Chapter 1: Seraphitus

Balzac begins with a travelogue of the fiords of Norway, concentrating ultimately on one isolated valley that is isolated by the roaring waters of the Sieg River which rises in Sweden and by the forbidding mountains of Jarvis.

We begin with two figures cross-country skiing UP a mountain, past unimaginable abysses. One of them is Minna Becker, daughter of the village pastor. The other is apparently (why I say this will itself become apparent soon) a pale young male named Seraphitus, who expertly guides Minna up the slope to an Alpine meadow. Continue reading


Scenes from a Courtesan’s Life by Honoré de Balzac

Splendeurs et Misères des Courtisanes
Scenes from a Courtesan’s Life – Complete
Also translated as Splendors and Miseries of Courtesans and A Harlot High and Low

 Includes four parts:
Esther Happy/How Girls Love
What Love Costs an Old Man
The End of Evil Ways
Vautrin’s Last Avatar/The Last Incarnation of Vautrin

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