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Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A — Z   By: (1835-1896)

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Anatole Cerfberr's "Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A — Z" offers an extensive and invaluable resource for any reader delving into the works of Honoré de Balzac. As an exhaustive guide to the characters, settings, and themes of Balzac's renowned literary universe, this book provides a comprehensive reference point for better understanding the interconnectedness and depth of Balzac's Comedie Humaine.

The thoroughness of this repertory is immediately evident from its well-organized structure, which covers each novel, story, and tale often found within Balzac's monumental body of work. The entries are arranged alphabetically, making it effortless to navigate and find specific information about any character or place. Moreover, Cerfberr skillfully showcases the nuances of Balzac's writing by briefly summarizing each work and providing insightful analysis along the way.

One of the most commendable aspects of this repertory is the way Cerfberr illustrates the intricate web of relationships among characters. By extensively cross-referencing different entries, he allows readers to comprehend the complex social network Balzac created within his fictional world. This approach enables deeper engagement with each character's arc and makes it easier to appreciate Balzac's celebrated ability to depict the multi-faceted nature of human relationships.

Additionally, Cerfberr's prose is accessible and engaging, making this repertory not only a valuable reference tool but also an enjoyable read in its own right. The author's passion for Balzac's work shines through, creating a contagious enthusiasm that inspires readers to embark on or revisit Balzac's imaginative universe with renewed vigor.

Despite its many merits, the repertory is not without drawbacks. Some readers might find the sheer volume of information overwhelming, as Cerfberr endeavors to include even the most minor characters and locations. This thoroughness, while appreciated by scholars and Balzac enthusiasts, can deter casual readers who seek a lighter introduction to the Comedie Humaine.

Moreover, the repertory's publication date should be taken into consideration. Originally published in 1879, it reflects the knowledge and research available during that era, occasionally lacking the more recent discoveries and interpretations of Balzac's works. Therefore, readers are encouraged to supplement their understanding with additional contemporary analyses to gain a more comprehensive appreciation of Balzac's literary legacy.

In conclusion, Anatole Cerfberr's "Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A — Z" is an indispensable resource for anyone passionate about Honoré de Balzac's Comedie Humaine. Its meticulous organization, informative summaries, and insightful analysis make it an excellent companion to Balzac's literary canon. While it might be more suited to dedicated Balzac enthusiasts and scholars, the repertory's ability to unlock the intricate world of the Comedie Humaine is a testament to its enduring value.

First Page:



"Work crowned by the French Academy" is a significant line borne by the title page of the original edition of Messieurs Cerfberr and Christophe's monumental work. The motto indicates the high esteem in which the French authorities hold this very necessary adjunct to the great Balzacian structure. And even without this word of approval, the intelligent reader needs but a glance within the pages of the Repertory of the Comedie Humaine to convince him at once of its utility.

In brief, the purpose of the Repertory is to give in alphabetical sequence the names of all the characters forming this Balzacian society, together with the salient points in their lives. It is, of course, well known that Balzac made his characters appear again and again, thus creating out of his distinct novels a miniature world. To cite a case in point, Rastignac, who comes as near being the hero of the Comedie as any other single character, makes his first appearance in Father Goriot , as a student of law; then appearing and disappearing fitfully in a score of principal novels, he is finally made a minister and peer of France. Without the aid of the Repertory it would be difficult for any save a reader of the entire Comedie to trace out his career... Continue reading book >>

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