September 16, 2015

Wednesday Writing Wisdom (25) Honore de Balzac

If the artist does not fling himself, without reflecting, into his work, as Curtis flung himself into the yawning gulf, as the soldier flings himself into the enemy's trenches, and if, once in this crater, he does not work like a miner on whom the walls of his gallery have fallen in; if he contemplates difficulties instead of overcoming them one by one... he is simply looking on at the suicide of his own talent.”

    Honore de Balzac
         (1799 - 1850) 
               Curious facts about:

 At the age of 8, Balzac was sent to boarding school. He was an undisciplined child. and he was often sent to detention, or ''kept in." He looked on this punishment as a blessing in disguise because it gave him time for reading.

Think you’re addicted to coffee? Chances are your caffeine problem doesn’t even come close to that of  Honore de Balzac. He consumed as many as 50 cups of coffee each day, barely sleeping at all while composing his magnum opus, La Comedie Humaine. 
Balzac suffered from health problems throughout his life, maybe due to his intense writing schedule. By writing as much as 16 hours a day, Balzac published over 80 titles between 1829 and 1847.

 His writing influenced many subsequent novelists such as Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Gustave Flaubert, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Marie Corelli, William Faulkner, Henry James, Jack Kerouac, and Italo Calvino


  1. 50 cups of coffee a day? I'd be bouncing off the walls. No wonder he was able to write 16 hours a day. As much as I love writing, I know I could never adhere to a schedule like that. Amazing how many authors he influenced!

    1. I wonder what kind of coffee he was drinking!? 5o cups a day? Perhaps they were the size of a thimble.
      Nevertheless he was a great creator. I loved his epic novels.
      Thanks for checking the post, Mae!

  2. Pere Goriot is one of my favorite classical novels. Such a talent it gives me chills. 50 cup of coffee-- I never knew that. I hope they were all fresh and delicious.

    1. Yes, that novel as well as Cousin Bette and Cousin Pons are novels I read in the first summer holiday after the 1st University year. It was my Balzac summer (1968).


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