Table Of Contents
- About the author
- About the book
- Advance Praise for Balzac’s Cane
- This eBook can be cited
- Introduction: The Seen, the Unseen, and the Power of Possession in Girardin’s Balzac’s Cane
- Translator’s Note
- Timeline for Delphine de Girardin (née Gay)
- Balzac’s Cane by Delphine de Girardin
- Chapter 1. A Fatal Gift
- Chapter 2. First Obstacle
- Chapter 3. Second Obstacle
- Chapter 4. Third Obstacle
- Chapter 5. Monsieur de Balzac’s Cane
- Chapter 6. Concerns
- Chapter 7. Subtle Maneuvers
- Chapter 8. Fatality
- Chapter 9. Great Discovery
- Chapter 10. Wonder
- Chapter 11. A Happy Accident
- Chapter 12. The Cane Is in Danger
- Chapter 13. Without Knowing
- Chapter 14. New Perils
- Chapter 15. Seductions
- Chapter 16. Grace! Grace for Yourself! And Grace for Myself!
- Chapter 17. Unknown Joy
- Chapter 18. A Poetic Evening
- Chapter 19. A Muse
- Chapter 20. The Sibyl’s Cave
- Chapter 21. A Ghost
- Chapter 22. A Day of Inspiration
- Chapter 23. An Illusion Shattered
- Chapter 24. A Dream Come True
- Selected Bibliography
- Series Index
Delphine de Girardin
Translated with an Introduction by
Marta L. Wilkinson
New York • Bern • Frankfurt • Berlin
Brussels • Vienna • Oxford • Warsaw
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Girardin, Emile de, Mme, 1804–1855. | Wilkinson, Marta L., translator, writer of introduction.
Title: Balzac’s cane / Delphine de Girardin;
translated with an introduction by Marta L. Wilkinson.
Other titles: Canne de M. de Balzac. English
Description: New York: Peter Lang, 
Series: Currents in comparative Romance languages and literature; Vol. 250 ISSN 0893-5963
Includes bibliographical references.
Identifiers: LCCN 2016057768 (print) | LCCN 2016058176 (ebook)
ISBN 978-1-4331-4068-6 (hardback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4331-4069-3 (epdf)
ISBN 978-1-4331-4070-9 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-4071-6 (mobi) | DOI 10.3726/b10800
Classification: LCC PQ2260.G67 C313 2017 (print) | LCC PQ2260.G67 (ebook) DDC 843/.8—dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016057768
Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.
Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche
Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available
on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de/.
© 2017 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York
29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006
All rights reserved.
Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm,
xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.
About the book
Balzac’s Cane is an English translation of Delphine de Girardin’s 1836 novella, La Canne de M. de Balzac, which centers around a protagonist named Tancred Dorimont, a brilliant young man plagued by his devastating good looks. In a social context in which appearance is everything, it seems for several chapters that beauty will break, rather than make, this young man’s fortune. One evening as Tancred seeks to forget his problems by spending an evening at the opera, he observes M. de Balzac and learns the secret to this famous author’s ability to know the innermost secrets of all walks of life with such detail and intimacy; M. de Balzac’s cane, a famously hideous walking stick, has the power to render the bearer invisible. A deal, which straddles the line between a favor and blackmail, is worked out between these two men and the cane comes into Tancred’s possession. With this tool Tancred is able to overhear state secrets, make his fortune, and then set his sights upon finding a woman truly worthy of his love. Voyeurism, surveillance, courtship, feminism, authorship, and the vanishing distinction between public and private lives are all raised in this novella. This work will be a useful text in either French literature or comparative survey courses due to its examination of contemporary nineteenth-century life, social organization and morals, its parody of bildungsroman and romance novels, and its combination of genres: several lengthy poems are an essential part of the novella’s text.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR Balzac’s Cane
“Since the 1980s Delphine de Girardin (1804–1855) has been receiving renewed critical attention in France and the United States for her prose, theatrical, poetic, and journalistic works. This superb English translation of a thus-far untranslated jewel of humor and narrative genius will further enhance the visibility of an important woman writer. Marta L. Wilkinson’s translation of Girardin’s 1830s French best-seller, La Canne de M. de Balzac, offers for the first time to Anglophone readers the spirited and experimental novella of a woman author lamenting with great humor, and also playing with, the limits set on the literary creation of women writers. Wilkinson beautifully captures Girardin’s ironic take on the gender politics of early nineteenth-century France and the complex, transgressive playfulness of a novella featuring various literary genres and styles. Apparently endowed with authority by the sponsoring of the male literary stars of French Romanticism, including Chateaubriand, Lamartine, and Balzac, Girardin’s Monsieur de Balzac’s Cane also cites and reproduces at length the elegiac Romanticism of women poets whose eclipsing is performed magically by the voyeuristic power of invisibility symbolized by Balzac’s monstrous cane. Wilkinson aptly translates into English Girardin’s original narrative genius that foregrounds the authorial voice and the issues of fiction and authority. She also makes us think of all translations as pastiches, a question that Girardin’s novella also raises in its admirable work of parody of Balzac’s realism. At last La Canne de Monsieur de Balzac, a masterpiece of intertextuality and gender masquerading, has found its English home, thanks to its translator’s witty and faithful interpretation.”
- ISBN (PDF)
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- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Hardcover)
- Publication date
- 2017 (April)
- New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2017. XVIII, 138 pp.