Honoré de Balzac: Père Goriot [Old Goriot]

(3449 words)
  • Andrew Watts (University of Birmingham)

Among the many novels, plays, and short stories written by Balzac during his career, none represents the full blossoming of his literary genius better than Le Père Goriot [Old Goriot]. A cathartic tale of paternal love and youthful ambition, the framework of the novel was sketched out in an undated note in which Balzac mused on the cruel situation of “un brave homme – pension bourgeoise – 600 fr. de rente – S’étant dépouillé pour ses filles qui toutes deux ont 50 000 fr. de rente, mourant comme un chien” [“a decent man – middle-class boarding house – 600 francs in income – Having ruined himself for the sake of his daughters who both have an income of …

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Watts, Andrew. "Père Goriot". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 August 2009
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2971, accessed 25 September 2016.]