Balzac: A Nineteenth-century Novelist with Lessons for America
A Nineteenth-century Novelist with Lessons for America
by Arthur Kahn
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Called the founder of the modern novel, Balzac received encomiums from numerous critics and writers. Henry James called him “the greatest of all novelists.” Ideologically, Balzac championed the return in France of the pre-revolutionary rule of Church and Monarch, and in his novels, he assailed ever more aggressively the bankers who were seizing control of the government, the judiciary and the economy. This aspect of Balzac’s investigations in his Human Comedy of the trends in French customs and manners during the half-century following the 1789 Revolution is illuminating for Americans struggling to survive in the profound depression prrecipitated by the maneuverings and manipulations of multinational banks and investment firms. Providing a clear and monitory lesson to Americans desperately seeking relief in a Depression Balzac demonstrates that profiteering, legal and illegal; and a general atmosphere of greed and materialism are inherent in the free enterprise system and unsusceptible to superficial reforms.
- Xlibris US, August 2010
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