Book Club on Lost Illusions by Honoré de Balzac
In March 2022, the Albertine Book Club will discuss Lost Illusions by Honoré de Balzac, translated by Raymond N. MacKenzie and published by University Of Minnesota Press .
Written between 1837 and 1843, Lost Illusions reveals, perhaps better than any other of Balzac’s ninety-two novels, the nature and scope of his genius. The story of Lucien Chardon, a young poet from Angoulême who tries desperately to make a name for himself in Paris, is a brilliantly realistic and boldly satirical portrait of provincial manners and aristocratic life. Handsome and ambitious but naïve, Lucien is patronized by the beau monde as represented by Madame de Bargeton and her cousin, the formidable Marquise d’Espard, only to be duped by them. Denied the social rank he thought would be his, Lucien discards his poetic aspirations and turns to hack journalism; his descent into Parisian low life ultimately leads to his own death.
Albertine Members will receive a Zoom invitation to join this book club session via email.
The Albertine Book Club is free and open to Albertine Constellation members. Speakers of French and English are both welcome. For more information on how to become an Albertine member, click here.