Le Père Goriot is an 1835 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac. Set in Paris in 1819, it follows the intertwined lives of three characters: the elderly doting Goriot, a mysterious criminal-in-hiding named Vautrin and a naive law student named Eugène de Rastignac. A favorite of Balzac’s, the book quickly won widespread popularity and has often been adapted for film and the stage.
About Père Goriot in brief
Le Père Goriot is an 1835 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac. Set in Paris in 1819, it follows the intertwined lives of three characters: the elderly doting Goriot, a mysterious criminal-in-hiding named Vautrin and a naive law student named Eugène de Rastignac. The novel takes place during the Bourbon Restoration, which brought profound changes to French society. A favorite of Balzac’s, the book quickly won widespread popularity and has often been adapted for film and the stage. It marks the first serious use by the author of characters who had appeared in other books, a technique that distinguishesBalzac’s fiction. It is also noted as an example of his realist style, using minute details to create character and subtext. The book depicted the mounting tension between the aristocracy, which had returned with King Louis XVIII and the bourgeoisie produced by the Industrial Revolution. Individuals willing to adapt to the rules of this new society could sometimes ascend into its upper echelons from modest backgrounds, much to the distaste of the established wealthy class. Some critics praised the author for his complex characters and attention to detail; others condemned him for his many depictions of corruption and greed. As was his custom, Balzac made copious changes on copious notes on later editions of his novels, so that later editions were often significantly different from the earliest editions.
In the case of Le Père goriot, he changed a number of characters from other novels he had written into other persons he had also changed into other characters he had had written. It was published as a serial in the Revue de Paris between December and February 1835; it was released as a novel in March 1835. A much-revised third edition was published in 1839 by Charpentier, who published the second edition in May of that year. It gave rise to the French expression \”RastignAC\”, a social climber willing to use any means to better his situation. It has been adapted into a film and a stage play, and the book has been made into a TV series and a film version of La Comédie humaine, starring Gerard Depardieu and Jean-Michel Basquiat. In 1829 Balzac published Les Chouans, the first novel to which he signed his own name; this was followed by Louis Lambert, Le Colonel Chabert, and La Peau de chagrin. Around this time, he began organizing his work into a sequence of novels that he eventually called La Comerche humaine. In 1834 Balzac began to work on a tragic story about a father who is rejected by his daughters. He wrote the first draft in forty autumn days; he wrote it as a draft like a dog having stripped himself bare for his daughters who both have 50,000 fr, income –– the first draft of Le Goriot. The novel was released to mixed reviews.