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The Wrong Side of Paris Kindle Edition
"Smartly paced, passionately full of Parisian excitement, this brisk new translation proves that the
French master never lost his powerful, teeming urgency. Balzac's last novel deserves its posthumous place in La Comédie humaine."
"Baudelaire was surprised that Balzac's reputation depended on passing for an "observer"; for me, the poet said of the novelist, his great virtue lies in the fact that he was a visionary, a passionate visionary. Such a judgment brings us, not face to face but as in a glass darkly, to the Master's last, flagrantly figmentary fiction, wonderfully titled in English to form the revelatory equation: Paris = history. Mr. Stump has again triumphed over his material, which means that the material here stands forth in all its messy, enthralling richesse, and with excellent notes into the bargain, as Balzac would say."
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Jordan Stump, winner of the French-American Foundation Translation Prize, is the translator of more than six French novels, including the Modern Library edition of Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island, described as “breezy” and “blissfully readable” by Kirkus Reviews.
Adam Gopnik is the author of the national bestseller Paris to the Moon. He writes often on various subjects for The New Yorker. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B000FC0Z9O
- Publisher : Modern Library; 1st edition (December 30, 2003)
- Publication date : December 30, 2003
- Language : English
- File size : 722 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 272 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0812966759
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,651,421 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The translator's preface is a bit of a laugh, though, with some high-falutin' talk, and some very American opinions.
I must say this: The translator of this book must be a genius and a poet, for the prose is delicious and kinetic.
And now my impression of Balzac--bearing in mind the above-mentioned, (perhaps) regrettable lack of context--is that of a voracious, curious, natural storyteller with great energy and wit to spare. He paints vivid pictures external and internal. Holding it all together with all this weight is quite a feat. Most enjoyable, really!
The Wrong Side of Paris is one of Balzac's weaker works, but with the fact that probably only 10% of his books are in print in English, I'm glad with any translations I can get a hold of. The part of this book that almost sunk it for me is when instead of recounting a past incident midway through the novel in one paragraph, Balzac writes an ENTIRE criminal indictment legal document into the book lasting almost 20 pages which almost made me fall asleep. It totally ruined the flow of an already slow as molasses plot which centered more on religious instruction than character interaction or rising action. The writing itself, except for the legalease, is first rate, it's just that Balzac's topic wasn't enough to fill a book with in my estimation.
Top reviews from other countries
Though it smacks a bit of deathbed confession and has none of the enjoyable wickedness of Balzac's great works, this is an excellent translation, admirably introduced by Adam Gopnik, and is highly entertaining if totally implausible. As ever, it's the details of Parisian life that amuse: the appalling state of Godefroid's rooms when he comes down in the world particularly familiar to this day.