Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book. The main story is powerful enough to stand on its own, but it's just a shame that I finished it wishing that Balzac had had the time - or courage - to explore slightly more of the psychology that might accompany Sarrasine's realisation about the lovely Zambinella. Sarrasine, as a character, is a little flat. It's published with another even shorter story by Balzac, called 'A Passion in the Desert', which I can take or leave, since my head was still spinning with delight at the concept behind the first story.
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Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book. The main story is powerful enough to stand on its own, but it's just a shame that I finished it wishing that Balzac had had the time - or courage - to explore slightly more of the psychology that might accompany Sarrasine's realisation about the lovely Zambinella.
Sarrasine, as a character, is a little flat. It's published with another even shorter story by Balzac, called 'A Passion in the Desert', which I can take or leave, since my head was still spinning with delight at the concept behind the first story. I believe 'Sarrasine' has already been made into an opera. With a bit of narrative padding out, it would make a beautiful period film.
TheIdleWoman Dec 8, Just wonderful, stands the test of time. Urthwild Nov 30, Just wonderful, stands the test of time. Home Groups Talk Zeitgeist. Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all!
Members Reviews Popularity Average rating Mentions 9 , 3. The nameless narrator attends a ball held by a wealthy Parisian family whose fortune comes from a work of art, and there meets an extraordinary old woman who bears a strange resemblance to the statue depicted in the painting.
He returns to his lodgings to tell the tragic, yet ultimately rewarding tale of the creation of the painting's inspiration: a tale of passion, lust, and transexuality, in which music and art, their powers combined, are fatally attracted. Recently added by vernaye , thatguyzero , peterpoe , ruakh , d60c , pollytropic , UllK.
Short Stories, Tales and Novellas No current Talk conversations about this book. The idea behind this short story by Balzac is dazzling, but I felt that the hurried tying-up-of-loose-ends at the conclusion let it down slightly. TheIdleWoman Dec 8, Just wonderful, stands the test of time. Urthwild Nov 30, Urthwild Nov 29, I libri della domenica.
Racconti d'autore You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data. Studies of Manners Scenes from Parisian Life 6. Information from the French Common Knowledge.
Edit to localize it to your language. Information from the Swedish Common Knowledge. Sarrasine I was plunged into one of those profound daydreams that take possession of everyone, even a frivolous man, in the midst of the most tumultous festivities.
A Passion in the Desert 'This show is frightening! Martin's menagerie. Sarrasine And the marchioness remained pensive. A Passion in the Dessert '"Oh, well," he continued, letting slip a gesture of impatience, 'it's God without men"'. Hesperus Classics. References to this work on external resources. Wikipedia in English None. No library descriptions found. He overhears the conversations of passers-by regarding the origins of the wealth of the mansion's owner, Monsieur de Lanty.
There is also the presence of an unknown old man around the house, whom the family was oddly devoted to, and who frightened and intrigued the partygoers. The narrator says he knows who the man is and says he will tell her his story the next evening. The next evening, the narrator tells Mme de Rochefide about Ernest-Jean Sarrasine, a passionate, artistic boy, who after having trouble in school became a prodigy of the sculptor Bouchardon.
Sarrasine becomes a talented young man and, after one of his sculptures wins a competition, he heads to Rome where he sees a theatre performance featuring Zambinella. He falls in love with her, going to all of her performances and creating a clay mold of her. After spending time with her at a party, Sarrasine attempts to seduce Zambinella. She is reticent, suggesting some hidden secret or danger to their alliance. Sarrasine becomes increasingly convinced that Zambinella is the ideal woman.
Sarrasine develops a plan to abduct her from a party at the French embassy. When Sarrasine arrives, Zambinella is dressed as a man. Sarrasine refuses to believe the cardinal and leaves the party, seizing Zambinella. Once they are at his studio, Zambinella confirms that she is a castrato. The story ends with Mme de Rochefide's expressing her distress about the story she has just been told. Haiku summary. Add to Your books. Add to wishlist. Quick Links Amazon. Amazon Kindle 0 editions.
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For more help see the Common Knowledge help page. Original publication date. Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers. A Passion in the Dessert '"Oh, well," he continued, letting slip a gesture of impatience, 'it's God without men"' Click to show. Hesperus Classics I libri della domenica. Add to Your books Add to wishlist Quick Links.
Sarrasine by Honoré de Balzac
Although he had steadily produced work for over a decade without commercial success , Sarrasine was among his earliest publications to appear without a pseudonym. During the period in which the novella was written, Balzac was involved in many salons , including that of Madame Recamier. Around the time in which Sarrasine was published, Balzac experienced great success with another work, La Peau de Chagrin As his career began to take off and his publications began to accumulate, Balzac developed increasingly lavish living habits and frequently made impulsive purchases such as new furniture for his apartment and a hooded white cashmere gown designed to be worn by a monk, which he wore at night while writing , likely to distance himself from his family's prior debt, which had resulted from his business as an editor and printer's liquidation. In the 10 years that elapsed, [ clarification needed ] Balzac had developed a political career, becoming heavily involved in high society , which influenced much of his writing.
I was buried in one of those profound reveries to which everybody, even a frivolous man, is subject in the midst of the most uproarious festivities. The clock on the Elysee-Bourbon had just struck midnight. Seated in a window recess and concealed behind the undulating folds of a curtain of watered silk, I was able to contemplate at my leisure the garden of the mansion at which I was passing the evening. The trees, being partly covered with snow, were outlined indistinctly against the grayish background formed by a cloudy sky, barely whitened by the moon.
Born on May 20, , Honore de Balzac is considered one of the greatest French writers of all time. Balzac studied in Paris and worked as a law clerk while pursuing an unsuccessful career as an author. He soon accumulated enormous debts that haunted him most of his life. A prolific writer, Balzac would often write for 14 to hours at a time. His writing is marked by realistic portrayals of ordinary, but exaggerated characters and intricate detail. In , Balzac began organizing his works into a collection called The Human Comedy, an attempt to group his novels to present a complete social history of France.