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The Wrong Side of Paris

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The Wrong Side of Paris Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

FIRST EPISODE

Madame de La Chanterie

One fine September evening in the year 1836, a man of about thirty stood hunched over the parapet of a quay by the Seine. Facing upstream, he could survey the riverbanks from the Jardin des Plantes to Notre-Dame; downstream, his gaze followed the water's majestic course all the way to the Louvre. There is not another such prospect in all the Capital of Ideas. Standing here on the Île de la Citéeacute;, one imagines oneself in the stern of some sea vessel grown to colossal proportions. The view summons up dreams of Paris, the Paris of the Romans and the Franks, of the Normans and the Burgundians; the Paris of the Middle Ages, the Valois, Henri IV and Louis XIV, Napoleon and Louis-Philippe. Each of these regimes has left some mark or monument hereabouts, insistently recalling its creators to the observer's mind. Sainte Genevièegrave;ve watches over the Latin Quarter, spread out beneath her dome. Behind you rises the magnificent apse of the cathedral. The Hôocirc;tel de Ville speaks to you of Paris's many upheavals, the Hôtel-Dieu of her many miseries. From here you can glimpse the splendors of the Louvre; now take two steps and you will have before you that wretched huddle of houses between the Quai de la Tournelle and the Hôocirc;tel-Dieu, toward whose disappearance the city fathers are working even now.

Another edifying sight graced that wondrous tableau in those days: between the cathedral and the Parisian at his parapet, the Terrain, for such was the name of that deserted plot of land in times past, was still strewn with the ruins of the archbishop's palace. Standing where the Parisian now stood, contemplating this inspiring prospect, with Paris’s past and present laid out together before your admiring gaze, you might think that Religion had chosen to settle on this island in order to reach out toward the sorrows of both banks of the Seine, from the Faubourg Saint-Antoine to the Faubourg Saint-Marceau. We can only hope that a setting so sublimely harmonious will one day be made complete by the construction of an episcopal palace in pure Gothic style, replacing the drab hovels now enclosed by the Terrain, the Rue d'Arcole, the cathedral, and the Quai de la Citéeacute;.

This, the very heart of old Paris, is the city's loneliest and most melancholy spot. The waters of the Seine clap against the quay, shrouded in the long shadows of the cathedral as the sun sinks in the west. Such a setting gives rise to serious thoughts, particularly for one in the grips of a spiritual affliction. No doubt fascinated by the sympathetic harmony of his private preoccupations and the thoughts awakened by this panorama, the stroller stood with his hands on the parapet, lost in a twofold contemplation: of Paris, and of himself The shadows grew longer, lights flickered to life in the distance, and still he stood motionless, caught up in a meditation pregnant with thoughts of the future, made solemn by the presence of the past.

It was then that he noted two figures approaching, their voices wafting to his ear from the stone bridge that links the Île de la Citéeacute; to the Quai de la Tournelle. No doubt they thought themselves quite alone, for they would never have spoken so loudly in a more frequented spot, nor if they were aware of a stranger standing close by. The voices from the bridge betokened a discussion

Review:

"Smartly paced, passionately full of Parisian excitement, this brisk new translation proves that the French master never lost his powerful, teeming urgency. Balzac's last novel deserves its posthumous place in La Comédie humaine." Burton Raffel

Review:

"What a glorious find! Here is a tale of strange and wonderful passions, mystery, intrigue, and the dark night of the soul. In this fresh and fluent translation, Balzac's masterful depiction of our human comedy proves once again that this giant of the nineteenth-century novel will always remain among the most modern of writers." Linda Coverdale

Synopsis:

The first new translation of Balzac's novel in more than a century follows Godefroid, a thirty-year-old failure, who seeks refuge at the unusual lodging house of a tragic noblewomen, where he encounters an assortment of men, all scarred by the tumult that followed the French Revolution, who have dedicated their lives to anonymous acts of charity. 10,000 first printing.

Synopsis:

FIRST EPISODE

Madame de La Chanterie

One fine September evening in the year 1836, a man of about thirty stood hunched over the parapet of a quay by the Seine. Facing upstream, he could survey the riverbanks from the Jardin des Plantes to Notre-Dame; downstream, his gaze followed the water's majestic course all the way to the Louvre. There is not another such prospect in all the Capital of Ideas. Standing here on the Ile de la Cite, one imagines oneself in the stern of some sea vessel grown to colossal proportions. The view summons up dreams of Paris, the Paris of the Romans and the Franks, of the Normans and the Burgundians; the Paris of the Middle Ages, the Valois, Henri IV and Louis XIV, Napoleon and Louis-Philippe. Each of these regimes has left some mark or monument hereabouts, insistently recalling its creators to the observer's mind. Sainte Genevieve watches over the Latin Quarter, spread out beneath her dome. Behind you rises the

About the Author

Honoré de Balzac (1799?1850), the great French novelist, was the author of The Human Comedy, a vast and delightful series of inter-connected novels that presents a comprehensive portrait of all walks of French society.

Jordan Stump, winner of the French-American Foundation Translation Prize, is the translator of more than six French novels, including the Modern Library edition of Jules Verne?s The Mysterious Island, described as ?breezy? and ?blissfully readable? by Kirkus Reviews.

Adam Gopnik is the author of the national bestseller Paris to the Moon. He writes often on various subjects for The New Yorker.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781588363619
Publisher:
Modern Library
Subject:
General
Translator:
Stump, Jordan
Introduction:
Gopnik, Adam
Author:
Balzac, Honore de
Author:
Madden, James
Author:
de Balzac, Honore
Subject:
Fiction-General
Subject:
Fiction : General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Edition Description:
Modern Library
Publication Date:
2004
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
238

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Wrong Side of Paris
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 238 pages Modern Library - English 9781588363619 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Smartly paced, passionately full of Parisian excitement, this brisk new translation proves that the French master never lost his powerful, teeming urgency. Balzac's last novel deserves its posthumous place in La Comédie humaine."
"Review" by , "What a glorious find! Here is a tale of strange and wonderful passions, mystery, intrigue, and the dark night of the soul. In this fresh and fluent translation, Balzac's masterful depiction of our human comedy proves once again that this giant of the nineteenth-century novel will always remain among the most modern of writers."
"Synopsis" by , The first new translation of Balzac's novel in more than a century follows Godefroid, a thirty-year-old failure, who seeks refuge at the unusual lodging house of a tragic noblewomen, where he encounters an assortment of men, all scarred by the tumult that followed the French Revolution, who have dedicated their lives to anonymous acts of charity. 10,000 first printing.
"Synopsis" by , FIRST EPISODE

Madame de La Chanterie

One fine September evening in the year 1836, a man of about thirty stood hunched over the parapet of a quay by the Seine. Facing upstream, he could survey the riverbanks from the Jardin des Plantes to Notre-Dame; downstream, his gaze followed the water's majestic course all the way to the Louvre. There is not another such prospect in all the Capital of Ideas. Standing here on the Ile de la Cite, one imagines oneself in the stern of some sea vessel grown to colossal proportions. The view summons up dreams of Paris, the Paris of the Romans and the Franks, of the Normans and the Burgundians; the Paris of the Middle Ages, the Valois, Henri IV and Louis XIV, Napoleon and Louis-Philippe. Each of these regimes has left some mark or monument hereabouts, insistently recalling its creators to the observer's mind. Sainte Genevieve watches over the Latin Quarter, spread out beneath her dome. Behind you rises the

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