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Lost Illusions: Two Poets

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By: (1799-1850)

Lost Illusions: Two Poets by Honoré de Balzac is a captivating novel that explores the harsh realities of the literary world in 19th century Paris. The protagonist, Lucien Chardon, is a talented but naive poet who dreams of achieving fame and fortune through his work. As he navigates the cutthroat world of publishing and literary salons, he becomes entangled in a web of deceit, betrayal, and manipulation.

Balzac expertly portrays the contrast between idealism and corruption, and the devastating consequences of chasing success at any cost. The novel is rich in detail and provides a fascinating glimpse into the cultural and social milieu of the time. The characters are complex and well-developed, and the writing is both lyrical and incisive.

Overall, Lost Illusions: Two Poets is a thought-provoking and meticulously crafted novel that delves deep into the complexities of ambition, morality, and the pursuit of artistic excellence. It is a must-read for anyone interested in literature, history, or human nature.

Book Description:
Two Poets is the first book in Balzac’s Lost Illusions trilogy, which is part of his sweeping set of novels collectively titled La Comédie Humaine. The story is set in post-Napoleonic France, when the new bourgeoisie was jostling for position alongside the old aristocracy. We meet Lucien Chardon, a young provincial who romantically aspires to be a poet, and his friend David Séchard, who struggles to manage his father’s printing shop and falls in love with Lucien’s sister Ève. The picture of provincial life that emerges is laced with greed, ambition, and duplicity. Balzac’s work was hugely influential in the development of realism in fiction, and indeed in creating our sense of 19th-century European culture. Oscar Wilde archly said, “The 19th century, as we know it, is largely an invention of Balzac’s.” The Lost Illusions trilogy is one of his greatest achievements, and is named in the reference work 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. The two other volumes in the trilogy are A Distinguished Provincial at Paris and Ève and David . Other volumes in this series: Lost Illusions: A Distinguished Provincial At ParisLost Illusions: Ève and David

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