The Last Fay
|Balzac, Honoré de
du Plessis, Eric
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Balzac's 1824 novel The Last Fay marks an important turn in his literary career. For the first time, the features which today distinguish Balzac's genius can be seen taking form in the pages of this adult fairy tale. Distancing himself from the second-rate productions of his earlier years, Balzac crafted this work which, one year before his death, he still acknowledged as his first true novel. Laced with much irony and a precocious social commentary, The Last Fay represents a remarkable example among the author's juvenilia, allowing the reader to peer into the making of Balzac's literary style.
"Du Plessis offers an informative and concise introduction which places the novel in the context of Balzac's literary development and personal affinities. . . . du Plessis has done a favor for French scholars, by casting light on this intermediate novel in the career of Balzac, and for comparatists, by placing at their disposition a fine rendering of Balzac's text. Du Plessis' translation demonstrates a linguistic appreciation of the text that does not usurp its balzacian flavor, for the language suits perfectly the period and style of the author. Yet, the language is not so anachronistic as to be a distraction from the textual substance. Reading it, rather, promotes a total immersion in the world and word of Balzac. For that and for the ramifications of this publication for scholars and readers of the world's great literature, Eric du Plessis deserves a hearty accolade." - Marie A. Wellingon
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