Honoré de Balzac, Le Cousin Pons [Cousin Pons]

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When André Gide first read

Le Cousin Pons

, he was “dans le ravissement, dans l’extase, ivre, perdu…” [“in raptures, in ecstasy, intoxicated, lost…”] (104; my translation). Although one of Balzac’s last novels, Gide admired it as perhaps his greatest. Written between June 1846 and May 1847, and first published in serial form in

Le Constitutionnel

, it forms one panel of the diptych

Les Parents Pauvres


The Poor Parents

], with

La Cousine Bette


Cousin Bette

] forming the other. Balzac’s novel, like its eponymous hero, is rather jaundiced, offering an unblinking portrayal of a greedy, grasping society in which all human values are subjugated to exchange value, in which the family is little more than a mechanism for the accumulation of wealth, and in which art itself has…

2232 words

Citation: Bielecki, Emma . "Le Cousin Pons". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 March 2013 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11197, accessed 22 April 2024.]

11197 Le Cousin Pons 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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