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Överste Chabert (La Comédie Humaine)

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  1,716 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Colonel Chabert is a hero of Napoleon's army believed to be killed on the battlefield at Eylau. But he has survived, even though he has lost his memory, and spend several years in an asylum. The novel begins when he returns to Paris, to the life he left behind, only to discover that in his absence his life - family, society, identity - has changed. Napoleon is deposited, t ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published 1995 by Fischer & Co. (first published 1832)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,547)
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MJ Nicholls
A litmus test for the betrothed—would you, after your man’s been killed in the latest war, pronounced dead and buried, and after you’ve married again and had children, take your man back when he turns up haggard and pauperous on your mansion doorstep? (Yes, this happens at the end of Tom Hanks’s Castaway, minus the mansion, but Balzac got there first in this novella). Well, WOULD YOU? When the bedraggled Colonel finally falls in with some solicitors who help his case, he hopes for once and for a ...more
Bruce
This 1832 novella by Honoré de Balzac addresses a theme dealt with by many authors over the years, the return of a presumed dead husband after his “widow” has remarried. In this instance, Colonel Chabert, a favorite of Napoleon, had been seen to receive a grievous and presumably lethal wound on the battlefield and was subsequently buried in a mass grave from which local farmers rescued him. Amnesiac for several years, he was cared for in an asylum. Finally recovering his memories, he sets out fo ...more
Manny
One of the largest mental readjustments I had to make when I started reading Balzac was in my picture of Napoléon. Being brought up in England, I was used to thinking of him as an evil megalomaniac, who nearly destroyed Europe and was only stopped by the heroic efforts of Admiral Nelson and the Duke of Wellington.

How wrong I was! Of course, I now saw that he represented all that was good and heroic about France; after him, it just descended into pathetic bickering and intriguing. Poor Colonel C
...more
Ryan
A war hero returns from the dead to haunt the living. The struggle of the forgotten and dispossessed to reclaim lost property is a favorite premise for novelists, revolutionaries, and postwar French philosophers alike. Count of Monte Cristo, Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto, and Derrida's reading of Marx are what immediately come to mind.

There are a lot of Vietnam veteran movies that used this story as well.

"I was buried under the dead, now I am buried under the living, under the whole of so
...more
Lada
Oct 10, 2014 Lada marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
un roman serieux du romancier serieux. A lire certainement, cet ecrivain qui a ecrit une vaste epopee du XlX siecle. Un ecrivain comme Balzac qui a cree un univers, un tout requiert de la patience, un travail d'analyse, tel Homere
Laura


Colonel Chabert marries Rose Chapotel, a prostitute. Colonel Chabert then becomes a French cavalry officer who is held in high esteem by Napoleon Bonaparte. After being severely wounded in the Battle of Eylau (1807), Chabert is recorded as dead and buried with other French casualties. However, he survives and after extricating himself from his own grave is nursed back to health by local peasants.

The English version can be found at Project Gutenberg.

The original French text at La Bibliothèque éle
...more
Ken
Along with The Unknown Masterpiece, one of Balzac's best stories from his La Comédie Humaine. In his own amazing way, Balzac was slicing open French society as he saw it at the time, but his insight into human behavior still rings true in modern times (especially in this age of financial collapse with the repercussions mostly hitting individuals instead of business interests). The writing is sharp, full of Balzac's wit and deep human understanding, and you can't help but love descriptions such a ...more
Gláucia Renata
O coronel Chabert é dado como morto em batalha e após quase 20 anos reaparece vivinho da silva. Mas tudo está mudado: sua esposa, atual condessa Ferraud, acreditando-se viúva casa-se novamente, o cenário político de Paris é outro e o coronel precisa provar sua identidade a fim de recuperar sua pensão, fortuna e principalmente, seu lugar na sociedade parisiense. Para isso procura o famoso advogado Derville, presente em outros processos da comédia humana.
Amei a primeira parte do livro em que o amb
...more
Shannon
Ah, Le Colonel Chabert! Pithy, beautiful, depressing. However, if you rave about this too much, you risk your friend (who happens to be getting her PhD in Literature, and should be above such things) giggling when you talk about how much you love Balzac. Say it out loud. Yeah. So funny.
London SE4
In 1807 Colonel Chabert, Napoleon's beloved commander, is severely wounded in the Battle of Eylau. Taken for dead and buried in a mass grave, he manages to escape and wanders in poverty through Europe for 10 years, torn between life and death, oblivion and consciousness. When he finally returns to France, he seeks Maître Derville's legal advice, to reclaim his name, his properties and the wife, who is now remarried to Count Ferraud, a member of the aristocracy. Chabert is painfully aware that th ...more
Päivi Brink
I like Balzac's short stories better than his novels. Le Colonel Chabert is a morality of a colonel who returns from the dead. He was buried alive after a battle in one of Napoleon's wars, but managed to get out from a pile of bodies. After some years he comes back to Paris and finds out his wife has remarried. He tries to get back his wife and fortune, but the wife is too clever for him. He loses even his name and reputation as one of the heroes of the war.

I really liked the characters here and
...more
Carl Rocheleau
Avis aux intéressés, voici un des romans les plus digestes qu'ait écrit Balzac. Un des plus court aussi, si je ne m'abuse.

Vous comprendrez donc que l'intrigue est simple : un homme à l'allure de mendiant se présente dans un cabinet et dit être le colonel Chabert, mort à Eylau.

Après une discussion incroyablement longue pendant laquelle il raconte toute ses péripéties, la raison de sa venue devient clair : sa femme, en possession de tous les biens du "défunt", refuse de le reconnaître comme son ép
...more
Sylvia
One of Napoleon's favored colonels is left for dead in a battle in eastern europe. He awakes to find himself buried alive and seriously injured. Rescued by farmers, he spends years recovering in an insane asylum claiming he is a colonel to disbelievers. He returns to Paris to claim his fortune from his former wife, who has used his money to raise her status in society and marry into an aristocratic life. The attorney in this story is the most clever of all characters. Made into a movie in the 90 ...more
Peter
If Kafka wrote Cast Away.
Your self and your legal self are two very different things. Or are they?
Realini
Le Colonel Chabert by Honoré de Balzac
A good story of a colonel who comes back to life...briefly

My gold and blue macaw is named Balzac.
This is because I loved Le Père Goriot and a few other works of the great author and I was trying to create a minset, whereby the parrot would turn out to have an extensive vocabulary and talk as much as Balzac wrote, and as exquisite. The other macaw that I have, Puccini is much more talkative though- he says hello, Hannah, papa and a few other things I am stil
...more
Lisa
Sep 05, 2014 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Balzac Yahoo Reading Group
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Franceska Kodheli
Kolonel Shaberi i ngjante asaj gruas,e cila kishte vuajtur nga ethet 15 vjet me radhe dhe diten qe u sherua iu duk sikur e kapi ndonje semundje tjeter.
Ka lumturi qe te duken aq te pamundura; kur vijne te djegin si vetetima!
Esteban Gordon
Short and sweet...or maybe a bit sour... depending on whose perspective you are reading from.... I suppose.
Arwen56
Balzac è un autore che mi è sempre molto piaciuto, sin da quando ero molto giovane. Il suo romanzo che preferisco è indubbiamente La cugina Betta, ma anche questo racconto trovo sia riuscitissimo. Va da sè che, da lettrice moderna, riconosco la pesantezza di alcuni passaggi e l'eccessiva artificiosità di taluni periodi, però, in generale, ciò che mi colpisce sempre è la potenza espressiva di questo autore, che, per certi versi, mi rammenta il Manzoni.
Perchè?
Perchè nessuno dei suoi personaggi è
...more
Maan Kawas
A stunning and very beautiful but painful novella by the great French novelist and playwright Honore de Balzac! Despite its main focus on society during the Restoration period in France, it depicts wild and harsh aspects of reality that can be found almost everywhere and every time. The novella tackles various points and themes, such as social rank, social climbers, social injustice, the powerful role of money in people’s life, relationships, and social status, selfishness vs. altruism, and conf ...more
Geoffrey Fox
En esta tragicómica historia de traición y honor, Balzac contrapone la dignidad y nobleza de espíritu de un viejo soldado del Emperador Napoleón I a la astucia y avaricia calculada y mezquina de una mujer que representa la nueva época, "la Restauración" (1815-1830) de la monarquía después de Napoleón). Chalbert, héroe de la Grande Armée recordado por su valor y energía en la batalla de Eylau (1807) donde todo el mundo cree que murió, aparece en París algunos 10 años después de su supuesta muerte ...more
علی
Le Colonel Chabert (1832)
"سرهنگ شابر"، داستانی از مجموعه ای به همین نام، بازنده ی دیگری ست از زنجیره ی قهرمانان ساده دل بالزاک. او با فاحشه ای به نام رز شاپوتل عاشقانه ازدواج می کند، و به عنوان افسر مورد توجه ناپلئون، به جنگ می رود، به شدت زخمی می شود، طوری که خبر مرگش به پاریس می رسد. شابر اما با پرستاری صمیمانه ی دهقانان محلی، زنده می ماند، و پس از سال ها، در جستجوی رز، به پاریس باز می گردد. رز اما با کنت ثروتمندی ازدواج کرده و دار و ندار شابر را تصاحب کرده. شابر سرخورده برای به دست آوردن نام
...more
Txe Polon
Simbólico relato que, pese a su brevedad, pone de manifiesto la pericia de Balzac para narrar historias de alto contenido social y que son capaces de condensar, a través de unos personajes bien perfilados, tipos humanos que van más allá de sus propias características y que personifican actitudes propias de épocas históricas determinadas y diferenciadas entre sí. Como siempre, una delicia de lectura.
Žydrūnas Jonušas
Seniai beturėjau tą tokį vaikystės jausmą, kada sunku atsitraukti nuo kūrinio ir negali padėti knygos iš rankų. Atrodo, nu dar puslapiuką, nu pastraipą vieną :) labai gražus ir vėlgi pasakojimiškas Balzaco auksiukas. Toks tikras epas - pasakojimas, kuriam net ne itin svarbu kaip tie veiksmai vystosi, o svarbu, kad jie yra ir seka vienas kitą labai greitai. Skaitant šį kūrinį man prieš akis stovėjo kūrinio ekranizacija (kurios, kiek žinau, nėra, bet tikrai tikrai galėtų būti, ir filmas turėtų did ...more
Katherine
I read this book for my Lawyers in Fiction seminar, my enrollment in which is the surest sign I am a third year, embracing my almost certainly final year of education. Ever. I had never read any Balzac before. As someone who loves to read, I am, in fact, a little bit embarrassed to admit how few translated classics I have read. I've managed to stick pretty closely to American and British literary canons. But I actually liked this more than I expected. It was originally written as a short story, ...more
Becky
i read this for my lawyers in fiction seminar. i've never read any balzac before, but he seems to be all about the social commentary. i once heard him referred to as the french dickens. that seems pretty accurate. anyway, this is a pretty solid early-19th-century tragic tale of an old dude that everybody thought was dead until he showed back up and tried to sue his (ex-)wife to get her and his possessions back. throughout, he's aided by a crafty lawyer, hence the seminar assigned reading. there' ...more
Leah
Balzac is a great writer-- the amount of descriptive power that he can pack into a single sentence is just breathtaking. I can see why Pavel recommended I read it in my knowledge of the novel... truly a great, and a fast read too.
Sandra
"Sapete, mio caro ... che nella società esistono tre tipi di uomini, il prete, il medico e l'uomo di legge, che non possono aver stima del mondo? Vestono con abiti neri, forse perchè portano il lutto per tutte le virtù, per tutte le illusioni. Il più sfortunato dei tre è l'avvocato. Quando un uomo si reca dal prete, è spinto dal pentimento, dal rimorso, da una fede che lo rende meritevole, lo rialza e consola l'anima del mediatore, nel cui compito c'è una specie di rallegramento: purifica, ripar ...more
Yves
Quelle triste histoire qu'est celle du colonel. C'est un héros des guerres de Napoléon mais qui est enterré vivant dans un charnier. Il réussi à s'en sortir mais à son retour à Paris, personne ne le reconnais pour ce qu'il est. Sa femme s'est remariée et a reçu son héritage. Le pauvre colonel devra donc se battre pour avoir son dû. Son problème est que le nouveau mari de sa femme est un proche du roi.

On ne peut faire autrement qu'avoir de la pitié pour Chabert en lisant ce roman. C'est histoire
...more
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Honoré de Balzac was a nineteenth-century French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of almost 100 novels and plays collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1815.

Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders o
...more
More about Honoré de Balzac...

Other Books in the Series

La Comédie Humaine (1 - 10 of 86 books)
  • La maison du Chat-qui-pelote
  • The Ball At Sceaux
  • Letters of Two Brides
  • The Purse
  • Modeste Mignon
  • A Start in Life (Dodo Press)
  • Albert Savarus
  • Vendetta
  • A Second Home
  • Domestic Peace
Père Goriot Eugénie Grandet Cousin Bette (Poor Relations) Lost Illusions (La Comédie Humaine) The Wild Ass's Skin

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“Mais que peuvent les malheureux? Ils aiment, voilà tout.” 1 likes
“Certes, si les sacristies humides où les prières se pèsent et se
payent comme des épices, si les magasins des revendeuses où flottent des guenilles qui flétrissent toutes les illusions de la vie en nous montrant où aboutissent nos fêtes, si ces deux cloaques de la poésie n’existaient pas, une étude d’avoué serait de toutes les boutiques sociales la plus horrible. Mais il en est ainsi de la maison de jeu, du tribunal, du bureau de loterie et du mauvais lieu. Pourquoi? Peut-être dans ces endroits le drame, en se jouant dans l’âme de l’homme, lui rend-il les accessoires indifférents, ce qui expliquerait aussi la simplicité du grand penseur et des grands ambitieux.”
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