Pere Goriot ( Old Goriot) by Honoré de Balzac
In a grimy boardinghouse in a dismal Parisian neighborhood, Balzac sets the stage for his 1834 study of paternal love, greed, envy, and despair. Pere Goriot tells the story of a nineteenth-century counterpart to King Lear, a father so blindly devoted to his undeserving daughters that his tragic realization-'I loved them too much for them to love me at all'-comes too late. This best-known of Balzac's Comedie Humaine novels has all the stylistic elements one might expect: unnerving psychological analyses; vivid physical descriptions, acute observations of the rules governing Parisian society, disarming wit, and unbridled passion. Burton Raffel's translation is responsive to Balzac's style as well as to his words-nothing is suppressed, nothing obfuscated. The result is a highly readable, idiomatic translation of a master storyteller by a master translator.
From the Publisher Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc