Balzac Sighting – Ivan Turgenev

This sighting is in a book by Russian Ivan Turgenev who spent many years in France and was a close friend of Gustave Flaubert. The Varvara mentioned in the quote is a wayward wife.


Varvara Pavlovna proved to be a great philosopher; she had a ready answer for everything; she never hesitated, never doubted about anything; one could see that she had conversed much with clever men of all kinds. All her ideas, all her feelings revolved round Paris. Panshin turned the conversation upon literature; it seemed that, like himself, she read only French books. George Sand drove her to exasperation, Balzac she respected, but he wearied her; in Sue and Scribe she saw great knowledge of human nature, Dumas and Feval she adored. In her heart she preferred Paul de Kock to all of them, but of course she did not even mention his name. To tell the truth, literature had no great interest for her.


The above quote is from the Constance Garnett translation titled A House of Gentlefolk. Project Gutenberg has three English translations available free in numerous formats:
A House of Gentlefolk (translated by Constance Garnett)
Liza, A Nest of Nobles (translated by  W.R.S. Ralston)
A Nobleman’s Nest (translated by Isabel F. Hapgood)


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