Facino Cane by Honoré de Balzac

Facino Cane

 

Written in 1836, this is another of Balzac’s very short stories, but it’s one that reveals Balzac’s life as a writer.  By day the narrator studied at the Biblioteque d’Oreans, but by night he watched the manners and customs of the people around him, gathering the stories that he would one day use to create his masterwork, La Comedie Humaine.

He was poor, but not quite as poor as his charwoman, who supplemented the family income by tending to his basic needs.  Despite her poverty she and her husband were honest and hardworking, and he valued the relationship.  When one day they invited him to her sister’s wedding, he decided to honour their friendship by attending, and while he was there, he met a most interesting man… Continue reading

Facino Cane by Honoré de Balzac

Facino Cane

 

The first person narrator of this story, who lives in a garret and studies all the time, has as his only hobby people-watching. He claimed “a faculty of penetrating to the soul without neglecting the body; or rather, a power of grasping external details so thoroughly that they never detained me for a moment, and at once I passed beyond and through them. I could enter into the life of the human creatures whom I watched . . .” Continue reading