Balzac's Recurring Characters

By Anthony R. Pugh

© 1974

There has never been an accurate, comprehensive account of the origin, development, and significance of Balzac's use of recurring characters in the many volumes of the Comedie humaine, although the device is well recognized and such a study has long been deemed essential by Balzac scholars.
One cannot read far in the Comedie without encountering characters whom one has met in other novels. Balzac did not introduce recurring characters until after he had written thirty of forty stories, but he kept revising his work from one printing or edition to the next so that earlier stories have as many of the recurring characters as the later ones. Professor Pugh traces the use of the device and unravels its complexities over the whole of Balzac's career by providing a year-by-year account of the author's struggles between 1829 and 1847 to unify his fictional world of some 3,000 characters.
This study illuminates the genesis of several novels and sheds totally new light on the validity of the device, by enabling us for the first time to distinguish between examples which belong to the original creative urge, and those introduced during later revisions.
The book takes into account the most recent studies of individual Balzac novels, and is unique in the range and thoroughness of its investigation. All serious students of Balzac will need to consult this reference work.
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Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 544 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.0in x 9.2in
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SKU# SP005958

  • PUBLISHED DEC 1974

    From: $41.21

    Regular Price: $54.95

    ISBN 9781487580780
  • PUBLISHED DEC 1974

    From: $39.00

    Regular Price: $52.00

Quick Overview

Professor Pugh traces the use of the recurring characters device and unravels its complexities over the whole of Balzac's career by providing a year-by-year account of the author's struggles between 1829 and 1847 to unify his fictional world of some 3,000 characters.

Balzac's Recurring Characters

By Anthony R. Pugh

© 1974

There has never been an accurate, comprehensive account of the origin, development, and significance of Balzac's use of recurring characters in the many volumes of the Comedie humaine, although the device is well recognized and such a study has long been deemed essential by Balzac scholars.
One cannot read far in the Comedie without encountering characters whom one has met in other novels. Balzac did not introduce recurring characters until after he had written thirty of forty stories, but he kept revising his work from one printing or edition to the next so that earlier stories have as many of the recurring characters as the later ones. Professor Pugh traces the use of the device and unravels its complexities over the whole of Balzac's career by providing a year-by-year account of the author's struggles between 1829 and 1847 to unify his fictional world of some 3,000 characters.
This study illuminates the genesis of several novels and sheds totally new light on the validity of the device, by enabling us for the first time to distinguish between examples which belong to the original creative urge, and those introduced during later revisions.
The book takes into account the most recent studies of individual Balzac novels, and is unique in the range and thoroughness of its investigation. All serious students of Balzac will need to consult this reference work.
Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 544 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.0in x 9.2in
  • Author Information

    Anthony R. Pugh is a professor emeritus in the Department of French at the University of New Brunswick.

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