|08-23-2007, 04:56 PM||#1|
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Wales, UK
Device: Sony PRS-500, PRS-505, Asus EEEpc 4G
Balzac, Honoré de: Cousin Bette, v1, 23 Aug 2007
Honoré de Balzac: Cousin Bette (‘La Cousine Bette’)
Translated by /James Waring and Others.
A novel of about 153,000 words.
Lisbeth Fischer (Cousin Bette) feels slighted by her rich relations, the Hulots. Then they steal her fiancé/adopted son, so she plans a spectacular vengeance.
Actually, she need not have bothered because Baron Hulot is ruining the family anyway, with constant womanizing: working his way through professional courtesans, middle-class amateurs, working women and some alarmingly young girls.
Just as in life, it is not always clear where the moral compass lies. The family fortunes are restored through a complicated (and improbable) method of assassination.
The novel is written with a verve and gusto that even survive the translation process.
This was the very first Balzac that I read, long ago, in 1976. It took me another 10 years to read all the (approximately) 95 works in the Comédie Humaine (largely because I had trouble finding them in those pre-internet years).
1. The original translation anglicises Bette’s name to ‘Betty’ throughout. I have decided, throughout my Balzac series, to stick to the original names.
2. The original translator uses the ‘N’ word to refer to black people at one point. I have checked with the Pléiade edition (the authoritative French text) and found that Balzac did not use a pejorative term, so have altered the translation accordingly. (Had he actually used a pejorative term, I would have let the translation stand.)
3. The original has no breaks at all. Like most editions, I have added a few spaces and asterisks. I have made a TOC to link to key passages in the text.
The original PG text was in Html but had no accents, so I have restored them.
|Thread Tools||Search this Thread|
|Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|Other Fiction Balzac, Honoré de: Cousin Bette, v1, IMP, 19 Dec 2007||Patricia||IMP Books||0||12-19-2007 06:45 PM|
|Short Fiction Balzac, Honoré de: El Verdugo, v1, 29 Aug 2007.||Patricia||BBeB/LRF Books||1||09-08-2007 09:22 AM|
|Short Fiction Balzac, Honoré de: El Verdugo, v1, 29 Aug 2007.||Patricia||Mobi/PRC Books||0||08-29-2007 04:10 PM|
|Other Fiction Balzac, Honoré de: Cousin Bette, v1, 23 Aug 2007||Patricia||BBeB/LRF Books||0||08-23-2007 04:47 PM|
|Short Fiction Balzac, Honoré de: The Purse, v1, 18 Aug 2007||Patricia||BBeB/LRF Books||0||08-17-2007 10:35 PM|