A Menina dos Olhos de Ouro
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A Menina dos Olhos de Ouro (The Thirteen #3)

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  572 ratings  ·  59 reviews
It is in the Tuileries, just outside the Cafe des Feuillants, that Henri de Marsay first catches sight of the girl with the golden eyes and can almost believe in love. Haunted by her shimmery image, returning daily to the Tuileries for another glimpse of her dark beauty, he learns her name - Paquita Valdes - and discovers her address. But a fairy-tale princess has never be...more
Mass Market Paperback, 123 pages
Published 2008 by L&PM (first published 1834)
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Julia Boechat Machado
All my reviews are currently in Library Thing. I'm no longer updating my GR since it was bought by Amazon.
When I find a person, a book, or an author that I find really interesting, I like to investigate to see what THEY found interesting. That is how I eventually came to Balzac. I had just finished reading Sin in the Second City (a fantastic history of a high class brothel in the early days of Chicago), and it mentioned that the Mistresses of the Everleigh club schooled the prostitutes and many lessons focused on Balzac. I thought that I should look into Balzac myself.

His prose is breathtaking.

Henry Martin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Blah. First off, this begins with 30 pages which describe all of the ways Paris is terrible. As far as that goes, it has very little to do with the story. Henri is such a ridiculously one-dimensional and aggravating character. Actually, maybe not one dimensional, as he changes his character's way of being without rhyme or reason several times during the novel. His way of thinking is completely irrational, and the "love" and "passion" that he feel is more grotesque than anything else. If this is...more
Tejas Desai
I taught this novella in my writer's workshop and most of my students could not get through it, but that's a shame. While it is certainly is not perfect, it is one of the more interesting novellas I've read, and one of Balzac's many fascinating works. The structure itself is a marvel, as it begins with an overview of all of Parisian (and human) society and zeroes in on one very specific, and very grim, tale. This is where Balzac began his oeuvre, folks, this is where one of the greatest, if not...more
Dear Balzac, there is no man knows crimes of passion like you!

The vice of passion is one of Balzac's favorite themes, and he writes on it brilliantly in this book. In this work, the vice in question is Lesbianism, for which Pacquita pays fittingly by dying at the hands of her jealous Mistress.

Of course no other end would be allowed, Lesbianism was an unthinkable perversion in 19th c. France. Hence, Balzac's choice of the theme. He wanted to shock readers "out of their moral complacency." (Fade...more
Balzac begins this story with a vicious rant against humankind. It was almost enough to make me stop but I confess I skimmed it to get to the good part, which is fairly steamy for the time.

There is a plot twist and a surprising one. He foreshadows it a bit but you still won't see it coming. Then when it's upon you, you might miss it. I did. The Marquis makes a one-eighty and turns on his lover.

I had to go to Wikipedia and read a plot summary to figure out why!

The women are both victims and monst...more
Jan 03, 2014 Lisa rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Balzac Yahoo Reading Group
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This story is one of The Thirteen, a trilogy about a mysterious band of men pledged to assist each other at need with no questions asked. We learn some past history and probably more than we wanted to know about Henri de Marsay who appears in sixteen of the Comedie humaine stories.
Debby Nemecek
I just didn't "get it." A short book, but at points I could not follow the story and at points I found it innane & insane. Some points I did enjoy the detailed descriptions of the various characters that make up Paris or the detail of a room. But at the end, my thoguh was just - Huh?
Continuo a ripetermi, forse, ma non posso farne a meno: Balzac è davvero uno scrittore straordinario. Con una modernità sconcertante, descrive una Parigi a dir poco infernale nei suoi personaggi e nelle sue dinamiche sociali, al confronto della quale perfino la Londra dickensiana impallidisce. La seconda parte del libro è un po' avventura galante, un po' fiaba Mille e una notte, ma purtroppo con un finale agghiacciante. Se ha scioccato me, nel 2014, immagino le reazioni nel 1830 o giù di lì. La...more
Slim novella (part of the Human Comedy series) -- jaded boy meets lovely girl in thrall to another. Excellent prologue and first chapter, then some good melodrama.
Après ma lecture des Diaboliques de Barbey d'Aurevilly, j'ai eu envie de rester parmi les classiques et de choisir une valeur stylistique sure. Cette nouvelle de Balzac, dont le résumé annonçait une histoire d'amour impossible, correspondait tout à fait à cette envie.

En termes d'amour impossible et mortelle, j'ai été parfaitement servie, mais n'ai à vrai dire pas compris comment : Balzac semble lancer plusieurs fausses pistes potentielles pour expliquer l'impossibilité d'amour pour le couple ce...more
antonio brito
Descrevendo a sociedade parisiense Balzac define seu objetivo - "Deste modo, chegamos ao terceiro ciclo desse inferno, que possivelmente, terá um dia o seu Dante" - Evidente que este Dante é o próprio Balzac. A comédia humana dos parisienses aqui descrita é o mundo dos vivos do Inferno da Divina Comédia de Dante. Não procure nesta novela um roteiro romântico, ficarás frustado. No primeiro capítulo a sociedade parisiense é classificada em círculos sociais que podem muito bem representar nossa soc...more
antonio brito
Descrevendo a sociedade parisiense Balzac define seu objetivo - "Deste modo, chegamos ao terceiro ciclo desse inferno, que possivelmente, terá um dia o seu Dante" - Evidente que este Dante é o próprio Balzac. A comédia humana dos parisienses aqui descrita é o mundo dos vivos do Inferno da Divina Comédia de Dante. Não procure nesta novela um roteiro romântico, ficarás frustado. No primeiro capítulo a sociedade parisiense é classificada em círculos sociais que podem muito bem representar nossa soc...more
Refreshingly cynical in his effortless slicing of society's absurdities, over 150 years later, Balzac's keen and scathing observations continue to apply to modern western civilization:

"Now we have reached the third circle of this hell… Their actual stupidity is hidden beneath an expert science. They know their profession, but they ignore anything unconnected with their profession. So, to protect their self-esteem, they call everything into question, criticize right and left; seem skeptical but
هنری دو مارسی فاسد، در بند عشق زیبارویی به نام پکوئیتا والدس گرفتار می شود اما می فهمد که پکوئیتا درگیر عشقی دیگر است، و سخت مایوس می شود و نقشه ی قتل وی را می کشد. به زودی در می یابد که دختر به دست ناخواهری اش که عاشق اوست، کشته شده. از شدت خشم، می گوید پکوئیتا به جایی تعلق داشت که آنجا زنان، غلامانی بیش نیستند، قابل خرید و استفاده بهرشکل ممکن. اما گفته می شود پکوئیتا بعلت بیماری سل مرده است.
بار اول از خواندن بالزاک لذت بردم. سال ها بعد که تاریخ برایم به شیرینی رمان بود، خواندن دوباره ی بالزاک...more
Alyssa James
I read the Melville House edition and personally, I wasn't a fan of the translation. On the other hand, I was interested in the story. It seemed salacious and as someone interested in the study of sexuality, I thought it would be an interesting eye into 19th century sexual taboos. I did feel that Balzac wrote very top-notch insights into Parisian society that continue to pervade today - such as the contradictions evident in the lifestyle.
I gave this two stars because I just can't give Balzac only one. But if you're thinking of reading his books, skip this one, he's got so many that are amazing, and this one falls short of his usual standard. It was good at the beginning, and got me nicely warmed up, and then went strangely awry - sort of Gothic/Arabian Nights with a lot of confusion thrown in - not what I'd ever expect from Balzac. The beginning had a few great comments as given from the point of view of a man who is so handsome...more
Sep 30, 2008 B-MO rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: History Buffs for the first half of the book....writers....
Shelves: fiction
This book had a really weird composition. It starts out, the authors description of Paris in the years ????. He describes various sets of people who inhabit Paris, how they spend their days, what their pluses and minuses in his eyes are. This description must go on for about half of the book, and is a very very interesting read. The second half of the book, is the story of one man in a quest for a woman based off a brief encounter....it tails into this story simply by saying....at the end of the...more
A Balzac novella that is part of the History of the Thirteen, although in this translation published as a standalone work. Its interest lies mainly in how shocking it is to imagine such a novel being written in the 19th century: a man seduces a young girl who is zealously guarded by her family, the girl makes him dress up in women’s clothing and calls him by a woman’s name when they make love, he returns to her the next night vowing to kill her for it but discovers she has already been murdered...more
Balzac’s oeuvre is preoccupied with the underbelly of Parisian life. This novelette is about the underbelly of the upper-class. There are descriptions that we blush to describe here, so trust us: dive in and get ready to be scandalized by a tale written 200 years ago.
The first ten pages should be taught in every classroom. The last ten pages are an atrocity. How could they all come from the same author?

Double-Vay. Tay. Ku.

That someone wrote so vulgar a little book nauseates me. If I only judge him on this book alone, then I'll never understand what he's up to. I guess I need to read some more Balzac.

A primeira parte do livro é de tirar o fôlego: nela, Balzac retrata Paris de uma maneira implacávcel, algo dificilmente igualável por um historiador. O grande romancista constrói o ambiente de desorientação, frivolidade (prazer e ouro), transição e cansaço de uma cidade que esmaga seus habitantes.

Valeria só por isso - fiquei imaginando se o Rio teria algo igual. Talvez não tenha. Mas, nas partes seguintes, embora a narrativa ainda tenha imensa qualidade, conhecemos apenas a auto-ilusão do person...more
i think the title was more interesting to me,than the story. i got really confused at the beggining and ending was like written in a hurry. maybe i need to reread it.
One of the greatest works of literature I've read in a long time. Balzac was known for locking himself up and spending weeks on constructing a single paragraph. None of his brilliance gets lost in translation.
This was a bold book to write and must have stirred up a few readers in Balzac's time. It is not his very best work. It has a hurried feel to it, and as one reviewer said, parts of it resemble something like the "Arabian Nights." But the denouement is pure Balzac and makes it worth getting through the "over-the-top" somewhat contrived middle section. It's not a long work, so not too daunting. If you are only going to read one of Balzac's works, I would not recommend this one. But if Balzac is yo...more
Megan Chance
I think I love Balzac. This one is short, sensationalistic, bloody, passionate and scandalous--though the ending is so quick as to be almost ridiculous. Still, Balzac's commentary on Parisians is wonderful, the character of Henri de Marsay fairly brilliant, and the connections between the characters (while written in the euphemistic style of that century and sometimes a bit hard to penetrate) truly operatic. A strange story that is imbued to its very bones with cyncism ... I'm going to read more...more
Christian Fink-Jensen
Some wonderful philosophical passages, some interesting observations and a glimpse into 19th century Parisian society that seems oddly like our own. That said, it is a strange novel(la) with sudden turns and bizarre coincidences. Definitely not a Chekhovian kind of story, no perceptible foreshadowing though not unsatisfying. I suppose Balzac's plotting is more naturalistic than I'm used to... but the ending left me scratching my head. I'm sure there's an expert to set me straight.
Alysa H.
I have no beef with this novella itself, in fact I quite like it as a touchstone of Queer Studies. However, this -- the Ellen Marriage version -- is a REALLY terrible translation. It was once assigned to me in a class at university, and the instructor was dismayed to learn that the entire class did not "get" the end of the book simply because the translation rendered some of the main points lost!
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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...
Père Goriot Eugénie Grandet Cousin Bette (Poor Relations) Lost Illusions (La Comédie Humaine) The Wild Ass's Skin

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