Honoré de Balzac | Critical Essay by Allen Thiher

This literature criticism consists of approximately 60 pages of analysis & critique of Honor de Balzac.
This section contains 17,776 words
(approx. 60 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Allen Thiher

Critical Essay by Allen Thiher

SOURCE: Thiher, Allen. “Balzac and the Unity of Knowledge.” In Fiction Rivals Science: The French Novel from Balzac to Proust, pp. 37-80. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2001.

In the following essay, Thiher claims that Balzac transformed the novel from philosophical allegory to a discussion about the nature of knowledge, and explores the author's attempt to offer a reality in his novel that would compete with the supposed total truths posited by scientific discourse.

Qui ne pardonnerait ce dernier plaisir à un homme de science et de poésie?

[Who would not forgive a man of science and poetry for this last pleasure?]

—Balzac, La Peau de chagrin

Historical Overview

1778: Mesmer arrives in Paris with his medical theory based upon animal magnetism, sometimes viewed as the precursor to psychotherapy.
1785: Coulomb publishes his research...

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This section contains 17,776 words
(approx. 60 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Allen Thiher
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