HONORE DE BALZAC GOBSECK PDF

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Jean-Esther van Gobseck is an amazing Scrooge-like character who has reduced his entire life to the acquisition of wealth. He is also a miser who lives in a state of extreme frugality. It was given its definitive title of Gobseck when it appeared in the definitive Furne edition of La Comedie Humaine in He was a great novelist, but there was nothing precious or dilettante in his approach to literature He was a professional writer of immense energy and practical application.

He wrote with high literary ideals, but he also wrote to make money. In fact he was usually paying off debts incurred through his extravagant lifestyle and business ventures that had gone wrong. Gobseck is is essentially a a study in extreme avarice. The principal character is a money-lender who charges exorbitant interest rates. He is also a business speculator who who strikes crooked deals with collaborators and even rivals. The foundation of his wealth is in colonial exploitation of the Dutch East Indes.

He is also a collector, and a hoarder of precious objects. Most importantly, he has reduced his personal morality to two principles — the relentless pursuit of self-interest, and the worship of gold. Throughout the story he appears to be consistent in his methods and the successful application of his principles. But the conclusion of the story reveals the ultimate futility of his enterprise. The house he lives in is packed with foodstuffs that have gone rotten whilst he has been haggling over their selling price.

As for his gold and other material assets, he has absolutely no one — no friends, neighbours, or relations — to whom he can bequeath them. He neither uses nor enjoys the artefacts he has collected. His obsession is ultimately reductive. Gobseck is supposed to be an emotionless puritan with no interests except self-interest and the relentless acquisition of money. Yet his descriptions of his creditors and their domestic interiors are those of an aesthete. This observation by implication criticises Balzac of failing to make a distinction between his own interests and those of his fictional character.

It is certainly true that Balzac intrudes his own political and religious beliefs, his opinions and manifestos on taste with prodigious vitality throughout his fictional work. There is also an argument that he puts a lot of himself into his fictional characters — as do many novelists in their work. There is good reason for considering Gobseck as an extended character sketch sandwiched into a short story. The basic structure of the tale is the issue of Camille de Grandlieu and her infatuation with Ernest de Restaud.

Her mother thinks Restaud is not a suitable marriage prospect because he lacks money. This issue is resolved by the family lawyer Derville, whose largely first-person account terminates with the information that Restaud has inherited generously, and will therefore be acceptable.

But his explanation involves the potted life history of Gobseck, plus his complex financial dealings with the Restaud family.

This episode not only has the substance of a literary form longer than the short story, but it also forms part of a larger literary work — Old Goriot. Anastasia is the elder daughter of Father Goriot, a man who has been brought to the point of ruin by his two spendthrift and morally bankrupt daughters. The most convincing reason for considering Gobseck as a novella is that it has as its controlling symbol and metaphor that of avarice. But other characters are also tainted by their relationship to money.

Madame de Grandlieu would not dream of letting her daughter marry a young man unless he was rich. Anastasia de Restaud is up to her ears in debt. Money runs through all aspects of the story like the letters in a stick of rock. It is a theme, a metaphor, and a symbol all in one.

And that is one of the constituents of a novella — that it has unifying elements holding all its parts together. From onward Balzac conceived of his novels as free-standing but interlocking elements in a huge study of French society to which he gave the general title of La Comedie Humaine.

He used the device of recurring characters and overlapping events to produce a sort of three-dimensional literary portrait of post-revolutionary France. Gobseck is a very good example of how this method works. The rapacious and eponymous money-lender is the central figure in this novella, but he crops up in a number of the other works as a minor character — in Old Goriot , Cesar Birotteau , and The Unconscious Comedians Anastasia is the elder daughter of Goriot, who is a doting father.

She and her sister Delphine have brought about his financial ruin by the demands they have made on his good nature. We thus have a more fully-rounded portrait of her selfish and self-indulgent nature than from one novel alone. Gobseck — Paperback — Amazon UK. Gobseck — Paperback — Amazon US. Young Camille de Grandlieu has an enthusiasm for Ernest de Restaud, but her mother thinks he has not enough money to get married. The family lawyer Derville recounts the history of a money-lender Jean-Esther van Gobseck — from his earliest days as a Dutch imperialist adventurer to his later years as a desiccated and miserly usurer.

Gobseck believes that the only worthwhile values are self-interest and the worship of gold. He describes a morning recovering debts from clients. The first is aristocratic Anastasia de Restaud and the second is a poor seamstress Fanny Malvaut. He considers his influence over those who have fallen into debt as a form of power. Derville buys the practice where he works with a loan from Gobseck.

He pays off the debt in five years and marries Fanny Malvaut. Anastasia de Restaud his lover offers her family diamonds as security on a loan. He is forced to enter a legal agreement drawn up by Derville. Restaud visits Derville to arrange papers relating to his will and a false sale of his property. He leaves his younger children out of his will, since he believes they may not be his own offspring.

Restaud then falls ill and dies in conflict with his wife. She burns a secret counter-document to his will. Gobseck arrives and immediately takes possession of the house, which now belongs to him.

He lives in the house and becomes a government liquidator for Haiti and San Domingo. Ernest de Restaud inherits enough money to enable him to marry Camille. Gobseck — critical commentary Gobseck is is essentially a a study in extreme avarice. And yet … Gobseck is supposed to be an emotionless puritan with no interests except self-interest and the relentless acquisition of money.

It is certainly true that Balzac intrudes his own political and religious beliefs, his opinions and manifestos on taste with prodigious vitality throughout his fictional work There is also an argument that he puts a lot of himself into his fictional characters — as do many novelists in their work.

Is it a novella? La Comedie Humaine From onward Balzac conceived of his novels as free-standing but interlocking elements in a huge study of French society to which he gave the general title of La Comedie Humaine. Get in touch info mantex. About Us Advertising Clients Contact.

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Gobseck by Honoré de Balzac

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Jean-Esther van Gobseck is an amazing Scrooge-like character who has reduced his entire life to the acquisition of wealth. He is also a miser who lives in a state of extreme frugality. It was given its definitive title of Gobseck when it appeared in the definitive Furne edition of La Comedie Humaine in He was a great novelist, but there was nothing precious or dilettante in his approach to literature He was a professional writer of immense energy and practical application. He wrote with high literary ideals, but he also wrote to make money. In fact he was usually paying off debts incurred through his extravagant lifestyle and business ventures that had gone wrong. Gobseck is is essentially a a study in extreme avarice.

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The story begins as a flashback, in which the family lawyer Derville explains to the daughter of the Vicomtesse de Grandlieu why she should not disdain the advances of the young Comte de Restaud. This Count is the son of the Comtesse Anastasie de Restaud, whom we have met in Pere Goriot as one of the two spendthrift daughters of old Goriot the other being Delphine de Nucingen. Derville starts his story with a sketch of his former neighbor, the infamous usurer Jean-Esther Van Gobseck. Because Derville, as a young student law clerk had ably assisted him in some legal matters, Gobseck opens his kimono — so to speak — to show him a look into his strange crepuscular world. Gobseck has reduced all of human society to one word: GOLD. The stag is always at bay when I see him, and a pack of creditors are hard upon his track. Gobseck describes one day in which he visited two very different creditors, the first being Anastasie de Restaud, and the other a pretty young shopkeeper named Fanny Malvaut.

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Born on May 20, , Honore de Balzac is considered one of the greatest French writers of all time. Balzac studied in Paris and worked as a law clerk while pursuing an unsuccessful career as an author. He soon accumulated enormous debts that haunted him most of his life. A prolific writer, Balzac would often write for 14 to hours at a time.

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