Although Balzac was "by turns a hermit and a vagrant",  he managed to stay in tune with the social spheres which nourished his writing. Nevertheless, he did not spend as much time in salons and clubs of Paris like many of his characters. Many of Balzac's tormented characters were conceived in the chateau's small second-floor bedroom.
Today the chateau is a museum dedicated to the author's life. In , as he revealed in a letter to his sister, Balzac entered into an illicit affair  with fellow writer Maria Du Fresnay , who was then aged Her marriage to a considerably older man Charles du Fresnay, Mayor of Sartrouville had been a failure from the outset. His response was to place a classified advertisement in the Gazette de France , hoping that his anonymous critic would see it.
It had been a marriage of convenience to preserve her family 's fortune. In Balzac Countess Ewelina found a kindred spirit for her emotional and social desires, with the added benefit of feeling a connection to the glamorous capital of France. Petersburg in and won her heart.
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His health deteriorated on the way, and Ewelina wrote to her daughter about Balzac being "in a state of extreme weakness" and "sweating profusely". At his memorial service , Victor Hugo pronounced "Today we have people in black because of the death of the man of talent; a nation in mourning for a man of genius". Rodin featured Balzac in several of his smaller sculptures as well. This piecemeal style is reflective of the author's own life, a possible attempt to stabilize it through fiction.
Versailles , Ville d'Avray , Italy, and Vienna can construct a settled dwelling only in his work". Balzac's extensive use of detail, especially the detail of objects, to illustrate the lives of his characters made him an early pioneer of literary realism. Some critics consider Balzac's writing exemplary of naturalism —a more pessimistic and analytical form of realism, which seeks to explain human behavior as intrinsically linked with the environment. Balzac sought to present his characters as real people, neither fully good nor fully evil, but completely human. It haunts me in my moments of pleasure.
I remember it when I laugh". At the same time, the characters depict a particular range of social types: the noble soldier, the scoundrel, the proud workman, the fearless spy, the alluring mistress. One critic explained that "there is a center and a circumference to Balzac's world".
A nearly infinite reserve of energy propels the characters in Balzac's novels. Struggling against the currents of human nature and society, they may lose more often than they win—but only rarely do they give up.
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This universal trait is a reflection of Balzac's own social wrangling, that of his family, and an interest in the Austrian mystic and physician Franz Mesmer , who pioneered the study of animal magnetism. Representations of the city, countryside, and building interiors are essential to Balzac's realism, often serving to paint a naturalistic backdrop before which the characters' lives follow a particular course; this gave him a reputation as an early naturalist.
Intricate details about locations sometimes stretch for fifteen or twenty pages. Balzac's literary mood evolved over time from one of despondency and chagrin to that of solidarity and courage—but not optimism. But the cynicism declined as his oeuvre developed, and the characters of Illusions Perdues reveal sympathy for those who are pushed to one side by society. As part of the 19th-century evolution of the novel as a "democratic literary form", Balzac wrote that "les livres sont faits pour tout le monde" "books are written for everybody".
Balzac concerned himself overwhelmingly with the darker essence of human nature and the corrupting influence of middle and high societies. Balzac was a legitimist ; in many ways, his views are the antithesis of Victor Hugo 's democratic republicanism. Engels declared that Balzac was his favorite writer. Balzac influenced writers of his time and beyond. He has been compared to Charles Dickens and is considered one of Dickens' significant influences.
Literary critic W. Helm calls one "the French Dickens" and the other "the English Balzac",  while another critic, Richard Lehan, states that "Balzac was the bridge between the comic realism of Dickens and the naturalism of Zola ". Gustave Flaubert was also substantially influenced by Balzac. Praising his portrayal of society while attacking his prose style, Flaubert once wrote: "What a man he would have been had he known how to write!
Marcel Proust similarly learned from the Realist example; he adored Balzac and studied his works carefully, although he criticised what he perceived as Balzac's "vulgarity". Perhaps the author most affected by Balzac was American expatriate novelist Henry James. In James wrote with sadness about the lack of contemporary attention paid to Balzac, and lavished praise on him in four essays in , , , and In James wrote: "Large as Balzac is, he is all of one piece and he hangs perfectly together".
Balzac's vision of a society in which class, money and personal ambition are the key players has been endorsed by critics of both left-wing and right-wing political persuasions. Balzac has also influenced popular culture. Truffaut believed Balzac and Proust to be the greatest French writers. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Balzac disambiguation. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
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