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Honoré de Balzac
Author:Honoré de Balzac
Born on:1799
Died on:1850
Born in:Tours
Died in:Parigi
Literary movements:Realismo
Biography by:Franca Fontana
Audio biography: Listen to
Posted on:2011-05-06


Honoré de Balzac (20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850 was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multifaceted characters, who are morally ambiguous. His writing influenced many subsequent novelists such as Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gustave Flaubert, Benito Pérez Galdós, Marie Corelli, Henry James, William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, and Italo Calvino, and philosophers such as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Many of Balzac's works have been made into or have inspired films, and they are a continuing source of inspiration for writers, filmmakers and critics.

An enthusiastic reader and independent thinker as a child, Balzac had trouble adapting to the teaching style of his grammar school. His willful nature caused trouble throughout his life and frustrated his ambitions to succeed in the world of business. When he finished school, Balzac was an apprentice in a law office, but he turned his back on the study of law after wearying of its inhumanity and banal routine. Before and during his career as a writer, he attempted to be a publisher, printer, businessman, critic, and politician; he failed in all of these efforts. La Comédie humaine reflects his real-life difficulties, and includes scenes from his own experience.

Balzac suffered from health problems throughout his life, possibly due to his intense writing schedule. His relationship with his family was often strained by financial and personal difficulties, and he ended several friendships over critical reviews. In 1850 he married Ewelina Hańska, his longtime love; he died five months later.

Images gallery

Un busto di Balzac realizzato da Auguste

Monumento funebre di Honoré de Balzac.
Books by Honoré de Balzac:
Addio - Il figlio maledetto - El Verdugo
All'insegna del gatto che gioca alla palla
Eugenia Grandet (Eugénie Grandet) (1833)
Eugénie Grandet
Farragus, capo dei Divoranti
Il ballo di Sceaux
Il colonnello Chabert (Le colonel Chabert) (1832)
Il colonnello Chabert (Le colonel Chabert) (1832)
Il Figlio Maledetto
Il giglio della valle
Il medico di campagna (Le médecin de campagne) (1833)
Il parroco del villaggio
L'ultima incarnazione di Vautrin
L'unica dote
La borsa
La commedia umana
La cugina Betta
La cugina Bette (La cousine Bette) (1846)
La cugina Bette
Quotes by Honoré de Balzac:
(pag. 45-46) Se perseguiva tenac...
(pag. 48) Le sofferenze morali,...
Una notte d’amore è un libro letto in me...
O mia adorata..., sono impaziente come u...
Il male possiede una voce poderosa che d...
È noioso desiderare sempre e non soddisf...
Che cosa c'è di più bello del contemplar...
È proprio nella natura femminile provare...
L'insuccesso ci fa sentire sempre il pot...
(pag. 93) Esistono nella nostra...

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