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Sarrasine Paperback – October 31, 2012

3.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A prolific writer, Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) is generally regarded, along with Gustave Flaubert, as a founding father of realism in European literature, and as one of France's greatest fiction writers. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480216305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480216303
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,877,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fitzgerald Fan VINE VOICE on June 24, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted to read Sarrasine, strangely enough, because I was interested in reading what Roland Barthes had to say about it in his essay, S/Z.
To make a long story short, Sarrasine is a great little story, almost gothic in its eerie descriptions and rich aristocratic imagery. If you are interested in literary genderbending (Middlesex fans, I am talking to you!), you'll enjoy this without a doubt.
The story is a classic. Once you read it, be sure to pick up Barthes' essay in which he pulls apart and examines the sexual politics at play.
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Format: Paperback
The story is fine, some great Balzac, but this production by Amazon is terrible. It appears that they printed a file from the internet, slapped a cheesy cover on it, and are selling it (since the novella is beyond copyright). The font is around size 16 or more and the formatting of the pages is ridiculous. It looks like the person who produced it (or computer who produced it) did not even review what they were printing.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Balzac's Sarrasine could be considered either a long short story or a short novella. The entire piece can be read in an hour and a half. Nevertheless, as usual Balzac packs his pages with delightful entertainment and provocative insight. An unnamed narrator attends a sumptuous soirée at the salon of the Lanty family. This wealthy family is new to Parisian high society, and much speculation abounds as to the source of their fortune. A mysterious, strikingly ancient figure ambulates his way amongst the partygoers like a walking corpse. Balzac spends about a quarter of the book describing this bizarre creature. To the guests, he is a source of fascination and revulsion. They whisper discreetly to each other, debating the identity of this spectre and his relationship to the family. But only our narrator knows the real story, and as he confides it to his female companion, we are also let in on the secret. A tale is told of the sculptor Sarrasine who, while studying his craft in Italy, becomes obsessed with the beautiful opera singer La Zambinella. . . .

As is true with all of Balzac's works, the less said about the plot the better. He is a writer who thrives on surprise, and the best course of action in reading his work is to wander in with little prior knowledge and no expectations. Balzac's style of writing is like a cross between a naturalist novel and a mythological fable. On the one hand, he is a keen observer of nature and society, brilliantly describing the world of his story and the characters who inhabit it. On the other hand, his characters are largely allegorical, and the events that take place are often larger than life. He's far more concerned with making a philosophical point than he is with creating any semblance of realism.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great read! Of course, this is what I would expect from my favourite author.
The force of ideas and richness of prose shine even through the veil of a translation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The formatting of this edition is awful.
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