Critical study of the works of Honore de Balzac, 1799-1850, with reference to French economics, society, and politics.Critical study of the works of Honore de Balzac, 1799-1850, with reference to French economics, society, and politics.Read Less
New. Balzac remains undisputably one of the greatest novelists produced by mankind. Born on 20 May 1799, he became a self-appointed chronicler of the five decades that followed Napoleon`s ascendancy to power, or better to say, the post-Revolution French society when modern capitalism came into existence. He produced an enormous amount of literature of the first rate. In fact, the historic unity of his Human Comedy was woven around his assessment of the changes in the French society, brought about by the two phases of the Revolution. He demonstrated that no part of the society was static or at rest. The forces unleashed by the Revolution brought in violent movements and changes with great swiftness and all opposition was swept away. These changes were all pervasive affecting the base as well as the superstructure in their entirety. Credit goes to Balzac for depicting them with superb analytical skill. This is why both Marx and Engels advised people to read Balzac`s novels rather than arid treatises of scholars. The present book is a significant contribution to the study of Balzac`s works. It takes the reader with Balzac on a journey through the French society during the first half of the nineteenth century. The reader is enabled to discern the changes in various sectors of the economy, society and politics. It shows how Balzac searched for the material basis of each phenomenon witnessed by him in all its historical connections and movements and made an effort to see whether any pattern could be found. His sweep was so vast that seldom anything of consequence slipped away from his grasp. This book is both relevant and timely for the present-day readers in India where since the turn of the 1990s, almost unbridled growth of capitalism in the context of globalisation has begun and no segment of socio-economic life is untouched. Corruption, criminalisation, the growth of a very powerful underworld, cut-throat competition, and so on have come to be witnessed. It will help them understand what is happening here and why. Contents: -1. Introduction 2. France before the Revolution 3. Ten Years of the French Revolution 4. Peasantry and Modern Capitalism 5. The Emerging World of Capitalism 6. Balzac on the Social Structure 7. Balzac on the Underworld 8. Balzac on Politics Printed Pages: 385..
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