The Muse of the Department

Cover image for

Download


Language: English
Wordcount: 63,450 / 186 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 43.1
LoC Category: PQ
Downloads: 775
mnybks.net#: 814
Excerpt

m, which cannot indeed take the place of a love of home-- flourishes triumphantly.

Thus the town of Sancerre is exceedingly proud of having given birth to one of the glories of modern medicine, Horace Bianchon, and to an author of secondary rank, Etienne Lousteau, one of our most successful journalists. The district included under the municipality of Sancerre, distressed at finding itself practically ruled by seven or eight large landowners, the wire-pullers of the elections, tried to shake off the electoral yoke of a creed which had reduced it to a rotten borough. This little conspiracy, plotted by a handful of men whose vanity was provoked, failed through the jealousy which the elevation of one of them, as the inevitable result, roused in the breasts of the others. This result showed the radical defect of the scheme, and the remedy then suggested was to rally round a champion at the next election, in the person of one of the two men who so gloriously represented Sancerre in Paris circles.

This idea wa

Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 1 reviews: ****
2011.03.28
Jim Paris
****.

As I am reading all of Balzac's work with the Yahoo! Balzac group, I want to use this review to discuss the dream life of a Frenchman of the 1830s and 1840s. Like many males in whatever time or place, the French author saw himself -- ideally -- as rich, famous, with occult powers (witness The Thirteen and Louis Lambert), and, above all, admired by beautiful young women who flocked around him and surrendered to his every whim. Just as the Marquis de Sade in the 120 Days of Sodom imagined from his solitary cell in the Bastille an infinite number of masturbatory permutations of the sex act ... and just as Henry Miller in The Tropic of Cancer and The Tropic of Capricorn imagined far more bedmates than he ever enjoyed ... so Balzac wanted to use his work to imagine what it would be like to be King of the Mountain in his dreams.

There were times, however, when Balzac realized the tawdriness of some of his boyhood dreams; and The Muse of the Department is a good example. Journalist Etienne Lousteau visits the provincial city of Sancerre and initiates an affair with a young married woman, Dinah de la Baudraye. Lousteau returns to Paris, but Dinah leaves her husband and follows him, quite pregnant. While Lousteau's career (and relationship) loses some of its luster, Dinah helps Lousteau with his writing and tries to make the relationship work -- but to no avail.

Her husband de la Baudraye has been busy in the meantime getting filthy rich and honored with a title of nobility from the July Monarchy of Louis-Philippe. He offers to accept Dinah back, acknowledge her children as his own, and give up some of his miserly ways -- especially since now he can afford it. So Dinah leaves Lousteau who sinks slowly from his dissipated ways. In the end, she lends him 6,000 francs to pay his debts, but we know that Lousteau will continue to incur new debts because he will never change his ways.

Balzac is not always so mature in his discussion of women. Dinah misses the bohemian life with the journalist, but Lousteau's nostalgie de la boue is too strong for her to stomach.


SUBSCRIBE TO MANYBOOKS 

FREE EBOOKS 

Join 120,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy

(Promote your book here)

Featured Books

Cover image for The Muse of the Department by Honoré de Balzac - Free eBook

The Titan Drowns: Time Travel Romance

New Atlantis Time Travel Romance Book 6
Nhys Glover

2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER

"Heroism and... Read more

Cover image for The Muse of the Department by Honoré de Balzac - Free eBook

Valkyrie's Vengeance

Loki's Wolves Book 0
Melissa Snark

Fans of paranormal and urban fantasy will enjoy... Read more

Cover image for The Muse of the Department by Honoré de Balzac - Free eBook

Helga: Out of Hedgelands

Wood Cow Chronicles Book 1
Rick Johnson

VOLUME ONE in the WOOD COW CHRONICLES series. <... Read more

Cover image for The Muse of the Department by Honoré de Balzac - Free eBook

Mademoiselle At Arms

A Georgian Romance
Elizabeth Bailey

Set in the late Georgian era, Elizabeth Bailey’... Read more

Cover image for The Muse of the Department by Honoré de Balzac - Free eBook

Chausiku

Nightmare of the Clans Book One
Pamela E. Cash

There are six secret clans across the world–Afr... Read more

Cover image for The Muse of the Department by Honoré de Balzac - Free eBook

The Tales of Tim Hurtletuta - New Beginnings

Tales of Tim Hurtletuta Series, Book 1
Matthew James Wilkins

"Tim Hurtletuta has forgotten something. He can... Read more

Cover image for The Muse of the Department by Honoré de Balzac - Free eBook

After the Cure

Deirdre Gould

Eight years ago the December Plague swept throu... Read more

Cover image for The Muse of the Department by Honoré de Balzac - Free eBook

The Unveiling

Book One (Age of Faith 1)
Tamara Leigh

12th century England: Two men vie for the thron... Read more

Cover image for The Muse of the Department by Honoré de Balzac - Free eBook

Healing Her Heart

Crystal Lake Series Book 1
Laura Scott

Dr. Gabe Allen has a rule about dating colleagues... Read more

Cover image for The Muse of the Department by Honoré de Balzac - Free eBook

Never A Choice

The Choices Trilogy #1
Dee Palmer

Bethany Thorne has secrets and she’s told a few... Read more

(advanced)
login | register

User ID

Password

reset password

Help ManyBooks by sharing this page!

See it as donating a moment of your social media time, every little thing helps us improve and stay online.

Popular in This Genre

The list of books below is based on the weekly downloads by our users regardless of eReader device or file format.

Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Doyle
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Clarimonde
by Théophile Gautier
War and Peace
by Leo Tolstoy
The ''Genius''
by Theodore Dreiser
Moby Dick
by Herman Melville
The Secret Adversary
by Agatha Christie
Dracula
by Bram Stoker

See more popular titles from this genre.