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Old 08-16-2007, 07:14 PM   #1
Patricia
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Balzac, Honoré de: Old Goriot, v1, 16 Aug 2007.

Honoré de Balzac, Old Goriot ( Le Père Goriot --also translated as ‘Father Goriot’)
Translated by Ellen Marriage.

I’ve reformatted and checked this against my paper version.
One difficulty is that there are no breaks at all in the original – I checked against the French Pléiade text as well as several English versions. I have created a few links to several parts of the novel. If anyone can think of a more elegant solution then please tell me (and, as ever, I’d be grateful if anyone finds any errors which need correction).

Plot summary
Père Goriot is a bourgeois King Lear. A retired pasta manufacturer, he has divided his wealth between his two grasping daughters, so that they could marry well. Their persistent financial demands reduce him to poverty. The novel opens with a famous description of the widow Vauquer’s lodging house, whose inmates include Goriot; the ambitious young law student Eugène de Rastignac and the mysterious Vautrin. Their stories are interwoven with that of Père Goriot.

The novel is a good introduction to Balzac and many of the characters will reappear in other novels. Balzac's plan was to encapsulate all French society in his Comédie Humaine, which consists of about 90 novels and stories.
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