Honoré de Balzac Biography
(French Novelist and Playwright Known for His Magnum Opus 'La Comédie humaine')
Birthday: May 20, 1799 (Taurus)
Born In: Tours, France
Honoré de Balzac, the French novelist and playwright is best known for his magnum opus titled, ‘La Comédie humaine’, a sequence of short stories and novels which offers an insight into French life in the years after the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. His independent thinking and willful nature ensured that his life was a permanent struggle. He was a law intern but rejected the profession, while his attempts to succeed as publisher, printer, businessman, critic, and politician failed. La Comédie humaine reflects his real-life difficulties, and includes incidences from his personal experience. He wanted his characters to be real, a mix of good and bad and very human. They came from every conceivable background. He painted places in a natural way which heightened realism. Balzac is, thus, regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. His writing influenced many subsequent novelists such as Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gustave Flaubert, William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, and Italo Calvino, and philosophers such as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Many of Balzac's works have been made into or have inspired films, and they are a continuing source of inspiration for writers, filmmakers and critics.