Honoré de Balzac - glory and pride of France - Honore de Balzac

Essays on literary works - 2023

Honoré de Balzac - glory and pride of France
Honore de Balzac

Honore de Balzac is a great French realist writer. His merit in the development of world literature lies primarily in the fact that he raised the genre of the novel to the heights of artistic perfection and social significance. Stendhal was right when he called Balzac "the king of the novelists".

Looking closely at the surrounding reality, relying on the "poetry of fact", Balzac created in the "Human Comedy" a grandiose artistic panorama of the life of France in the first half of the 19th century. Being a realist writer, at the same time, he successfully synthesizes a realistic principle with elements of romantic aesthetics, being unanimous with romantic writers in hatred of everything bourgeois, which established the power of the “almighty five-franc coin”. Balzac emphasized: “I do not consider it possible to paint modern society with the strict methods of the 17th and 18th centuries. The introduction of a dramatic element, an image, a picture, a description, a dialogue seems to me necessary in modern literature. He firmly believed that "in whatever genre a work is written, it remains in people's memory only if it obeys the laws of ideal and form." Under the ideal, Balzac understood, first of all, the aesthetic ideal of the artist. He wrote: "In literature, image and idea correspond to what in painting is called drawing and color."

Although Honore de Balzac was often referred to as "Doctor of Social Sciences", the writer himself considered himself "Secretary of French Society". Not in the sense of a documentary recreation of reality, but in the sense of creating the artistic truth of the otherness of reality according to the laws of realistic art, which have nothing to do with the laws of real life.

The grandiose epic cycle of the Human Comedy, created by a brilliant artist, original thinker and deep philosopher, along with the great Dante's Divine Comedy, rightfully became an artistic encyclopedia of the human spirit. Having created a whole gallery of immortal artistic images, Balzac discovered the artistic laws of cohesion and interdependence of historical events and the fates of heroes, which allowed him to reveal the characteristic features of the Golden Calf era with amazing artistic truth and insight.

The works of the great novelist were highly valued by A. I. Herzen and N. G. Chernyshevsky, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin and F. M. Dostoevsky, Lesya Ukrainka and Ivan Franko. “Balzac’s books,” A. M. Gorky wrote, “are most dear to me for that love for people, that wonderful knowledge of life, which I always felt with great strength and joy in his work.”

On Balzac’s desktop was a bust of Napoleon Bonaparte with the inscription : "What he did not do with the sword, I will do with the pen." The writer succeeded brilliantly.