Sunday Morning! Beginning Balzac & Eugénie Grandet

Rufus F.

Rufus is a likeable curmudgeon. He has a PhD in History, sang for a decade in a punk band, and recently moved to NYC after nearly two decades in Canada. He wrote the book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (2021).

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13 Responses

  1. Aaron David says:

    Though I am not much of a TV watcher, we have been viewing the old BBC series of I, Claudius. This is considered one of the greatest bits of TV ever made, and that is clearly the case. A fascinating story kept close enough to Graves writing and well-acted. Highly recommended. On a side note, my wife remembers watching it as a little girl on PBS, and thus she considers it the ur-television program.

    Reading wise, still on Honorable Schoolboy, along with tons of hobby literature; How to Run a Lathe, Steam and Stirling Engines You Can Build, that sort of thing. Also, wooden boat building videos.Report

  2. Strangely enough, or not, Eugenie Grandet is the only ting by Balzac I’ve read. I remember liking it, but I remember almost none of the details, except for the scene where the marries (or agrees to marry….I forget) a very rich person and everyone all round seems to agree that neither of them are really doing it for love. (Forgive me if my memory gets the details wrong….but right or wrong, that’s what I remember.)

    What I’m reading now: Jerome Skolnick’s Justice without Trial: Law Enforcement in Democratic Society. It was originally published in the 1960s, but I’m reading the third edition (1994). Even though it’s the third edition, it doesn’t seem to have been edited all that much. I’m also working my way through Executive Unbound by (Eric, not Richard) Posner and another person. It’s not hard, long, or complicated, but for some reason it’s difficult for me to finish. I’m also reading Paul Tremblay’s Cabin at the End of the World. The prose so far is a bit too purple for me, but I’m only about 30 pages in.Report

    • Yeah, he pretty much writes Eugenie and tells her “I’m marrying Madame so-and-so for wealth and a title. I don’t really love her, but what can ya do?” Then he later finds out how rich the provincial girl actually is and he’s heartbroken!

      Cabin at the End of the World sounds interesting. I’ll see if the library has it in. I can take very purple prose!Report

  3. LeeEsq says:

    Isn’t Balzac a type of vinegar aimed at the educated but not really hipster market?Report

  4. I’ve started Droll Tales few times, but never made it very far. Other than that, I know him fromThe Music Man, where he’s considered a writer of dirty books and pronounced


    • I hate to give this away and ruin the tremendous anticipation that builds each week, so


      I’m reading Old Goriot now and enjoying it a bit more, so I’ll probably write about that one next week.Report

  5. jason says:

    Reading The Changeling by Victor Lavalle–great story, great writer; I’m about three quarters through. I also just started Vasily Grossman’s Stalingrad (a new translation was just released in June, I think. It’s close to a thousand pages, so it will take bit.
    We started the second season of Dark on Netflix. It’s a great series. Like a German Stranger Things that doesn’t rely on nostalgia (and I like Stranger Things).Report

  6. Chris says:

    If you don’t like characters that are types, you’re definitely not gonna want to read any more Balzac.Report