Classics Club Spin Revealed

was the number chosen and for me that means Honoré de Balzac’s Old Goriot or so I thought – because when I got to the book shelf it appeared that the copy I actually had was Eugénie Grandet! But I haven’t read anything by Balzac and know nothing about him so this, written a couple of years before Old Goriot, can easily take its place I think.

And it’s quite exciting, not the title I’ve been looking at for the last four years and a brand new author to explore. As usual a quick look on Wikipedia has made me feel that I’ve been living under a rock all my life and this first glimpse has revealed an abundance of future reading!

Inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, Balzac set out to present a panorama of post-Napoleonic French life and between 1829 and 1848 produced a multi-volumed collection of interlinked novels, stories and essays, la comédie humaine which became his magnum opus.

Monument to Balzac by Auguste Rodin, Paris

Seen as one of the founders of realism in European literature, Balzac gives a detailed and unfiltered representation of society. While love and friendship are held dear, the deep immorality of a social system that favours power and greed and sees the weak crushed gives the series a sociological slant rather than Dante’s theological one.

Eugénie Grandet first published in 1833 is from the section called Scenes from Provincial Life and is the story of a young girl who inherits her father’s miserliness. The back cover blurb says:

‘In a house in provincial Saumer lives the miser Grandet with his wife and his daughter, Eugenie, who both suffer under the stifling shadow of his obsession with gold. But the arrival of her cousin, Charles, causes Eugenie’s own desires to burn. The inevitable collision with her father, and the tragedy which follows, is described by Balzac with irony and characteristic psychological insight.’

21 thoughts on “Classics Club Spin Revealed

  1. Great spin! Eugenie Grandet was a book I studied during my college years and I remember liking it a lot. It’s time for me to revisit it. I read Père Goriot recently and I think you got the better selection on your book shelf. 😊

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  2. I haven’t read Balzac either and have put Père Goriot on my second CC list so I was kinda hoping you’d give it a test drive for me! But they all sound interesting so I hope you enjoy your swap and don’t end up having to add his entire catalogue to your TBR… *chuckles wickedly*

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  3. I hope you will enjoy it! The Classics Spin is a great way of getting through some classics. I’ve often considered joining in, but I just can’t get used to the idea that someone else (even a spin) decides what I read! 😆

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    1. You could plan a list and just see how it goes – you decide on your 50 classics and they can be changed at any time. I realise I’ve been far to strict with myself on this first list and my second list is going to be a much more haphazard affair! It’s been an education and a revelation (have I sold it?!)

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  4. I had a chuckle over this since I too have a habit of mixing up titles. I did enjoy Père Goriot – part of my classics club too – and always meant to read something more by him. But you know what happens to good intentions don’t you!

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