Peter Brooks is the author of Henry James Goes to Paris, Realist Vision, Troubling Confessions, Reading for the Plot, The Melodramatic Imagination, and a number of other books, including the historical novel World Elsewhere. He taught for many years at Yale, where he was the Sterling Professor of Comparative Literature, and currently is the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholar at Princeton.
These vivid stories—of crime, sexuality, and artistic creation—demolish the idea that Balzac’s best work is to be found in his long, elaborate novels. In these new translations we see Balzac drawing on the tradition of oral storytelling, and the results are fresh, startling and delightful.
“I was desperately in love with the comtesse de —. I was twenty years old and I was naive. She deceived me, I got angry, she left me. I was naive, I missed her. I was twenty years old.” So begins this seductive tale of seduction and the endless ambiguities of desire.