui Balzac, însă o hiperbolizare ca a lui Modeste Mignon, nu este concordantă pentru un astfel de personaj. Se intuieşte desigur că, d

2.5 stars. The least memorable work I’ve read so far from Balzac. The novel is divided into two sections with age-old tropes: the first half is “protect the honor of the virginal daughter,” while the second half is “three suitors vie for the affections of the girl.” Both halves are left with unresol

Balzac damat adayları üzerinden sınıfları inceliyor. Cok keyif almadim.

Livro fantástico, que se desenvolve como uma espiral, começando de um centro tímido e interior até atingir a grande sociedade e envolver mesmo o Rei de França. Ou como uma árvore, que começa em semente.

Se Balzac tivesse escrito apenas este livro, seu nome já mereceria figurar no panteão dos grandes

Another wonderful story from Balzac's La Comedie Humaine, this one deals with money, love and idealised view of artists, which is funny because Balzac is one but in this story poets are put on the spotlight, Lord Byron and others are mentioned but the main of this story is about a girl's fantasy abo

Slow beginning, abrupt ending, and all magic in the middle. Balzac is one of those writers like Hardy or Dickens with whom their whole body of work comes into play - not just the individual novel. I love Balzac's examination of character against the vicissitudes of society. This particular novel add

Honoré de Balzac, Modeste Mignon [1844] 401 pages [in French, on Kindle]

One of the longest, latest, and possibly one of the best of Balzac's novels. Technically it is better than most, in that he begins with the intrigue before portraying the scene and the characters, rather than starting with fifty

Die Schwester der Titelheldin ist schon mal vor Gram dahingestorben, da der Auserwählte wegen des finanziellen Ruins des Vaters das Weite gesucht hat. Vater macht sich auf in Übersee ein neues Vermögen zu finden. MM soll nun schön tugendhaft bleiben. Stattdessen aber wirft sie sich per Post einem ge

Who Shakespeare`s "Much ado about nothing`s" like, will like Balzac`s Modeste Mignon, too!

An economic crisis rips Modeste`s father out of business. He leaves Le Havre to get back to new wealth.
Modeste (after the death of her sister and after the absence of her father) the only child of her parents s

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