2010-11-29

Grandet, A Warning To Misers

In Country House, Blur sing:
He's reading Balzac, knocking back Prozac
It's a helping hand that makes you feel wonderfully bland
Oh it's the centuries remedy
For the faint at heart, a new start
Eugenie Grandet is my first Balzac and I very much enjoyed it. He has fairly long descriptions, but they aren't tedious! EG is set in the Loire Valley, where Balzac was born / brought up I believe. I spent a holiday in the Loire Valley last year, and it made a great impression on me. I'd like to go back. It sounds incredible, but it hasn't changed all that much since Balzac described it at the beginning (?) of the 19th century.

EG has a more modern feel to it than the contemporaneous Jane Eyre. Why more modern? I don't know. I don't get paid to write this stuff you know. Apart from the ads, but they're very small beer.

Anyway, the story itself. It's a bit of a cautionary tale in a way. Casaubon in Middlemarch is a warning to me. I try to avoid things becoming a Key To Mythologies. In the same way, the figure of Grandet might help me to curb my miserly tendencies. The thing is, I kind of admire his cunning, and he did create wealth through the diligent management of his land and assets. He put the accumulation of wealth and love of money above everything. Not good.

I'm away to watch the new series of V now. Are you watching it? It's really very good you know.

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