Balzac - Unknown Masterpiece and Gambara

  • September 25, 2012 · 8:00 PM

After Ulysses, its time for some short stories!

From the NYRB:

One of Honoré de Balzac’s most celebrated tales, “The Unknown Masterpiece” is the story of a painter who, depending on one’s perspective, is either an abject failure or a transcendental genius? or both. The story, which has served as an inspiration to artists as various as Cézanne, Henry James, Picasso, and New Wave director Jacques Rivette, is, in critic Dore Ashton’s words, a “fable of modern art.”

Published here in a new translation by poet Richard Howard, “The Unknown Masterpiece” appears, as Balzac intended, with “Gambara,” a grotesque and tragic novella about a musician undone by his dreams.

Here's the version: http://www.amazon.com/Unknown-Masterpiece-Review-Books-Classics/dp/0940322749/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346000196&sr=8-1&keywords=nyrb+balzac+unknown+masterpiece

You can also find both stories on Project Gutenberg.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    nice choice of 2 parallel stories to incite debate on what may or may not be artistic genius, realism vs. romanticism, characterization, masterpiece vs. nonsense...

    September 25, 2012

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