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Seraphita (La Comédie humaine)

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  240 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Balzac begins with a travelogue of the fiords of Norway, concentrating ultimately on one valley that is isolated by the roaring waters of the Sieg River which rises in Sweden and by the forbidding mountains of Jarvis.

We begin with two figures cross-country skiing UP a mountain, past unimaginable abysses. One of them is Minna Becker, daughter of the village pastor. The othe
Paperback, 140 pages
Published May 5th 2006 by Dodo Press (first published 1835)
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Mustafa Şahin
Feb 05, 2016 Mustafa Şahin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-literature
Çok ilginç bir eser bu, kafamı karıştırdı biraz. Ağır başlamasına rağmen ilerleyen bölümlerde ettiği metafizik laflarla başımı döndürdü (uçakta okumaktan da olabilir, kafam güzeldi, I was high, öff ne iğrenç bi' parantez oldu bu da). Zaten Balzac da kitap için 'benim ustalık eserim, hayatta bir kere yazılabilecek bir metin bu' demiş. Şöyle cümleler görmek mümkün:
Bütün dinlerin insana sunduğu o alternatif: ya gidip ebediyen bir kazanda kaynamak; ya da beyaz giysiler içinde, elinde hurma dalı, ba
Sep 05, 2014 Lisa rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle, c19th, france
At first I thought that Balzac was being rather brave (for a C19th author) by writing about a potential same sex relationship between Minna and Seraphita: this was because (after a long and convincing travelogue about Norway - had Balzac ever been there??) these two are ski-ing UP the mountain but Minna calls her companion SeraphitUS and 'he' says that theirs is a love that can never be, and that Minna should marry Wilfred. When they return to Pastor Becker's house, however, the Pastor addr
May 14, 2012 Jim rated it it was ok
The total oeuvre of Balzac contains some works that are among the greatest penned by mortal men. I am talking about such novels as Pere Goriot, Lost Illusions, Cousin Bette, Cousin Pons, and The Wild Ass's Skin. But the same Balzac, when he decides to philosophize, can be stinko to the max. I'm afraid that Seraphita will -- if you try too hard to follow it -- cause blood to flow copiously from both ears.

As I wrote in my chapter summary for the Yahoo! Balzac group:
There is something about how pr
Oct 18, 2012 Jazelle rated it liked it
I took such a long time reading this book because it was REALLY difficult! The language and sentence structure was very hard to comprehend. In the first page alone, I had to search for at least four words like 'fiord.'

To make matters even more complicated, it is filled with philosophical and religious discussions about love, wisdom and faith. These subjects were tackled by presenting "Seraphita," the protagonist of this story. S/he is an otherworldly creature who seems to be untouchable by eart
Jun 10, 2015 Ludmilla rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
en ayrıksı balzac bile benim kalemim değil.
Aug 24, 2015 Sara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ora so che gli angeli sono noiosi.
Jul 31, 2014 Usuyitik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dünya_öykü

Balzac’ın karakterleriyle dolu bir salon düşünün. Goriot Baba kızlarının saadeti için çırpınıyor, kızlarıysa hiç oralı değil, Madame Vauquer’nin pansiyonerleri bir masanın etrafında oturmuş sohbet ediyorlar, ötede Felix ile Henriette uzun bir sessizliği paylaşıyorlar, Eugenie Grandet taşra sıkıntısını yanında getirmiş etrafı seyrediyor... Bildiğiniz tüm Balzac karakterlerini bu salonda bir yerlere oturtabilirsiniz, orası size kalmış. Bu salon, Balzac’ın da
Oct 12, 2010 David rated it did not like it
This was the only Balzac book I have ever regretted reading. It isn't a novel at all. It's a thinly disguised religious tract. Not even a good one either. I'm not in a position to judge the philosophy of the arguments, but this book is just a tiny skeleton of a novel with a whole bunch of sermons shoved in. Not even interesting ones either. I felt like I was reading Eliphas Levi again. It is dull. It drones on and on without anything interesting happening, just sermons that cause the eyes to gla ...more
Apr 23, 2013 June rated it it was amazing
a difficult review of a masterpiece and why is so.
a draft. I hope I can correct it as I get more to add.

With Seraphita (and Luis Lambert) Balzac is attempting a totally different endeavour. He is turning to the Spirit world, opposite to the mondane world he is so used to speak fluently about.
it does cost him a lot of "sweat" (his words) and it does take us into a Inner journey, to the highest peaks of Feeling and Understanding our huma Nature and Creation.

It is being said Balzac possesed what i
May 12, 2010 Jukka added it
Seraphita - Honoré de Balzac

This is absolutely wonderful. I love Balzac anyways or what i've read of his many many books from La Comédie Humaine. But this is entirely different and ethereal.

Although it's quite different i was reminded some of Brand by Ibsen.

If you're interested also check out this site talking about Melville's Billy Budd and it's connection to Seraphita:

Also see my review of Henry Miller's book "The Wisdom of the Heart" which contains a chapte
I thought I had better read a French book while we are in France and settled upon Honore de Balzac's Seraphita as I had downloaded it from ForgottenBooks ages ago and not yet gotten around to starting it. The edition begins with a lengthy introduction which discusses and explains the religious significance of Seraphita at great length. This was so in depth and dull that I nearly didn't get through it's eighty-odd pages in order to start the novel itself!
Seraphita is set in Norway and Balzac does
Apr 20, 2014 Gustl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dimenticatevi l'autore della Commedia Umana, le vicende terrene dell'uomo mortale, nonché le illuminanti critiche rivolte alla società in cui vive. Con questo romanzo del 1838, il grande scrittore francese, vi porta in viaggio attraverso le sfere che separano la terra dal cielo, conoscerete le origini degli Angeli, e del mondo spirituale, ma soprattutto le istruzioni pratiche per potervi accedere. Tutto questo, grazie alle conoscenze di Swedenborg; filosofo occultista svedese, vissuto tra il XVI ...more
Kevin Frane
Sep 11, 2015 Kevin Frane rated it liked it
This is the first time I've read anything by Balzac, and I wonder if maybe this wasn't the right choice to get a proper first impression of his work.

The initial premise here is great, especially considering the book is from the 19th Century: the title character is at the center of a love triangle involving both a man and a woman, both of whom see their would-be lover as a member of the opposite sex. Unfortunately, there isn't really a story or any sort of overarching narrative beyond that; most
Nov 14, 2012 Solor rated it really liked it
Balzac is an astounding novelist. This is my very first of his Philosophical Studies in the Human Comedy Magnum opus.

It is an amazing story written as a tribute to the great Swedish "mystic" Emmanuel Swedenborg and his fascinating although peculiar ideas.

It is also the story that hugely impressed August Strindberg and saved (apparently) him from damnation Inferno & From an Occult Diary.

Set breathlessly in Norway fiords at the beginning of spring of the new century, the protagonist is an Ang
Mar 19, 2015 Effie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
At first I really liked this one. The first 40 pages were rather interesting. And then my interest was gone. Meaningless stories about boring people, blubbering and blubbering.
I feel really sad because De Balzac is one of my favourite writers and I was really disappointed of this book.
All Mota
Apr 04, 2015 All Mota rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
well first of all the hole book tries to make a explanation of the world and the things we don't know, yet it's a little bit floppy, it's amazingly well done the hole point of the book was that people understand that all have a connection and tries to explain why is a dumb thing to no believe in god when we do believe in other things that we can't see or touch and also explain that the world is a little part of everything and that love and knowledge are the forces that rule everything, I serious ...more
Rosa Ramôa
Jul 02, 2015 Rosa Ramôa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"É tão natural destruir o que não se pode possuir, negar o que não se compreende, insultar o que se inveja".
Nov 21, 2012 caractere rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

كتاب صعب و ممل بالنسبة لي أو أن الترجمة صعبت ذلك لا أدري لأنك الكتاب الأول لبلزاك
الملائكة والمخلوقات المتصوفة وفلسفة كثيرة وجدت أني بين أفكار بعيدة عني أنا التي تعرف هذه المخلوقات و تعرف الرب. لو أني لست متدينة لما كنت استمتعت بالكتاب ولفتح عينيّ على عالم جميل و باهر.
Steve Gordon
Oct 25, 2011 Steve Gordon rated it really liked it
If you were to combine Dante's Paradiso, a volume or two by Emanuel Swedenbourg, some 18th century androgyny, and some very average writing by Balzac's standard - you would have Seraphita. Interesting - but a bit ponderous with all its somewhat dated religious tomfoolery.
Oct 05, 2014 Darío rated it did not like it
Empieza bien, con esas descripciones que te hacen sentir tanto, pero... personajes mal trazados y un exceso de monólogo interior filosófico. No he podido terminarlo.
Jul 15, 2012 Dagny rated it did not like it
One of Balzac's Philosophical Studies, Seraphita blends descriptions of the Norwegian coast with his interest in the theories of Swedenborg. Enjoyed the scenic descriptions, confused and mostly bored by the rest.
Feb 23, 2008 George rated it really liked it
Prescient, landmark novel on Androgyny and Gender.
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Stephen Adams
Stephen Adams rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2016
TOM marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2016
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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
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La Comédie humaine (1 - 10 of 88 books)
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“If ye were of this world the world would love you, but I have chosen you out of the world; be ye therefore perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” 2 likes
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