Honoré de Balzac: Le Cousin Pons [Cousin Pons] (2109 words)


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 …

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 07 May 2021.]

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