Wild Ass's Skin

ISBN-10: 0199579504
ISBN-13: 9780199579501
Edition: 2012
List price: $9.99 Buy it from $3.34
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Description: 'Who possesses me will possess all things,But his life will belong to me...'Raphael de Valentin, a young aristocrat, has lost all his money in the gaming parlours of the Palais Royal in Paris, and contemplates ending his life by throwing himself  More...

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Book details

List price: $9.99
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 6/14/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

'Who possesses me will possess all things,But his life will belong to me...'Raphael de Valentin, a young aristocrat, has lost all his money in the gaming parlours of the Palais Royal in Paris, and contemplates ending his life by throwing himself into the Seine. He is distracted by the bizarre array of objects in a chaotic antique shop, among them a strange animal skin, a piece of shagreen with magical properties. It will grant its possessor his every wish, but each time a wish is bestowed the skin shrinks, hastening its owner's death. Around this fantastic premiseBalzac weaves a compelling psychological portrait of his hero, a prisoner of his own Promethean imagination, and explores profound ideas about the human will, vice and virtue, love and death. Helen Constantine's new translation captures the energy and exuberance of Balzac's novel, one of the most engaging of his 'Études philosophiques' from the Comédie humaine. The accompanying introduction and notes offer fresh insights into this remarkable work.

Born on May 20, 1799, 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-16 hours at a time. His writing is marked by realistic portrayals of ordinary, but exaggerated characters and intricate detail. In 1834, 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. Characters in this project reappeared throughout various volumes, which ultimately consisted of approximately 90 works. Some of his works include Cesar Birotteau, Le Cousin Pons, Seraphita, and Le Cousine Bette. Balzac wed his lifelong love, Eveline Hanska in March 1850 although he was gravely ill at the time. Balzac died in August of that year.

Patrick Coleman is a professor in the Department of French and Francophone Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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