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Presented to the board of Tniversity P, tudies of the Johns Mopkins 
University in conforrity with tlie r^equireinent for the degree of 
■^octor of Philosophy, 

June 191o 

"arvin Pur ton 

n^> ^- itb 

:'hc /6' tu(3" of 1j!Y ' 6 ii - ';L ^ 4^u e — of ■"lal^^ac rccor.!r,ux](j(.l — itcclf to ; ■ t- 

fy(y<u. <x) x:p^ /^L^-e^z-t-o*-^ .^Aj-a^^i-yy^ 

he /e' tuci" of 1j!"K; ii - ';i.(ru e — of '.ixlv.ixt r 

i*i — %It^ — I'ipol I ' lnc.^ i ' tg one. - To " vMc)t — th-e — inacc caailjility — 04^ — \7rv^ 

3- 3 r ^^rnr Jr o3 of /lancc j— a ot te a suriour . d i s a d va n tag^n. rx 

p rtJGont conc& p'tJr»n of the siib-j-e-et—is- . th^— pesul t of a ^radusl 
e^fel uti o n,. of liir.i tg^rjr&rv along-certain line and extensions 
^Arwr-^ ot.hp.r'K^ — an < ! - it ray b o stated an follows i to take a limited 
nuir.ber of H&lzac'n Ti^ures. and to fix as definitely as possible 
their rel,ation to the man, to show how they derive from hip- and 
how they, throw li/'ht on his complex nature, and, finally to 
estiii.ate the literar^y value of the figures. ? i;.o I'.r.n forcad w is 
4j0 - §, study of the literary sources of tl^e fi;"uris; such a 

, „ - ,^ - v . -oulf^ not pffc et 

i ur c OT ' . (A'A'r. I'/ff n !' ; — i r ss p . up]i c e - ow r interest is centered, n( 

study ''Vould b§ an intertstinf^ addition but i«- 

!ot on 

th.e artistic raniiulation of t}ie individual figurative conceptions, 
which, are, in fact, rarely original with Palzac, but on the 
general lines of "lis choice of conparisoris and or tiie. purpose for 
v/yiic!". 'le rost frequently uses thcin. -\y r-^ ■'-•iii tp have not ± L&&a 
rrr? definite ac I hr. . t;' lijii^d, — brrt I trust tl-'.at they ina^ at least 
be sup;;"estive. 

-s>* <^-V.^Jcr^.^Ci. "^~'>-xs>^Jv4\ -^^-^ ^'^ 3J>~e^^ .-o^ 

- ^-e— ^tHE- '-t rs^f d4 -[ 

%ji ^ ^-rosAA* 'T^ ■= ^-3 -»^J 0->Srb 

.^viJ;-; j'":'Uj3 erf 

"UKliir COi:?SNTS 

"'^ Face 

Introduction 1 

Table of fi,2:urfcs F 

Chapter I. Topical anal^/sis of the table of fir;ures 9 

Chapter II. rhetorical analysis of the fi^iiures "2 

Ci-.apter IIT. Tauses that contributed to falzac's 

Frequent ure of t'-e figure of speeci^ 42 

Chapter I". '^ elation of Balzac's figures to h:is 

ps3^ch.olop;y C9 

Chapter V. Relation between Palzac's figures and his ideas 76 
r>:ppter' '" . ' e style of ?alzac jud;'^ed according to its p 

effectiveness Gl 

Conclusion /'?3 

Pibliograp' 7 ; -^ 

Vita /I- 


Tho f,i£;urQB ot sppeQh ^^s lOrdinaril:; classified ui.a analysou 

are intereGtin^ and instructive , in the , siliudy of an author, Lut 

sirjcs? t}~>ey. indi(j.^te the intenrelsvt ion and , grouping of his various 

concepts, their. sudy should r:;ive us a deepEE insi'^ht into his 

psyclio.loc;. i^l '"^ ^w>-ta,iiW , . Sone such aiia -is necessary to justify =the 

stu alzac's, figures, since, in contrast to tl^ose of ''/ictor 

"U30, they offer no speci?-! .interes^t in -^tiheir.^^lves ^_, their interest 

corces fpon their relatipn -tQ ,the n4:nd thoiL created them. 

It has been necesoary to linit the field of study to three 

characteristic novels^ le Lvs dan s la valine. i\*X}-.Si^J[iS:BP-Ji^,.Z.^.V99^} 

^rid ^JilllaiS-JlriiQ^jgJt!--. Also the llr-ures other than siirdle and 

metaphor are ^i^side^our purpose, as are all absolutely banal cor- 

parlsons;' we" must' draw our conclusions "from those •.rhich indicate 

that '■both" teriiis of ^ the ''comparison '//ere really preser ' ind 

of t-;e author . created the' figure . The table presents the 

classification of the figures and indicates Voth'terrrs o'f the^ 


r '; T-?"r I TO- I ' . . ; _ " 
cir^PTER II ^::etopica: 

reneral Cw-.....^ij '^.t- wh u;.^ , .^ a. j.- uj.'c;ci . . .c- 6o-v;i!. to 

convey the inpression intenuo- >y_^ ■. o author.. Artistically 
consic.ered tjieir. .rr.ain defects are:^ l/f^ I'retenti^usness, v.iiicii it. 
ir.ost disagreable in the Ly:s^_jiajas_JL&_yftll^e^ i ;, ]fpiUi^ 
frequently in^ pure verbiage, is a result partly .f ti.e effort 
to nagnify, V-v. figures, are frequently 2/ not apt and at tires 

absolutel:/ rfteaninsless . IrpropMaLy resulLr-; also fro: ?>/ &,>;- 

ctissive rnterialism, a revolting conception as tj.t; basis of 

a coir.x;arison. Or it nay be only ti ■ • 4/ insists too 

r.inutely on tti& materialistic conception .5/ Incoherence or 

mixture of fi,'-ures. All t-iese defects rergt 

'l-.&y reveal to u.:- ■iconceivecl notions of siir.ilari'/ 

and consequently an imperfect analysis of tl, similarities; 

.:;veal also the lack of a critical faculty sue Ir 

I ■ '- - . 

to distinruis between two figurative conceptions or between 

a fif^urative and a literal conception. 

CHApTSS III r ^ ' -3]- qI' 

Preamble: r:eststement oi Li.e i.rul Liplicity and defects of the figures 
"'he defects of the style as a whole correspond to the defects of 
tT5e figures, (which fact ^ileh(^s greater importance to. pur study. 
Three phases of the study :l/ Thy so m;any used? 2/ 'Tjiat explanation 
can v;e find for their nature?- 3/, v/hat . is the i±pression on the 
reader?. The -present- chapter deals with' the first ciuestion. 

"he figures — especially t:,e great number in the Lvs dan s 
IS-^-i^iillJ^ --^ nay be partially explained as m.ere literary acornr 
rents. ^ut the figure 01 sppech is also a very valuable and 
efficient aid to expression. i'o ^ bette r. uncerfetandvPalzac' s use 
of it as sucli, we must consider sozr.e of the problems that he faced. 

The noriral' development of language among civilized peoples 
is opposed to vividness of irpression; expressions that originall- 
evoked an image of l/ic thing in question tend by continue 1 and 
universal use to becor.e s-yrbols of abstracts concepts. In I ranee 
owing to tl e limitation of t;.e v-^cabulary and of tiic usage of 
tl e words admitted, t'-ic te^^iut-ncy is not so adequr'tely counter- 

9m ^ W»|^V% 

br.lpncod .b-"- t's intr-ocJuctioii u-^ . i i .L i,i r/.odt-s ol' expression. 
Stich a lan^ua^c is especially suited to the trarsnission of 
abstract ideas, and the iiasterp4eces r '" '' • '' - ' 

ei?;l.teent}i cunturies ■-"' '-"ice are lar;_,ul^ ;, o ari.i.ti.ic ^ i't.;-:a.r.t,- 
ation of , ak&tRacBt ' uj.unal concetti onr: . '^ -'' -■- -ith 

a pore creative {^cuiuK --Fabelais, ::oli"bro, . - . 

}'ave tak^n liberties- wi th thel"^ ' ' - 

sel '.^ " ddiun;,. ir.ore sui" . '. " ._ jKc, ^■'^' oiio. ^.rofji-ct- 

i.on. pi t .e illusipn of .liio,.^ ^....j.^. l ' s genius is ' '" 

nature; \r \ ;]■; i .. v.l; -', v^" ^' ^ - 
rerr • ; ■ -n 

!/ o U..J ::. '. ^... V ^' • ' sixtoi^i: ill uorti/' . 13 iu^^a on 


t ■^ prope;r ro^ . \ .. ' 1 ' ■" ' ' " 

: 'ic stylo, Oj . Lc-ncL-^r;.].^ . ^ . _ / ,:■-; : :-: r. : ■,..r-;,, 

olds tri-at., ever . ::.ctux;.i ■ , 

.''■ -of tfhfeareadc; . ; rac. i: . ' .'.i.s y^ ■ ru^,]: 

in<J.ica^ob L' '[his. can i. . . 
s eecii. 

and r-ovivi 

repr<=&^^ o;^tl<,L ivi^^ai. ov. 


Ti:fentX . ,but 



■^ • -icatio' ' llustrt- 

Cauaissart .. . - is. an advaut; .^ oin^lc-iioss arid j.ence 

. ■ ■ ' &r in 

rai.c.t©r J. ay is^^lii 

'igg ui outio^n, o±' iii-ajinaLion for 

OoSoI Vr^. tiOil, 

yalzac 1,'- ■- iires to descri ' more intar. ' -_.?. 

or lif- cscribv. . 

oT , avj . ; especi 

vvorkin,!' . _ ' ' cr 

externalri in c penetralfc; vvit>,in(( T, ne " ; he r:iist 

depend • : ' ' 

ri^ures . "rt;sentin{^ Liic ' ' 1 in tt 

fc^t. . \ only is the ineer i- an 

a riroauct • :.ion Ibl, ' ' Ler 

is cons true Ifesu -ire aits rotiier than observe. life. 

The ideo conveyed by Lju-; firures is frequently very 

result proh^'bly of the v' ' '.i'^.n. 

It is true that there are certain ' pressec" 

abstract^ and that S concrete comparison is an bk r. id to our undc;r-'in . • ^atfcst 

c;-3ro. '.'he exsnili-s of Sttind'ial onci rlaubert e;-iOv, ., :..3o tl'iat thtrt 
arfc otlier methods of derlct-l .: . 

Z/ relation of Uie fi/ures ^ Mitude 'of : 

general r-nterisli.. re;, is relatbi 

realist ' .on tMe 

e.xternal a: ; , iritual is 

express: . ' stance,' tends to aniir.ate anc 


rison' is dangerous but 
sur ' Lion to . ._ 

■ I I, -- ■ ttitude towards 
nature. Therr. ' i if fere? 

charact --jalist; 

ror.antic traits are superficial or ci-otional. 

ID£A£ . 

i/i-- i-i.'-.: ' .XL..; J i^:^ri;2<> 3ii-.&2:f:i!,L ■ ' incitior 
to j_)jr'U('.ucu 1 i jures oi' f_ eoui. is ■ suggested in Palza.c'i; ;rLicle on 
StsndhPl. ' 'Ic t-r "fri. -~- Wr"c ■'/o blending o£ '~ - ce^:ts is 
usually i., -^ I'i^tu] .. ;:! • v,-;xc;ij. or syrholicai y ir liarities, 
in of c:~ --■:■''- of jtr-cb^'i" """ of imp ' ' ' ■ , ' "■ ' s o 
continur.i i; b^^raction of itot; and f igurb^ . .. u; ]\g.„:'"':".;.s fusion. 
The study of falzac's ii'^^ ' '^ 1 be r&l£ted especial": ' Mit:- 
Lyp. dans la va ll(^er. whicr, \z intimately associal- Liie 
3ZtudeG philosoplil ques an(' ' have been spoil^c cy this 

TQiTe ideas or :alzac. :he iniluencu oi t,i e general prinri- 
pc'l 01 the unity ol creation on the figures in grou; '. "re 
specific forraulations of the general principal; tentt-ncy Lo 
relate tlie spiritual to the iraterial is strengl- tened by his inter- 

est in the occult sciences. .- fits oi' i>:it- fluiL'S, li^ht, end 
physiological aspect of tho soul in Touis Lar.bfcrt. ":filzac v/as 
thoroughly obsesse.d.-'by these conceptions even if he did not have 
absolute faiti^. in them. Such conceptions seer.s to be due in 
part to the fact that banal fi^^ures such as "un regard de feu" 
take concrete shape i ' " Izac; at any rate they cause 
"■alzac's discussion of spiritual i.;-.enorena to t " le a treatise 
on hydraulics, optics, or physiolo ■ . ." . i or.. I ouis ^. ambjert.. 

^alzac was still obsessed b^' ti.ese coiiCi-ptions "lien he 
wrote the Lys dans la valine , at are translated into his 
figures. Typlanation of the frequent comparisons to flowers. 
The effect frori; an artistic st;- • deplorsble- ' oetic 

pretension is not in accord i '-■ l ._ lij^ures; a potentially 
poetic comparison is frequently spoiled by excessive minuteness. 
"■he reason is the clearness of Ba^ zac s ovm visualization. 
Fxarri^ les in detailed comparisons to flowers. 

!:alzac's attempt to reconcile his materialisn and spit?it- 
ualism is probably justifia ' tandpoint, but the union 

of tic t-.>o in the Lys' dans la vi^ll s^^ ' . ?sion of 

somet'iing Balssir^ . 


An attempt to explain tht. contradictory iirprossions ~iven 
by the style of 7alzac. The ^.^sychology of the reader ^uf^t by 
taker into account, for tlit term style xJ^^esupiO 'ses a reader. 
Jud;2;tn.ent must be largely personal but citations of the opinions 
of others ^ive a brofiuor hasit lor c orirlusions . 

Spencer's theory that the best style is t';e one thf' t can 
be urderstooc"; with the leas' effort v;ill hold for scientific 
discussions; but an autlior w}:o cer.uts has to rival witJi nature 

and translate into words all t'-mt he nees and. feels. . is main 
dlfficultir cones fro: - ct tJiat the readers are content with 

r ere wdrds ; a clear r-rapamatical style oi'fers incentive for the 
fonTTRtion and hence naybe.. tli'\e least .effectivBy. for when tr:e words 


pass frQiti-the--»wlf5d'i the (tdea^ only vague ^nd generalized. 
Oratorical and rlictorical devices used to centre^ the j'ttention.^ effective are the sir.ile and metaphor with their infinite 
possibilities .01 variation. ■'"Shey arrest the- atterition and 
dfefinite concepts liave to be forr.ulated before" the- Eind can grasp 
t'\e •reaninr; -afid'pa'ss:--on-. 

ritations frorn '-al^ac shov.-ing tha't'heireallzed the difficult, 
I'heboldesf of • thi^Dpiohbc.. i. the irodern conception of style. 
:'e' failed partialljr because lan/7;uai:;;e is a^ thlnp;-0f* c'onvention and 
too ituch liberty woulc' pervert its prime function. 7et the 
testir.ony of Caro_,fiM ' runctitre, and Salnte^Eeuver shows, that he 
gained his ends . Even- a certain confusion and'-'tncorrectiaess may 
be of value in tglvlng 0. nX>Te %o^a;ct representation- '6f*. life, which 
fg Itself ' turmoil and confusion; also being l^ess conventional 
they .^iive us a rore palerson^ ai&l intijRKte relation wit", the- author. 
"'oreover, a materialistic repi^esentatidh'- of life may strike us as 

the real as opposed- to the ideal, for in our personal associations 

it Is 'l3r'*-'ely the ir.a'tfe^ial^':side oi life t Wat ■•we see;, and the syle 

can best paint lif e- •^••1by^''takin;- on some of its qualities. 

3uri^ ai f ■ nee at the future. 


The figures of speech compose a- ve - ry interesting element of 
any style in which they are frequently utilized. Thus there have 
teen numerous studies of their use "by individual authors both an- 
cient and raodern,l)ut the treatises are usually little more than 
catalogues of the figures arranged according to the fields from 
which the comparisons are drawn, such a presentation enaoies us 
to iudge of the range of the iaiovaeage and interest of the author, 
the exactness of his oiDservatiorijhis pov^rer of i;fiagination,and his 
aesthetic sense of fitness as leading him to choose an apt compar- 
ison and to express it in an attractive arid illuiiinating manner. 
Such indications are Uoth ixit o r e sting Q jft4 instructive/. out irtr 
oms -t-^rtstt- -ve should be able to go deeper. The figure of speech} 
presenting infinite possibilities of arbitrary variation, should 
throw numerous sidelights on the most intimate phases of the au- 
thor's personality, :ind from them we should be acle to derive some 
generalized principles of figurative creation. 

If>-aa- has bee Br-o#WH-&-tart»4^the style is the man, the should be said even more positively of the figures of speech^ 
an element of style in vmich the author is comparatively free fran 
the i^estraint of convention ai'id into vvhich the rhythi:, of his 
thought is translated freely ^and often unconsciousljl:. Bourget in 
his essay on Stendhal says that "la premiere question a se poser 
sur un auteur est celle-ci : quelles images resuscitent dans la 
chambre noire de son cerveau quand il ferme les yeux? c'est I'ele- 
ment premier de son talent. C'est son esprit m§iae. Le reste n'est 
que la raise en cf&uvre." (1) 
(1 ).-Essais d e psychologie contemporalne,I,T;.29^ . 

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Bourget is not specifically r>^f erring to figures of speech, but 
afflrns tnat tne Kind, of images — physical, intellectual, or eraotlon- 
al — that arise give an accurate index to the character of the 
mind; a statement <»mich we can accept if we do not too 
rigid an application. But the way in v;hich these images are asso- 
ciated ^vith one another, the way in which they are paired off 
should be still more instructive, we should be able to see what 
taices ■'aace in the author's mind \faen he wishes to descri'oe a 
shalDT3.y parlor, a miser, a pure woman, or love in a young girl's 
t)-^east. If there is no association of ideas, ^'e have a literal 
description or account, out ^if there is, that association, reflect- 
ed in the simile or metaphor, represents a definite psj'choiogical 

v/ith this principle m mind we wish to study the siiffi- 
les and metaphors of Balzac, for \?hom some such a method is nat- 
ural and, in order to justify the study, even necessary, for his fig- 
ures hive no particular interest in themselves, victor Hugo p^ 
jLR-at-a^i«« is an artist in imagery; one can picj<: up a dictionary of 
his figures and read with pleasure, without Knowing the context 
and without thinKing of the author, in the same way that you en- 
joy a snatch of song from an opera. Balzac's art is not refined 
to the point of being impersonal, of having a separate, seif-aa*^ 
Mficing existence; it is IndissoiulDly bound up with the man and 
his suuject. He was guided by a happy instinct when he tried to 
fuse his worK into a sin^:ie whole, for there are few other cases 
where the author and his worK form such a composite uriit,aiid prob- 
ably none where a single worK loses more of its distinctive char- 
acter by being isolated. Tne sarae is true for the figures of 

, i&::JC: 


c;'l QUI J 


speech; tnelr r.iam interest oomea froir; their relation to the au- 
thor. In studying the character of the figures, the maraiCr ana ]:ur 
pose of their use, we gain an insight into certain phases of the 
intellect :ind personality of the man; a process vrhich is readil.y 
merged vath the reverse, that of ir.dioat mg how certain icie'is, char- 
acteristics, infiriaities perhaps, of the raan are reflected in his 
figures aUd henoe in his style. This 'will lead to some more sren- 
eral discussion of certain qualities of style in tneir relation 
to t;:e author and in their effect on the reaaer. 

When vie recall tliat we are dealing v.-ith the author of 
^^-^' Coi.:edie humaine » the protlem of limitation of the field at 
once presents itself , for it v/ould ^ vidon txy be oeyond the scope 
of this iDrlef study to treat e^-en superficially all of talzac's 
figures. I have chosen for special stuay the Scenes ae la vie 
de j)rovince .^/vhich include eleven novels, j:ood. Dad, ai-.d indi:^fer- 
ent. They are almost coextensive with the period of ^rirs literary 
activity, and, >-hat is miuch more importaiit with an author who shows 
so little Chronological development, they present exajn^ 
pies of the most importaiit pha^^es of his genius. But for our 
present purposes ive must have a r,iore minute study of thee figures 
than it is practicat)ie to give to the whole of even this section; 
and so the l-rger part of .this study will be concerned directly 
with three novels. The Lvs dans la vallee gives us an excellent 
example of the poetic xnid rom;.u\tic pha:^e of Balzac and contains 
such a mass of figures that it is worthy of a separate treatment. 
Th e irenage d'-jn gar con presents one of his famous monsters of 
iniquity and illustrat.s^ wsj^the author's j:rateriali3m,v-hich de- 
scends frequently to vulgarity and triviality. Eoth of these 




IlKV. .u. 


are powerful "orlrs aiid reveal Balzac us a conaoious and careful 
workman. Tne third novel. Eugenie Srandet .ls a masterpiece in 
which the two phases of his worK are fused, and ls_for, our purpo- 
ses all the more interest Ing/in that it is - tho on «— in-^mi-efr he 
has shovjn the, most self-restraint, Ift-^Th-teh he has chastened his 
geniusy^a^' V7e may suppose that what we find m it represents a 
serious purpose and is not the result of his havi^ig given rem to 
the fancies of the moment. T^ie conclusions tJi«b%- we draw from 
these three novels can - the afi oe tested "oy comparison to Lina ex- 
amples from the other novels, ji.ore especially those in the s oenes 

d e la vie Ae province . 

v/e have also to limit tne aind of figures that we -vish 

to stud.y. As has already "been indicated, vj-e use the term "figure" 
in its most current acceptation, that is as r.ieanlng similes and 
metaphors, or in other words an.y expressed or Implied comparison 
hetv/een ohjects or acts which iDelong to different categories or 
exist under different circumstances, if mi Inanimate opject or 
a lower order of life is compared to man, we have a special form, 
to '."Thich the natae personification has oeen given, ire other 
rhetorical figures such as apostrophe, interrogation, and even 
metonomy and synecdoche, are mere moaes of expression or lin- 
guistic conveniences, Hypertole and antithesis do express a cer- 
tain attitude of mind, and we find theji; frequently emipioyed Dy 
BalZcT,c,hut the principle loacK of the creation of the individual 
figures of either type is always the same and nothing could oe 
gained by a detailed study :t-.e difference between two hyperbolas 
'■fbr instance is merely one of degree. 

But figurative expression has become such a vital part 



of Vne language tyiat tnere are many comparisons, usually in the 
form of rietaphorsjwnicn have ceased entirely to be felt as such 
and h'lve tecorae the normal expression of the Idea. They are trais- 
lated directl.y Into abstract concepts^ without evolilng any Image 
of the thing originally suggested as an analogical explcination 
of the otject under discussion. Jejter jin^re£ard,ujte_ dau^l^ 

proforide, 1 »inprelnte_jie milancholie sur une figure, ^pouser les 

ln ter §t5_de quelqu 'un evoKe no image of the literal i.oearilng of 
.lete r , prof ond, etc . ; they are Knovm as lead figiares and m their 
study one approaches the domain of senarxtlcs. Their use indi- 
cates no semblance of OEiginullty and hence they do not interest 
us in the study of the individual style of an author. It is 
sufficient to state hero that Balzac is exceedingly fond of fig- 
urative expression', arid m addition to his original creations, one 
finds in his Tvoric an unusually large number of these fig- 
ures. Ke shows an especial fondness aift? certain terms, such as 
■ieter . prof ond . f r ol d , and various others connected with the idea 
in c omb a t . 1 1 en » an d dr ame . The value of these, if there be any, 

consists m a possible added force of expression.' It is often 


difficult to decide 'rhether a certain expression represents a 
personal Imprint of the . md of the author or whether he has 
simply talcen it already coined from the v/ealth of contemporary 
figurative language. In attei.;ptlng to deterrr.lne this I have made 
extensive use of the modern i'rench dictionaries, but have relied 
especially on the sixth edition of the Dictionnaire de I'AcadeLi e 
7rancalse , which is ri^arer-vo- the aateiof the author'^ and which 
gives a considerable number of figurative uses f-ei>-iiiii3 words. 
've c-ui at least be sure that an expression from the pen of Balzac 

when recognized ty this constirvative wnri:,aoe3 uot ixiaicate ar..y 
original creation on his part, otner eluL.ei.ts must also be taK- 
en Into account in our decisions. At tne base of tne figure of 
speech tnere is tne idea of a coinparison bet-.'een tvv^o objects. 
Tne comparison .may be new or rare, but this is not necessary in 
order that the figure h-ive a stylistic and psychological signifi- 
cance. The ir,ost banal comparison may be revived and made real ty 
a new form of expression, i'urther — arid this is more iraportant 
for Salzac — a banal figure becor^es significant ;vhen it is pro- 
longed by carrying out tne domparison in detail, or -.-hen it is 
used over and over again. Briefly then, we wiaH, to study those 
expressions of Balzac m which words are used m other than their 
usual relations, and in 'eilch, either on account of the infrequen- 
cy of the idea, or of the insistence on it by a new niamier 
of prolongation, or oy frequent repetition, it is ev- 
ident that the concept of the thing under discussion is not alone 
in the mind of the author, but that it is associated v;ith some- 
thing else vmich he, sees and which. ]ie wlfh^s us to see on account 
of certain suggestive sir.:ilarlties. It is evident that a banal 
simile is less li]£ely to be excluded than .a,-<:^jrres'30ii^ingly banal 
metaphor, since the naming and^expressed comparison of two objects 
indicate that both objects vjere. in the. mind .of the author.. 

In order to form a2i4..pjresent any general conc.usiori', it 
has ^ceen necessary to mai:e a very c:ireful classification of the 
figures, the results of which are shoim m the table that follows . 
The customary method of classif-^ing figures of speech solely by 
the second term or yi^fk source of the comparison is inadequate for 
our purposes. According to this plaxi all com arlsons to the sky 

are classed togetner whether the first term of the comparison hap- 
pens to be a pigeon's wing, the eyes of a maiden, or a soniiata of 
Beethoven. A comparison Is rithout meaning both stylistically 
and psychologically unless /e take into consideration both terms 
rmd ■■compare their real relations with that indicated uy the fig- 
ure of speech, a perfect table vvouid t^e blocked out like a check- 
er-board v'ith the first terius of the comparisons listei. vertically 
and the secon. terms horizontally; but so minute a classification 
would be confusing and in part superfluous, i have modified this 
method m accord with a grouping which^ after a study of the fig- 
ures in these three novels, best adapted to giving to the reader a 
comprehensive idea of the whole mass of figures, of their individ- 
ual character, Olid of the. purpose for which they are used. All the 
figures ars grouped under six general headings corresponding to 
what Balzac wishes to aescribe; opposite each heading are ciassi- 
fleVas minutely -is seemi3J rrofital^le the secorid terms of the 

In the table I have included ..niy those figures used 
by Balzac or by his spokesman F^llx de Vande/nesse; in this way 
I eliminate a disturbing element resulting from Balzac's attempt, 
to characterize his men and women by their modes of expression. 
The flgurea used in dialogue win come in for their share of dis- 
cussion in the course of the study. 


as80 asTc 

to '&TBr' ' 

Bi iiGinesilc 

-Cf 10 0. 

Table of Pigures 

1 . 7nn to 


to material phenomajt, 

fh. pl-mts 

^^plri^■VB. fluids 

J' Ic. 
r.oiTiena 7"^. pny siological 
music "• 

F. otner water iai 

Lys daiis 
la valise 

12 1^ 




10 5 

IV. ATastract relations and 
conditions of man 


V. Acts to aots Oi siiail:ir 
nature. , . 

VI. f A. things 

tilings to 

Ti. _ lying 

al =^^ 




¥n menage 
lie garcon 

3 5 






tf2 v\' 




"il^ ' 

Eugenie [suflmiary 









19 3 








1 3Q/+' 






T opicoj. /uxaJ^ysi B. o f tn e Table of Fi ...?ards 

^, In tills group tne figures, :is expressed, tre-\t of man as a PAVS- 
ical org;irilsin,lDUt tne intellectual arid spiritual sides are r.atu- 
^^allj/- present in the nlnd of tne autnor and in iiar-y cases really 
forn tne basis of tne comparison. 

Group I»A/ 
Comparisons between numan beings are very frequent in Balzac; 
ne describes tne acts or tne e/notions of a cnaracter by comparing 
tnem to tne acts or eiAOtions in a person o^ different social sta- 
tus or under different circumstances. In uiari^y cases, of course, p 
the. similarity is so great tnat tne comparison could nardly be 
called a figure of speecn,ana even tnose tnat I nave listed, wnicih 
are usually expressed in tne forn of sii:-ales,iuignt be called v;itn 
greater exactness analogies, in order to distingmsn tneiu from 
those figures m vdicn tnere is r'lOre real iiaagdry. In tne Lvs 
dans la val ine ',;e find t -enty seven f ig-ares based on differences 
Of age, sex, and pnysioiogical condition, a^'iong wnicn tne most inte? - 
esting are tne seventeen comparisons to cnildren : "alet nomme etait 
devenu inquiet .coniTie 1 ' enfant ■ qui- ne voit plus remuer le pauvre 
Insecte qu'il tourmente" (p.^t>i); "^a comtesse se leva par -on 

mouvement d'in;patience,comiiie un enfant qui veut un jouet." (p.::rt>J.); 

"Avec ce courage d'enfarit qui ne doute de rien^" ( p."S^j "AussitSt , 

comme.iin enfant qui, aescendu. dans un abime en jouarit,en cueillant 

des fleursjvoit avec angoisse qu'il lui sera im-jossible ae remon- 

ter,n 'aper-oit plus le sol nuiaain qu'a ui^e distance infrancnissa- 

ble,rie sent tout seul,a la nuit,et entend les nurlements sauvages, 



Je comprla que nous ^tiona s^pares par tout un at)ln9/"( p.>^^), 

Porty nine figures are basad ori'soclal,politlciaiecono2ilc,arid 
racial distinctioriS, the soldier, the sovreigri^and the slave offer- 
ing th^./nost freqilaat I source of co:::parl3on : "Coiur.e I'enfarit ar- 
rache par 'lapoleon aux tendres soins du logis,elle eut hatltue 
se'3 pieds a iRarcher dai.s la boue et daii.s la neise,ac;coutuinf^ son 
f-^ont aux bouletSjtoute sa personne a la passive obelssance du 
soldat/' (p.^)^ "Araoelle voulut , ontrer son pouvolr coroiiie un sul- 
tan qui, pour prouver son adresse. 3 'amuse a decoller ctes innocents" 
(^^)j, "Un contenteinent semblatile a celui de I'esclave qui 
trompe son Kiaitre/"{ p.x^H^). 

A very interesting feature ot this XiOvel lies m the 
thirty seven figures in fhich religious terms- are used with ref- 
erence to carx^al xfian, especially to express love between the tv;o 
sexes and its effects. Madarae de Mo-ivtsauf is a saint, a martyr, 
a nun : "La siiinte qui souffrait son lent' oar tyre a Clochegourde" 
(p."r%>v); "Sereirie sur son bticher ae sainte et de niartyre"X ip.Ssi); 
"Attendant toujour suue nouvelie douleur,cofflrae les Liartyrs attend- 
aient un rLOUvsau coup"(p.qs). There-.: are also specific Biblical ref- 
eren'.', as ;"Couch^e cormae si elie avait ete foudroyee par la 
voix qui terrassa saint Paul"( p.-^f^ ). But ir.uch jaore frequent and 
strlicing are the specific cor::parisons of the sensuous - if not 
sensual - to the religious emotions; after catching the tears of 
'.'adsuiie de Mortsauf in his hai.d ai.d drirJ^ing therii,F^iix sa^'^s to 
her : ""^''olcl la premiere, la sainte communion de l 'amour. Oui,Je 
vlens de participer a vos douieurs,de ri'unir a votre anie,cornne ,. 
nous nous unissons au Christ en buvant sa divme substance" (j- .%,); 
or "Elle qui avait tout laisse pour r:ioi,coiL.':ie rirx laisse tout pour 



timSiiih . 

IIS" 10 

Dieu" (pS>siO;jr " Kile recevait nos aaorations oocbne un pr§trd 
regolt i'lncena a la mesae"U'iS(.). In addition to tne rererences 
to the Bible hientioned aDove,t}iere are eleven allusions tiiat may 
be classed as figures under tnis heading. They are drawn from 
classic, Italian, and French sources, v'ith one reference to Don Quix- 
ote?, imd tney offer no special interestj'vlth, the. except ion perhaps 
of the two comparisons of Ft^lix and, Madame de ilortsauf to petrach 
aiid I aur a ( pp . liO., 1 6 3 ) . 

In the other two novels the figures group themselves simi- 
liirly exc;ept that tnere are p ra^i^ioally no references to relig- 
ion. I a Un -in enage d e ^ar c on ^ c omp ar i aon^ t o children, and, raorestriic- 

ing still, eight to the sici:,aying,and aead : "ivaigre comme I'est 

une etique deux heures avant sa mort"( p.;^^ ); "Une fenme, verte 

coimiie une noyee ae aeux Jours'H p.^i^). Fourteen have refer er.ce 

to the professioxiS, 'Vith that of the soldier predominatiug : "ce 
sang-froid de general en chef qui permet de conserver I'oeii 
clair et 1 ' intelligence nette au milieu au tourbiiion des choses" 
(p.9^); "M.Hochon. . .passa I'assiette a travers la table au jeune 
peintre avec le silence et ie sang-froid d'un vieux soidat qui 
se dit au commenceriient a'une oataille : 'jillons, aujourd'hui, je 
puis etre tue' "(p."Si:^); "Le pere Houget... vint aacis la rue 
prendre Flore ptu: la mainjCOirm.e un^ avare eiit fait pour son 
tresor"( p.3i^^). There are five allusions of no special interest, 
with the exception of t;vo referring to recent French history and 
having a ^vexv. pretentious sound': 5 "Flore tomba sous la domina- 
tion de cet honirrie,coffiiue la France etait tombee sous oelle de 

Fapoieon"( p.3<^i); "En presence de oette agonie,le neveu restait 

Impassible et froid couime ies diplomates,en l<:;li+,rend:int les 

3/7 12 

convuiLUons e la i'raiice li;iperlale"( p.:^:tji-). 

In :bi'ug^nie Grandet there are six coniparisons to cnildren : 

"J'eoou— ecoute,reponciit 'nuifiDleiiient le uuiihOMne en prenaiit la ma- 

llcieuse contenance d'uxi enfaixt qui rit iriterieureiuent ae son 

proresseur , tout an r.araissant lui preter la plus v^raiicie atten- 

tion"( p.l&^r-);, "Les yeux attacnes sur les louis,cor;uiie un enfant 

aul,au moment ou 11 cOiij.ience a voirjcontemple stuplcLernent le iu^me <? 

objet; et comma a un enfant, il lui ecliappa un sourire penible"( p.Vnfc^ 

"A la m^ ae ses ricne3se3,elle se mit a applauair en tattant 

les mains , somrae un enfant force de perdre son trop-plein de joie 

dans les na'ifs raouvements du corps"( p.r^). Eleven figures refer 

to professions! as tne comparisons of the astute Graxiaet to aii as- 

tronoiner( p.^) and to an alchemist (p.BSJ. More interesting here 

are those that refer to particular situations, aiid which have usuat- 

ly a pretentious "r:r±«^ : "L'attente d'une mort ignominieuse et 


pu'olique est moins horrihie peut-etre pour un (iondarnne que ne 

I'etait pour Maaame Grai.det et 'r.our sa fille I'.ittente des evene- 
msnts qui devaient terminer ce aejeuiier de f ar;iille"(^t,); 
" parisienne qui, pour faciliter la fuite de son araaixt, 
soutient de ses faiijles Pras une echelle de montre plus 
de courage que n'en deplo-'/ait Eu^^enie en remettaiit le sucre sur 
la tatie"! p.^); "Liais a la verite,la vie des celetires soeurs 
hongroises,attachee3 I'une a 1' autre par une erreur de la nature, 
n'a''\alt pas ete t;1us intime que ne I'etait celle d'Eugeiiie et 
de sa mere"! p.-»s2,)« In addition to the last quoted figure tnere 
are eleven alius lons,noscb; of them of a rather pretentious nature, 
Eugenie is compared to the Venus of iiilo,the Juriter of Phidias, 
and three times to the Virgin Llary, Similarly the cruchots and 



the lie%* Grass Ins are the Vedici ..liu t,ne pazzi of Saumur. 

In the comparisons betvreen human beings, tli en i we I' we 
naturally expect, that the professions play a considerable uart . 
But congidering the very small place that the child holds m the 
Comedle hitnaln e, we are a little surprised to n^te the insistence 
on child life; the figures indicate tnat Balzac had observed 
rather closely the good and "bad sides of child nature; and in ad- 
dition to the e.vtended figures there is a still larger number of 
cases in which enfant in or d 'eiif an t is used with a psychological 

- oT 

connotion. It is interesting to note here that Balzac in his cof - 
respondence is continually s'^'eaKing of his own nature as being 
that of a child. ( 1 ) 

Group I>_,_B/ 

In vie-": of Balzac's frequent statement of the corres:'?ondence 
between the human and animal species, we naturally looic >,irith in- 
terest to see how this idea finds expression in the figures of 
speech. ' We 'find that, though Balzac is fond of aiiiwalistic com- 
parisons, he does not let his theory distort his sense of reality. 
A single animal could not represent a single man, unless its char- 
acter --^re greatly enlarged or that of the man simplified; much 
less could an ariiraal represent a class or profession in huiaan so- 
ciety. Thus, while one type of aiiimalistic comparisons usually 
riominates for a character, others are reguliirly used to represent 
his various physical or other traits. 

In the L ys dans la va line the most stri'xing trait is the 
frequent comparisons to birds, of which there are thirteen, nine 
having refsrence to Maaime de ilortsauf . ii-^ese cowparisons concern 
her mou^.'-ements : "Une f o:.i:ie'. . .sa posa rr^s ae r..ol T^ar un r ouvement 
(1) Cf. Lettres a 1' fetrangfere .I .t:-d.189. ^li^. ^^7 etc . 




,oie \Ff .^LF .Q?,L.aa.l. eie^i-iSiik'L £ eeiJJeJ .lo (I) 


d'olseau qui s'abat sur son nia"( p."5r8^); luore frequently it la ner 
voice : "La voix cle I'ange qui, par intervalles, s 'eievait coix/ie 
un cnant .le rossigriol au uoment ou la piuie va cess3r"( p.-«a^ ); or 
the comparison r.iay oe less external, luore inteilactuai( li ) : Madaiae 
ae Mortsauf etait le Bengali transporte dans la froiae aurope, 
tri8tement pose sur son t)a,ton,i;:uet et i;.ouraxit daiiS sa ca£<,e ou le 
garde lun .iaturaliste"( p.2~5^). The other ooinparisons are rather 
veil dlstri'outed over the animal icingdoni; the lion, tiger, vrolf, 
rnonicey, dog, horsa, serpent aiid insect cure each representea oy two 
or more figures, and iT.ost of them are applied to several of the 
characters. Madariie ae Jiortsauf has "cette expression ne lionne 
au desesr,oir"(p,2^) -.mile of Lady Dudley it is said that "sem- 
blatle a la lioime qui a saisi dans sa gueule et rap^ort^ doj.s 
son aiitre une proie.elle veiilait a ce lue rien ne troulDlat son 
TDonheur,at ne gardait oomrr.e une conquSte insouraise"( p,Z>ik). The 
most interesting, perhaps, and the most suggestible of character 
are those referring to Mortsauf , whom Balzac hl.iiseif care to 
consider the most striking character of the booKd ) : "Je fus Misi 
patur'-^ a ce lion sans ongies et sans criri^iere"! p.7^); "Ses ^^eux 
etlnceiarent comne ceux des tigres"( p.Tv); "Son visage ressemblai t 
vaguement a celui d'un loup blanc qui a au sang au museau"lp.V> 
cf.p.I^); " 

(1) Lettres a I'Strangere .I.T). ^28 

(2) I use the term "intellectual figure" to aenote one based on 
an Intellectual- j^comparison as contrasted with a figure based 
on purely external ;ind physical sir^iiarities. xne teri/. ia 
less liable to cause confusion than "logical". 

iO acuflc 

' 9J 9jiJt .eeu I (2) 



"Ces C;orte3 d'esprlts se heurtent volontiers aux ^fiidroits ou brllle 
l-i lurnlere.ils .y retourneiit toujours en tiourdorinaxit sans rien 

penetrer et fat'iguent I'^jiie coiiij.e les grosses mouones fatlguent 
I'oreille en fredonnant le long aes vitre3"i, p2^ ); "Le cointe 
avalt ete,ccni::.e les ruouclies par un jour de griinde cnaleur,plus pi- 
quant, plus acert)e,plus cnari^jeant qu'a l'ordinalre"( p.i^^si,). 

The aninalistic coi..p:iri3ons m Un menage de gar con are ;\reli 
scattered over the animal l:ingdora,l)ut they have alii.03t always a 
decidedly pejorative value. The tirds ire usually l:irds of prey, 
c q:!:P ar i s ons » i » ovf o vor > 'vh i ' ^Yt ar e no less flattering than :"Elle etalt 
grasse corarne une grive apres lu vendahge"( p.\); or "Get ar;iOur :ua- 
terneli ..t6'ut aussl n^cessaire aux comneriCemeht's de *l 'artiste que 
les "solns .le la rioule a sespeti'ts ~ jusqu'a'''ce qu ' lis alent des 
plunes"(p.^H.^. The effect produced seems to te that desired by 
Balzac. Rouget appears as a hutterfly, and twice "each as a norse, 
Sheep, and dog, and the impression oh us each time "is ahout the sare : 
"Semhla'ole au papllion qui s'est'pris les pattes'-dans la cire fon- 
dante d 'une tougie,P.ouget dlssipa rapidemeht^'ses dGrni^fes forces" 
(p. 353); in the comparisons to dogs" the idea'of fidelity vvnich usual- 
ly doi'ilnates with Jialzac, gives place to the idea of servility/ and 
sutn.issiverxess : "Sur le paller Jean Jacques couch4 'coiiime un chien " 
(p.3H^); "II guettalt les mouvements de cette creature comme uh 
chien gjiette les moindres gestes de son maltre"*, p.t9^). 

In Eugenie Grandet the iceynote of Grandet's cnaracter seems 
to te expressed in the dou'ole figure : "FinaiiClereinent, 
JT. Grxadet tenait du tlgre et du ton : 11 savait se coucher,se Dlot- 
tlr, envlsager longtemps sa prole. sauter aessus; puis ii cuvralt la 


^.r ^ 

..^ V-, 


gueule de sa tDourse,.y engloutissait une cn:irge d'ecu3,et se coucn- 

alt tranquiliement,come ie serT:'int :iui aigere, l.Tipassit)le,froia'. 

^ P. 6'" 
!n^tnodique"( p./). Tie iaea expressed m the figure r^ersists through 

out the booic ivith reference to Graiidet. The tiger appears in two 
oti^er Glmlles and to it moy t)e related five luetaphors such as : 
"Le "beau marquisat de Froidfond fut alors convoy^ vers I'oeso- 
phage de Ti,Grandet"( p.f%). Gr^u.det's cruelty, curuiingjaiid i.Tipas- 
slveness,hls glance that frightens or chills recall the figure of 
the serpent or the later one of tne irasillsi: (^). Eugenie is 
referred to raost frequently as a Dird v.ith its light-hearted in- 
nocenoe or its sad fate : "SemPlaDie a ces oiseau.^ victimes du 
haut prix auquel on les met et qu'ils ignorant '•( pVw ), Madame Gran- 
det has "une resignation d'insecte tourmente par des enfants"(p,'8^)A 
and the same timid meekness is indicated ty four NDther figures : 
Ijlche .i' ouett e. souris ,ar.d affieau * Lanon is compared five times to 
a faithful, affectionate dog. Charles is described in the figures 
in contrast to the natives of Sauicur; he appears as a giraffe — a 
ouriosit.y - or "un colima^on aaiiS une ruche, ou. . .un paon dans 
quelque olDscure basse-cour de village"(p.'H(^). 

Group I^_ C^ 
The comparison<iof man to the plant world have not the 1-ogi- 
(TSbi significance of the comparisons to animals and they are rel- 
atively infrequent m Un menaf^e de gar con and EUf-;enie Grar.aet . 

where they are nearly all tased on ourv/ard appearance, usually coloij 

\7ith the exception of a few poetic figures m the la\\- revel : 

"La DesGcigns avait pris les tons milrs d'une poimne de relnette da 

Pafcques"(GM.p.Tk); "Une vague ressemblance avec ces fruits coton- 

neux qui n'ont plus ni saveur nl sue" (^^'G.r.^^); 




iiSLTi 891 no isupuj- xi'-.^ j>;£ri 

. 889IIi[99ffl fiiiniJ 9fllB8 9X1? b£S£, 
• i!i£^iS:§ £>^^^ » 8I1JJQ8 , 9 J^j9U0j U , Br^-O^ id 

-■ 9Jcnoj:J-09llB,,Xu^ 
ixosfiinxioo HIT" 

v;Cf 91JJD8C!0 9JL.'f- 

-igel 9.. :-;ifi 'jo^noQiiEqu. 


-fiojoo aJi.'iii 890 osvi: ej 


"Cette phvpionornle cali2ie,coi ores, bor dee d'une lueur coirjrie une ■'olle 
fleur eclose "(EC-.p.Ti.); "?i'o\e autcu.t qu'une fleur nee au fond 
d»ur-e forSt est dellcate"(EG.p,7^). 

In t'ne Lyg dans la vali ne tnere are twenty-two coir.parlsons 
of woman to a flower, eighteen of them referring directly to Liad- 
ame de T'ortsauf, A few refer to -external appearance only, as : 
"La paleur verd^tre des fleurs d^ magri:lla quand eiies s'entrouv- 
renf'Cp.jS^); ^^-^t they are usually more intellectual, and they pre- 
sent 3j. elatorate deyelopr..ent of the idea expressed in the title; 
of the novel; we see the flower under all conditions : "Le lys-* 
♦♦"broye dans les /ouages d'une machine en acier poii"( p.3f±gl); 
"Cette fleur, incessaranent fernee dans la froide atriospnere de son 
menage, s'epanou it a ues regards «( p. g->2-); "Penchant la tSte comre 
un lys trop charge ae plul||'(p."&^7&-); "Le lys de cette valiee ou 
elle croissait pour le oiel en la reiiiplissant du parfuirx de ■^es 
vertus"(p.^SC); "La plupart de mes idees...sont nees 1^ comme les 
parfums er-ianent des fleurs, ciais la verdoyait la plante incorjiue 
qui jeta sur mon ame sa feconde poussiere"( p.^); "La renaissance 
de TTadaJTie de ITortsauf fut naturelle coirjue les effets du iiois de sur les prairies, comrne ceux du soleil sur les fleurs a'r'oatues" 
(p.i8.S_). The other coi;.parisons are to pia^'its, trees or fruits : 
"Ce corps aussi d^licat que I'est une plante venue en serre nalgre 
les rigueurs d'un cllmat ^tranger"{ p.>§l); "Elle prenait I'attitude 
d'un saule pleurer"( p.^); "Elle etait mortifie ccr;ii..e le fruit sur 
lequel les meutrissures conuriencent a paraltre et qu'un ver inte- 
rieur fait pre/aturement blondir"( p.t4ik). 

\ 1 

ti Bv;j 

.,. .J 

tl!/a" jd?^.:l)»J'xl91 





Group I, D/ 
T^.e comparisons to irianimate objects are more coimiionpiace; 
they are tased usually on siiailarity of colGr,f orm,or qualities' 
of re^iflttuice,arxd tney interest us especially as they differ in 
the three novels, according to the choice of the object to vrhlch 
man is compared. In the Lys daxxS la vail ee , the comparisons are 
naturally used, for poetical effect and are frequently classic : 
"La peau etait blanche '-tcjvx-.e une porcelaine eclair ee rar une lu- 
mie-r*e"( p .>|>^5; -J^partageai^^ses cheveux en deux oai-ideaux sembla- 
"bies aux ailes d'un cor'beau"( p.^Wi; "Apres avoir effieure le fra^ 
jasmin de ce peau et Jdu le lait de cette coupe pieine d'amour"( p."Mf^ 
In Un menag;e de jargon the comparisons are chosen rat.ier lUtr 

the intention of producing disgust or an impression of strength : 

"Son teint .^ouleur de pain d' epice"( p.Jrs^); "Son cr^ne couleur 
■,.-,- ■-.: ii^-j -■-■: ir ;— ■ 

loeurre frais"( 14^4;); "Les paupi^res ^talent corrmie les pellicules 

' ■"' ' 3 35 
d'(5feuf "(po7o ); "Un tas de llnge et de vieilles robes les unes sur 

les autresjtordees de boue a cause c'e la saison,tout cela monte 

sur d-^s grosses jaifibes"( p .>^); "Les muscles ne tressaillirent 

rlus que s'ils eussent ete de t)ronze"(p.-^r3:;t ). "Blancs et imino- 
hiles cor.'jie des statues de piatre"( p.5G^ ) forms a striKing con- 
trast -'Tlth "aux jolis statuettes du moyen a.^:e"(LV.p.^ti^) or "les 
statties aritique3"(LV.p.i^) m the Lys, a novel , vmich, however , does 
not ^restrict itself entirely to poetic figures, v/e find such ex- 
pressions OS :"Ces creux qui font ressembler la nuque ce oertaines a des troncs d'arbre"( p."^). In addition to the contrast 
betv;een the tvjo novels noted above; there are other features in 
the Lvs that deserve mention; the frequent comparisons to vrory.s of 
art,af Illustrated above, riXid to natural phenomena : sKy, cloud, etc^ 

_Iaj^ ^:A ■ U 0^4 

"Ce visage, serein c^iiUfie uxx ceau oiel apres la teiu^Ste'H p.-3>?-). 
In general the coniarlsons are not confined so strictly tc pure- 
ly pnyslcal properties. 

Eu,"enie grande t stands nalfway between tnese two extremes; 
we find in it parallels for both types : "Leurs figures aussi fl^ 
tries que I'etaient leurs habits rSlp^s, aussi pliss^es que leurs 
pantalons"( p>^); "Sa face trouee eoume une ecuiaolre"( p.^ijg,); 
"II restait inelDranlai:>le,S,pre at froid coiruue une pile de granit" 
(i^); "Ses traits, les contours de sa tSte. . .resserfolaient aux 
lignes d 'horizon si doucernent tranchles dans le Yilantain des lacs 
tranquilles"(^..TQ^). T*i^ pejorative f igures, tnough not so brutal as 
In Un menace de gargon , still predominate. 

In general we may say that the comparisons to inarilmate ob- 
jects are happy ai'id strlKlngjthat they produce the impression 
which Balzac wished- to give. Even the poetic conparisons, while 
not so original, are often very vreil chosen. 

2 . Group Iiy 
This group is in the nature of a transition betv/een Groupil and 
Group Til. We are dealing with two physical attributes of luaxi^ - 
speech and look — but both are considered here according to their 
;■ oral significance, as expressing the soul of the actor or as af- 
fecting those about him. 

In the Lvs dans , la vallee the look is represented twenty 
times a^s a light or flame: "Je sentais en moi-mShie ce regard, ii 
m'avait Inondi^ de lumlere"( p.'rN);"De ses veux sortaient deux ra^'- 
ons qui versaient la vie a cette paui're faible creature"( p.iir^. 

c. ^ 




In three figures tne looy. is, as it ■'ere,persori.ii''ied oy 8u"D8tl-^.;i- 
tlng it for tne imagination : "Mon regard se regalalt en gllssant 
sur la telle parleuse,il pressait sa taille,Gaisait seo pleas",/. 
(p.3tk). The rest are more material e^^pressions. 

In Un menage de ^arcon there are six coLiparisons to flanie, 


While four give the impression of soiaething hard and i;.ei,alic: 
"Un regard de pi omt " ( p .~3^i.) or "Les teintes de 1 'acier"( p.-&&4*-). 
The five coriparisons to flawe m Eu^exiie Grru'tde t de not express 
the Idea so baldly : 'fLa cl arete magi que de ses yeux ou sclntll- 
lalent de jeunes pensees d ' amour "( p .-t^^ . 
Group II2?'/ 
Speech is expressed in the Lys dans la vallee four times as 
light and eight times as a fluid: "Sa volx qui penetra mon Sme 
et la remplit comrue un rayon de soleil remplit et dore le cachot 
d'un prlsonnier"(p,>ik); "Q,uand J'eus suti le choc de oe torrent 
qui charria mille terreurs en mon ame " ( p .144. ) , Ten figures repre- 
sent the speech as somiething that wounds : "Tous ces mots etaient 
des cours de poignard froid'ement donnes aux endroits le? plus 
sensl'bles"( p.2trf~); "LeS^ dards^ envenime de ses paroles "( p. 3i§J. 
Other types are represented by the follovang examples :( music) - 
"Un son 6e volx nouveau,comme si 1> instrument etUt perdu plusieurs 
cordes,et que les autres se fussent d^tendus"(p."2-i*i^.); (sounds in 
nature) — "/yjfaisait ressembler ses phrases a des fiots LiQi^us, 
Eurmures par lamer sur un sable fin"(p.l3^); (materiaJL objects) 

— "La r^laisonterie frangaise est une centelle avec laquelle 

les femmes savent er;oellir la joie qu'elles cionnent " ( p .ir9^ . 

Un manage de garcon contains one comparison to flai:ie,the 

rest being to something of more solid texture - cariiiOii-L^all, 



V '^- C^j 




arrow, xi'ixi^^y - together witli sucH expresoions as ; "...avalent 
accouoxie Ce la rdronse siiiv:iiite"( p.?^). Eur.enie Grange t contalBS 
two oonparlsons to music; tne rest are luaterlallatic though not 
■brutally so,ro3sessing in fact little originality : "Le flux de 
jTiOts ou il noyait 3a pensee"( F*"*^); "Ces mots retentirent cans le 
coeur 'le la pauvre fille et y reserent de tout leur T.oids"( p,-^*^. 

.3. Group__I.II. 

This group has to do with the spiritual ph.enoiiiena within a 
mar. ' s treast ,his er.ot ions ,der>ires , passions > thoughts , etc . 

Group I I I, Ay 

The comparisons to plants forms one of the raost striding 
features of the Lys dans la vallee . rhis conception crops out 
persistently throughout the lD00ic,and the following examples viriii 
Illustrate some of the " <ried conditions under which Balzac sees 
the flowers. "Des tourments sulois en silence par les ^iries dont 
les racines tendres encore ne rencontrent que de durs oailloux 
dans le sol domestique,dQnt les premieres frondaisons sont de- 
chirees par des mains haiueuses,dont les fieurs sont atteintes 
par la gelee au moment ou elles s •ouvrent"( p.\); "'la virilite -qa 
qui ■coussait tardivement ses rar.ieaux verts"(p.T^: "Esr^erarices 
cultlfees sans fruitjJ, incessar.ii.ient replantees et deracinees"( p,3fe-Q. )j 
"S'il y a^ait en son coeur des endroits frlables ou je pu^sse at-. 
tacher ouelques rameaux d'aff ection'Up.'itfv); " //^remueront au fona 
de votre coeur les roses en touton que la pudeur y ecrase"( p.s^^ ); 
"II respir;^ dans cet'^e vallee les enivraiites odeurs d'une espd- 
ranee f leurle"( p.b^); "L'Sj^e reorunie"[in the autumnj^.i*^; 
"Ainsi des orages de plus en plus troubles et charges de graviers 
deracinalent par leurs vagues apres les esperances les plus 



.o'oia, 8i'""' 


profondenent plantees dans son coeur"( p."^^^); "L'ouragari de i'ln- 

fidellte sentlaole a ces crues de la Loire qui ensablent d Jairi- 

als ur.e terre,,ivait T:asse sur son Irne en faisant un desert la ou 

verdoyait d'opulentes prairies"( p.^^^); Sucn coniparison8,vmicn 

differ only in inode of expression from i.-iany of those listed un- 

der Group I, C, appear only sporadically m tlie otner two novels. 

The comparisons to fluids in tne Lvs d;i:.s la vallee may be 
divided Ui:to three general classes, according to whether the con- 
ception is that of a fluid within the soul, a fluid in which the 
soul TDathes,or a fluid m the more gei.eral sense, including elec- 
tricity aiid effluvia. "Les sentiments courent tou.iours vifs dans 
ces ruisseaux creuses qui retiennent les eaux,les purlf 
fraichissent le c6iur et fertilisent la vie"( p./A/^ ); Ablings en ces 
reveries orageuses pendant lesquelles les pensees gonflent le 
sein,ojilinent le front, viennent par vagues, jaillissent ecur.euses" 
(p.l&T-); "Mon frere nine seir^blait avoir acsorte le peu d.r materni- 
te qu'elle avait au coeur"( p.t^^; ".■'otre puissance s ' echappe 
toute entiere sans aliment .comne le sang par une clessure In- 
connue. La sensitilite coule a torrent3"( p .444; "Oceaii d 'amour 
ou qui n'a pas nage Ignore toujours quelque chose de la poesle 
des sens"( p.-2^); "Une de ces Qouceurs ^Inf iuies qui sont a I'a.^ne 
ce qu'est un bain pour le corps fatiguee; I'Sjiie est alors refral- 
chle 3ur toutes ses surfaces, caressee ciaiis ses les plus pro- 
fo]nd^s"(p.±iiO; "Des fense'es trempees de melancholie tojab^rent 
sur non coeur comiae une pluie fine et grise eiabru/ie un joiis 
pays apr^s quelque beau leOer de sol ell" ( p. -^); "Hasaenbler dins 
I'air les effiuves ae cette jli'.e " ( p .■*^) . 



We find fne same type or figures in Ei y^enle Grandet in s;>me- 
what less pretentious forin : "La compassion, excit^e par le rnal- 
heur de ceiul quelle air..e , a ' epancne d-ins le corps entier d'une 
f ej.une " ( p rtr4-J ; "Charles^ne put-li se soustralre a 1' influence des 
stsntlments qui se dirlgeaient vers lui en l'lnondant,rour ainsi 
dlre"(p.?rK); "La- pauvre fiile,qui s 'abaruloiiiia aeilcieuseirient au 
couront de I'ari-.cur; eiie saisit sa f incite coirae un nageur sal- 
sit la tirancne de saule pour se tirer du fleuve et se reposer sur 
la rlve"( p.t>i<); "L'airiG a tesoin d'atsGrter les sei.ti:;.ent d'une 
autre i,T.e " ( p .:24:^ ) . 

Group III,C. 
Tne following exarriples illustrate the cor.parisons to flajiie 


or light in the Lvs dans la vallee : "La cj^nstante e/iiarxatlon de 

son air.e sur les siens,cette es?ence nourrlssante epandue a "'lots 

comri.e le soiell ernet sa luirlere"( r.T?Sv); "iiie me ret^ra la lu- 

mla^-G q-i depuis six ans brillait sur r:.a yie"( p.-^fts.); "le.deslr 

serDBnta dans:ft«a. -"-elnes coinrie le signal d'un feu de ,iole"( p.4i9.) 
"En retour de ma chair laissee en lasnPeaux dans son ccTeur.elle 
rce versait lueurs de ce divin aniour "(p.s^)i "Flusleurs pen- 
sees B'eleverent en rnoi comne des lueurs"( p.?f^ 

The figures in the other nox^els are of a siriiar nature, all 
teljig r:ore or less happy reworkings of Lhe fay.illiar conception of 
lo\'-e, hate, pain, Knowledge, etc. , as ligjit or fire. "s| figure... 
parut s'eclairoir aux rayons d'une pensee" (MG.p.-i^); "Atteinte 
par un dernier rayon de maternite"(nG.p.i£jL); "'tille pense'es con- 

fuses nalssent dariS son Snie et y croissent a ir.esure que croissalent 

au dehors les rayons du soleil"(EG.p.-6^); "x)ans la pure et rAOnotone 

•J w^. 


'v -V^-^ ■ 


vie das- Jrjuiiee filies,!! vlent uneheure delicieuae ou le soiell 
leur ejiaricHe ses ra.yoxi8 clans 1 'aEia"( EG.p.crfe-) 

Tne pnyslologlcal expressions m tne novels full i.ito two 
elapsfife. In tne Lys dans le vallee forty-J kiv o^ figures show a 

confusion between moral and physical conjTitlons of man; the ac- 
count of the. goul experiences of the twomain characters frequent- 
ly re^semTDles a text-hool: of physiology': "Une' ' quant it e de 

fibres douleureuses qui ODligeaient a T.rendre tant de precautions 

■'^00 - . ■ ,.: , 

pour ne le point iDlesser"(p.&?sj ); "Ell^. viQiliJ.altidu\pDlvre,cW. plr- 

peiitiijiour la pS,ture de son coeur"( p.2%H; "Saignant,mais ayaiit ruis 

•; 5r^>A .cai . ,nc ;. ', 

un appareil sur ses clessures"( p.-^^iiS-); "IXn coeur ulcere... les af- 

feet ions entachees d'egoisme"(p.t^^<iO. The conception that is i:u- 

plied i^? the ahove figures - that is, of the soul as a living phys- 

''^•j; -:t. ;:; / ' vn cT * ■■ - '■■' 
ical organise — is definitely expressed in thirt,y-six figures : 

the ideif of physical life is impressed, on us more forcibly m 

these last ,'Decause the soul is represeiit'ed' as being ac- 

tl-"-e thaii p-j.ssive arid appears usually as a man, but occasionally 

as a bird or :"Le corps succombe sous les etreintes de 

l'Q:..e"( ]. .iiQ ); "A].:our horriblement .ingrat,q.ui rit sur les cadavras 

de ceux qu'il tue"(P^2>2); "I.l s'eveillait en rxOi aes id^es qui 

glissaient ooroTue cies fant6i:ies"( p. tr^jj; "Cue les maladies morales 

soient Oee creatures qui ont leurs appetiti^i leurs ln3tinats,et 

veulent augnienter I'espace de leur empire coiame un proprii^taira 

veut aug!;ienter son dojaaine"( pS^l); "Un visage o'h les ailes du pl4i - 

sir 'i"aient seme leur pousslere diapree"( p.->Oii-); " respectee 

par le rlai3ir,3Ui ne I'avait jar,.ais enlacee de ses enp^ourdissarits 






The saire two divisions appear In Kiigenle (?randKg nt , "Mala 
a son Insn l»lgolsrae ml avalt ete Inocnle, Les genres 1e I'e- 
conomle politique a 1 'usage dn pari slen, latent en son 
(leva lent pas tarder a y fieurir'^poit^^^-;. "?ent-etre la 
passion d']?'igenle devrait-elle ^tre analysee 'lans ses fltrllles 
les plus dellcates; oar elle devlnt .dlralent qnelq-iies rsilleMrs, 
nne ;naladle"(p.te^; "Flever a la "brochette 1 'avarice de son 
herltiere"(p,'2^; "File avaft' concu l'amorir''(p,i^. 

A gr^at many of the figures In (rroup IT contain the same 
conception as those of this class. If a loolc or a word acts llTce 
a dagger It mist have a physical organism on which to act, Ent 
any figure of speech if carried to its logical conclusion would 
necessitate a figurative interpretation of all related phenomena; 
It irrist "be classified, then, according to the dominant idea, we 
miist decide what phase of the su"bject the attention of the author 
was centred upon when he created the figure, and in the above 
mentioned figures Balzac is evidently trying at that particular 
moment to represent the look and the speech. 

The comparisons to msislc in E^igenie Grandetiponslst m-erely 

in the use of the musical terms ere s.c en d,o ( p ><flj and rlntprj^ri^o^ ^ 
(p,')S^),the effect being rather comical. From the Jjvs d an s. M 
vallee the following are typical :"1 'interrogation hrisque falte 
a son coeur.un co".p donne pour savolr s'il reaonne a I'unisson* 
(p.^S^50; "I-es gradations ,. .de la muslque appllquees au concert de 
nos voluptes"(p.-S^). 

Group JTl,F, 
In this class are all the concrete expression^of the inner 


man vrhlch do not come under any of the headings above. The soure 
of the comparison rar-ges from Jewels .Tirnlt'ire, and weapons cf 

41 s 

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defence to geometry ami natural phenomena, 

Tn the Ly s dans^la j"'_allee, we find nineteen fignres refer- 
ring to variOLis Kinds of cloth, thirteen to natural phenomena 
and there are thirteen v/hich treat of the heart as a place : 
"La cortesse m'enveloppait dans les nourricieres protections, 
dans les "blanches draperies d'nn aironr tout maternel''(p.~?l^; 
"Lenr indifference, engendre^par les deceptions dTi passe, grossle 
des epaves limoneuses qii'iren raiRenent"(p,'>94; "File entre 

(L -r, 

dans les dernlers replls de mon coenr.iin tachat d'y appllquer 

le sien"(p.t5^o Other typical exarcples are : "A I'epoq-'ie de la 

vie on, Chez les antres hoimres.les asperities se fondent et les 

angles s'eiT!0Ussent"(p.-g40i; "Mon amour, pris dans la religion 

comrre une image d 'argent dans dii cristal"(p„]tei44; "L'avenlr se 

nie'ablfe"dieBperances"(p,~^tf?M; "Elle onvre et ferine son 006*11 r avec 

f (oil 

la facilite d »-une mec&nique anglalse"(p,5i^. 

The figures in the other novels are of a yr^ry sirrilar nature: 

"Afin d'enveiopper le coeur de cette pauvre mere dans un linceul 

hrode d • illusions "(MG.p, "^6^; "Le grain d'or que sa irere lul 

a^'alt jete au co'eur.s 'etait etendu dans la fillere parlslenne" 

(|5G.p.x4i.); "Grandet avait ohserve les variations atmosrheriqnes 

des creanciers«(EG.p.iyT?i, 

i|. Group TV, 
The figures in this group consist in the representation of 
a state or act ^WhTCh "Is purely moral or i^-hich hd^ m.oral signifi- 
cance, in terms of a corresponding physical circumstance or act. 
We are still dealing with spiritual phenomena hut the point of 
view is more external. Also the second term of the comipariscn 


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comes nearer "being j)nrelj synTbol leal, and t^e figures when de^-el- 
oped take on somewnat the appearance of a parable. 

Rati'.er tnan ir.aKe a separate group, I place here the few fig- 
ures dealing with pure abstracts. As a rile the abstract quali- 
ty Is expressed In concrete terirs only when It Is related to a 
human being, In which case It really represents a moral state. 

In tfte L y s, dans la valle_e about half of the figures are the 
development of the conception of life as a journey, with the two 
details of ab'lme atld desert*standlng out prominently: "A ra'a^^ancer 
jusqu'au bord dea precipices, a sonder le gouffre du roal.a en in- 
terroger le fond, en sentlr le me retlrer tout em"(p.i-9L4^ ' 
"Apres etre descendu dans I'ablme d»ou elle put voir encore le 
ciel''(p.''^fQ; "Je soupconnal un malheur comme lorsqu»en m.archant 
s^r les voutes d 'une cave les pleds en ont en quelque sort la coft 
cclence de la profondeur^Cp."^); "Get Imjrense m.alheur deroulant 9 
ses savanes eplneuses a chaque dlfflculte vaincue»(p.MO; Dans 
ce grand naufrage,4'apercevalB une lie ou Je pouvals aborder"(pi;^-H9^ 
"Voyez par quelles voles nous avons irarche I'un vers l»autre; 
quel almant nous a dlrlges sur 1 'ocean 'les eaux ameres.vers la 
source d'eau douce, coulant au pleds des monts sur un sable pall- 
lete entre deux rives vertes et fleurles"(p,^^^; "Cette pensee 

/ N ' f f 

m»eleva soudaln a des hauteurs etherees. Je me retrouval dans le 

ciel dea mes anclens songes"{po>t^); *Elle avalt hablte comme un 

palais sombre en cralgnant d'entrer en de somptuaux appartem.ent8^ 

ou brlllalent des lumleVes"(p.l^^; "Je foullle oe monceau 'ie ces - 

dres et prends plalslr a les etaler devant vous^Cp.^f?*?); "Les 
' ^ . ' 630 

et^ndards ie la mort (jnl flottalent sur cette creatnre"(p.l5aO. 

-Isvefc nsrfw ns-rv-^n srf.t JbnB.lBoilocrniys ylstr/g sniscf tsfcsn asmoo 
.sldBiGq £ to scnBtBsqqB srf^ iisrfwsmoa no s?{x;J tsq-o 

-il£srp Jo.'3'T..J3cfR 9ff^ slf^t B bA .3:toBi.t3crB STjq ff.tlw gnJIijeT astrr 

6 o.t B9;tBl9T a.t il. nsriw yino aTne.iT e.tsfonoo c.t fcseaetxxs si yj- 

,siBJ8 iBTOii B attneQeTq-st yllB&t .JJt saso rfolriw nJi.iysIstf njsinirrf 

erfJ' 9-tF eettrsn srfJ lo "ilBri J'nocTB oeXlBv b.I aniBi)^ .8V.4 94:f nl 

ovv-^ 9rf.t rt.tlw.ysrrffoi, a gs f^lil T:o noi;JTeonoo 9rf:J lo .tr.^nvjoleveb 

i9onB"'"B'!ii A»[9rtl.Tio'Tq .trro 3nifnx-."?3jT:s89h Bfi-fi STiljJB lo 3IIB.J9D 

-nt rf9 B.Ism vf) 9tlltros 91 *t9bnoa B.^eDixioetiT Bsfi fctoo' iJB' x^pait't. 

' -(^iW.q")"'"''' tr-o^f T9Ti.tST 9'Tt ^"9 , £ IdJTT't 9l Ti:?n93 rf^-.ftnol si Tf-^O-Xt^* 

91 STOone T^ov .tt'^ 9ll9 uo* f) smidB* L BriB.^ frI)^90B9^ 9T.t6 astqA" 

.trvBrfoTBm nsM'psToI grnmoo *fr'9rfXe!n nr tRnnooquoe e^," ;(-^.q)»l9io 

fCOO Bl Jt03 SfrpIS.fp .TS .tffO rtS 3f59lq 391 9VB0 BnU* b seifO"^ Hf'I tr'S 

e .tnBlr'0t9r) Tr9rilB."a 9an9m3il JeO'» ;(syF,q)^t(.'Sbno"tO'r^ si 9ft scnoioa 

erfBCI ;(-R??^.q)"9rror;lB'"' 9^It'onil^ 9C'pBrfo b 89STf9nicf9 s9nBVB3 a9s 

.q)"f9t"rccfe alBvtfOT 9t. ^'O 9ll 9nif at£'''90'f9qB*4,9SBt'if'Bn J^hbtj^ 90 

;si;trrB'I s-ro"^^ nf^'I 9r<ctBTt anovB airon 39I0V 39ll9C'p tBCf s9yoV" 

BL 8T9-',8STST!B Xtri59 39^- nB900*I *ff*a B9^.tflfc B BirOn .tflB^lB ISf'p 

-IlBT 9ld"B8 nv ty;3 ainom 39£) 3t9l'7 cb :tnBl r'-oo.90('of; i.rB9't sotcos 

99an9q 9.t.t90" ;(^^'.:j)^nst'xr^Lt .ts 89iT9v a9viT xreD eT.tne 9.J9X 

9l 3^B^ iBvr''r er. 9X .a99T9r(J9 stv^it^sn BSb b nlBtiro-'^ sv^le*:!! 

nt' 9-ftaToo gJMBrf iic-^rs 9JI'?" i(ff',g)"89sno8 aneionB ae.^t asb Lsto 

Bino'-nBiisqqB xvm':tq'iioe 9^ ns T9Tin9'fc ;tnBnsi.Gto ns STCfmoe alBlBq 

- «95 9f rrB9on;oin 90 9lJJ:rro'! 9T," [l.9^^J. .q)^ sens im^I 895 ;tn9lBlIlTcf tro 

r* 1 , 

— \ >Soj 

a9J" .•(9'?"t''8rov ^nBV9f: T:sfR.t9 391 b TieiBig 8t)n9tqr cfs se-rTi 


Similarly for Un irena^e de garcor i} "Flore eprouvalt la sensa- 
tlOTK<3 'un- fercire tomtee au fond a 'une precipice, elle ne voyalt q^re 
tenetireg dans son averir,et snr ces tene"bres se desslnaient, 
comiTie dans nv lointaln profond,des choses monstrenses.lndistlncte- 
ment apercue et. qni I'epouvantaient . File sentalt le frold hu- 

3/6 '^:>; 

irlde des souterrains"(p.352.); /I'^'useralt pas si prompteraent son 
capital d 'existence "(p. 1^9-); "Cette enfant qn'il decrassalt" 
(p.]t?i.); "ftu'il jouat,par comedie d'^ine tendresse 
qnelconque''(p.545,); "Repugnances pour le vase amer de la science* 

The figures in Fa aen ie G rande t present the sare types : "la 
femme . . . reste face a face avec le chagrin dont rlen ne la dis- 
trait, elle descend Jnsqn'an fond de I'ahime qn'il a ouvert.le 

5 3^ 
ir.esiire ,et uouvent le comlDle de ses vdenx et de ses lanres"(p.!tfCi ; 

"A quitter ses pensees tristes,a s'elancer avec elle dans- les 
champs de I'esyerance et de l'avenlr,ou elle aiirait a s'engager 
avec lni"(p,-iri^). 

The figures in this class are the result of a very common 
process of figurative creat iofl; and^ the^ analogiesuhetween spir- experiences^^d ^hloh-nalgao-aQyo .'^Dhyslcal ex-oeriences,-^ 
have in most cases "become stereotyped, and It Is rrore difficult 
to arrive at real originality lay reworking the ideas. With 
Balzac a pretentious expression of these "banal conceptions often 
produces a ludicrous ^rrock-herolc impression. 

5. Group V. 
This group includes the comparison "between two acts, usually 
purely physical, but always "belonging to the same sphere: that 1b 


-.esnse rA J-iG-"-|ro'tTS stol'il" no ot i:;.^^, sfc p:^£rt9,Tt nU tol xL'xslt'Hl^. 

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9r;8eTftne>t snt^Vb 9Jt.f'9.noo &l,9tiiq 'x£q^iBVOt. Xi'rrp" ;(.CT.t.g) 

"9crrelo3 bI sfr ibsib ear.-"- 9[ trroT 8ecr(jj!5 7^in-e/i» ;( '^^y.'T)''9rpnoDX9rp 

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.nolsaotqni oloteM-Xo jti, atrofc ifnrl b sftortotq 

.V qr/Ofx'^ .? 
YllB'f-'at'.aJoB ov;,t nf'ew.tgo' noal'TBq-^ioo 9ffJ' asfcirloal qt.fOTjj airlT 
8 J; JBlJ :9'T9.'^q8 S'TiBS 9rt.t o.t ;^J:srtol9tf 3YBWIB .tc^o^ iBOi Byrfq YlST.uq 


physical Is compared td rHysioal and Intellectnal to Intellect- 
ual. The figures are too diversified to ^e classified, and their 
creation Indicates no great originality. The professions sen'-e 
most freqiiently as source for the comparisons, In particular dra- 
ma, war, finance, and law. 

"Crlminelles selon le Jurlspradence des grands aires"(p.-5^' 
pfi)\ "Crimes de le8e-amour"(LV.p.5Ol,0; "Mot qui n'etalt pas encoee 
monnayewdV.p.^O; "Cette veuve, dont le deull f'lt orne de quelque 
galanterle8"'lW^.-p^0-); "lis sem.hlalt ae designer le dessert 
comme le champ cie ■batallle"(MGop.Yi^); "Dans trols Jours devalent 
coFxencer une terriiDie action, ur.e tragedle l^ourgeolse sans' poi- 
son, nl pcignard,nl sang repandu; .tals relatlvement aux acteurs 
plus cruelle que tous les drames accomplls dans I'illustre fa- 
mine des Atrldes"(ErT.p.irB<); "Fndlmanches Jusqu»aux ''ents"(FrT. 

p^lrSrg-); "L'assemlDlee se remue en masse et fit un quart de conver - 

slon vers le feu"(Frr.p.ft7.. ); -En tenant Jusqu'au dernier sQuplr 
les r^nes de ses millions "(Erj.p.-?^); "Tous les Instniments ara- 
tolres dont se sert un Jeune olsif pour labourer la \?le»(FG.p.^~*f^; 
"La vine entlere le mit pour ainsi dire hors la souvlnt 
de ses ses 1 •excbmmunl^"(Fi.p.lr944. 
We find here also the tendancy to render the Idea more concrete 
and definite, either by Introducing more of the element of phys- 
ical force or by substituting a specific act for a^- habit or plan 
of action. 

6, Group, VI. 
In the Lys dans la vallee there are fifteen comparisons be- 
tween objects of a very similar nature: natural objects to natural 


tlsrf.t firi£i, {19 iii^^Bf; 1 9-^ o.? ftoilinTevlft ooJ e-'fi sstrrgil sriT . l£.fr 

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-- '-^-eicv, '" • 

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' '^ -1 
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^ri'/jroa bI stor^ 9t1& l-3nl£ -rcq .tint el g-rolJne glli-"- bJ" 

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9.t9'ronoo STC^. B9&J: "^rf-t TSt-nf^t o.t yonBftfsJ' ©rtt obIb £i9'l J^nl:! 9W 

-syrfq lo Jns-nslg 9r{.t lo eton sfT^orffto-^.trii vcT t9r^.J '9,9:J'JrJt9j:;. firrB 

nBlq 10 .tlcTeri hb tol -tos oJ:'!rio9.;{3 b's yrf to 90'':o'> Lsoi 

.noLtOB lo 

.TV "O'tO ,() 

~'='rf srtoaitBqnroo n99.tli"l: s-'b 9T9r(.t e^-iiBv bI anBt) sv J 9i.t nT 
Ictf^BfT o^ 3J-09t.':i'o iB-tf-tBH roTF.tBfi TBil'iils yr'.'v i3 lo ajoof.oio neew.? 

olDjectB and mann factored objects to manufactured! •• La riviere 
ftit conaiie nn sentler s^ir lequel nous vollon8"(p.15!4fr^; "L9 plule 
Incessante du pollen, beau nuage qui paplllote dans 1 •alr"(p.i^?4^; 
"Ces resldus de pore sautes dans ^i^gralse^ et qui ressenblent a 
des tr'jffes cultes"(prN. Here I have placed also one comparison 
betxreen animals: L 'hi r ondel le du deser t jhorse I- /p.^g^?-). A castle 
is compared once to a flower(p.^3sL; t.he rest of the comparisons 
are of natural objects to the creation^of human arts - irnjsic, 
poetry, -jewelry, cloth, architecture: "Ce poeme de fleurs lumlneuses 
qui bcurdonnent incessamment ses melodies au coenr*(p,l^^; "Les 


tremblements de la lune dans les pierreries de la riviere»(p 
"Ces Jolla Jours qui ressem.blent k des soiries peintes" ^ffect 
of light and shadow] - (p . r©f-)l; "Une long^ae allee de foret semblable 
a quelque nef de cathedrale,ou les arbres sont des plliers,ou les 
branches forment les arceaux de la voute,au bout de laquelle une 
clalriere lointaine aux Jours melangees d 'ombres ou nuances par 
les teintes rouges du couchant poind a travers les feulHes et 
montre comore les vitraux colorles d 'un choeur plein d'oiseaux 
qui chant ent"(p,T?34. 

In Un menage de garco nthe comparisons are between objects of 
very similar external appearance for the purpose of more accurate 
description. The effect is usually pejorative: "Un chapeau... 
decoupe comme une feuiiie de chou sur laquelle auraient ^ecu plu- 
sleura chenilles... Sa mechante veste ressem.blait a un morceau de 
tapl8serie'«(p,^^44; "II n'abandonnalt son col de satin qu'au mo- 
ment o^ 11 ressemblait a. la b$urre"(7fi); "Le boullll dlsseque par 
M.Hochon en tranches semblables a des semelles d 'escarp ins" (p. ?S-3)^ 
"R'lisseaux qui, , .ressercblent a des pjbans d 'argent au milieu d 'une 


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-4-**H^e- rolse verte"(p.l^5^. The figures In T Mgenle arande t renem- 
"ble ratner those of Un rre na ge de giarcon ; their effect Is frequent- 
ly comical rather than really descriptive: "Sa vial lie irontre... 

qui res3eir"blalt a un valssean,hollan!lals«(prT9vf; "Les l^^ilt ir.arches 

...etaierit dls.lolntes et ensereiies sons de hantes plantes ccniTRe 

le tomlieau d'nn chevalier enterre par sa venve an temps des crol- 
sades''(p.t<?l);"Un t»ncher on le TdoIs etalt range avec antant d'ex- 
actltnde qne penvent l»etre les llvres d'nn ■bllDllot*iSf'te»(p.>>74. 

The figures in this gronp, especially those that have no poet- 
ical pretention, are nsnally well chosen. They give a rather def- 
inite picture of the ol)ject In qnestlon and also suggest the im- 
pression that the anthor wishes ns to receive from the olsject it- 
self and from the person with whom the oDject is associated. 

Group VI, B/ 

Under this heading I have included all personifications and 
all animation of inanimate o^bjects. 

The L ys d an s la vall ee centals two comparisons of Inanimate 
objects to animals, one personification of a part of the "body, two 
of insects, and five of "bnildings: "La note unique du rossignol 
des eaux " ( p ,7r^) ; "Les moulins. , .dcnnalent une volx a cette vallee 
freml8sante"(p.s^). There are fourteen personifications of natnise: 

"Une iDniyere fleurie.converte des diamants de l«i rosee qui la 

/ j" dans laqnelle se .ioue le solelljlmmensltee pared pour un 

seul regard qui s*y Jette a propo8"(p.t9^-); "Des tonffes "blanches.. 
-Yagije image des formes souhaltees.ronlees comjr.e celles d 'une es- 
clave 50umlse"(p.lS^. Seven figures present flowers as represent- 
ing the thoughts adn em.otion8 of man: "Ce prollxe torrent d 'amour " 
|bcuquetj# /p.r?4); "Ces tlges tourmentees ccmroe les deslrs entor- 


tillees an fond de 1 •ame"(p.T8^), with a great many of these last 

-fnsRst J 9f)nfiT0 Qtnsy^ ff^ rA ssTf^ll srfT .j(-f^X,q)«9.rT9v srfOT -»fw*-|y 
-.tHSfrpstl ai ^ostls tlertJ ; nooTi y-i eh s: ^B n9Ti_rTU to saortJ tsi^Mci: filrf 

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twenty one is hard to lecile whether thev "belong here 
or in groups I and III; for instance the last seven all have to 
do with the houq^ets hy which Felix expresses his lo^^e to Madame 
de Mortsanf .where in the figures of speech he is siirply retransla- 
ting the flower^langnage into the original, we are in', fact deal- 
ing v/ith a secret code rather than with figurative creation. Con- 
sidering the nuinher of corrparisons of women and passions to flow- 
ers.tiiis reverse process of the personification is, however, very 
natural. The two concepts have "beccire alirost identical and either 
may Xie substituted for the other. 

The personifications in the other two novels are, as a whole, 
decidedly commonplace. Tn u n menage de garcon the effect is usual- 
ly comical. In F'jgenie Grandet six personify tv>e house and fur- 
niture: *Ce terne allalt avoir vingt et un attelgnait a" 
sa m^jorite"(?!G,p,-T^; "L'insulte faite a 1 'opposition constltu- 
tionelle et au liheralisrce dans la personne du sacro-saint Jour- 
nal"(Ma,Dot^*^); "Fn lf506-hien des parol sses en France etaiert en- 
core veuves "( MG. p. IT5-); "La maison Grandet reprlt sa phvslonomle 
pour tout le ffionde"(FG«p.V^ei^); "Les murs epais presentaient leur 
chemise verte"(EG,p.i^*?^; "Un marteau lul . , .frappait sur la tete 
griniacante d«un rraitre clou"(FG.p,isO; "Le hrult que chaque 
feullle produisait dans cette cour sonore en se letnchant de son 
raireau donnait une reporBe aux secretes interrogations le la 
Jeune f ille"(EG.p.'iS^. Real personification, then, plays an alrrost 
negllg^hle part in Palzac»s prcf'ise description of inanimate 

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e.fBnlisrfi "Yo rr;- ■-.+ ■r^'roo'?f■• sst'^OTfJ a^OBSlB^ rrl J'TB^ slrjfi'^l X:sj9f«; 

Chapter II 3^ 


Sufficient examples stre given in the ahove analysis to stig- 
gest the main characteristics of the figures of Balzac. In the 
first place the comparisons result from Intellectually concelv- 
ed rather than external similarities; there are corparatlvely 
few figures "based on form and color, and even fewer in which 
these two properties alone dictate the choice of the comparison. 
There is a strong ulterior motive in such comparisons as that of 
a man's face to a sKimmer, fresh hutter.or a wrinkled garment, and 
in the expressions of external similarities "between man and ani- 
m»als. On the whole^m.ost frequent effect of the figures is to give 

Metaphors naturally predominate, "being a more form of 

concrete expre^ssion to a"bstract conceptions, d^ ^<t^oa-U o^ 

'SJLJL\ t.<Q^ T7jVYTXa«( 

expression; there is, however, a considera"ble proportion of formal 
similes, frequently developed along Virgllian lines, A slr^le com- 
parison is often prolonged hy a series of similes- and metaphors 
and repeated time after tim.e throughout the ■boo"k,so that, in spite 
of the great num"ber of figures, t^e num"ber of o'bjects fl»6m' whlcji 
they are drawn is really not |)ar$-lcularly large. 

As we have already indicated, there is an intimate relation '&' 
"between the type of figures and the Character of the novel; in 
other words Palzac renders the figures of speech an efficient au» 
lllary in the presentation of Ms dom-inatlng ideas. If ^e except 
the greater part of the poetical figures, we find that, though the 
rest may shock our aesthetic sense, they gi^'^e a strikinglyivitlid 
impression of the character or o"bject in question. T^ls Is espe^-" 
^lally trie in groups I, A, P, and Dl group V^^and ^roup VI, A where 

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the figures closely follow conventional lines. P^it even where th* 
figures seem to convey clearly the i':5ea of Balzac, the Impression 
left "by them is not altogether pleasing; and their analysis from 
a rhetorical and aesthetic point of view reveals more to 'blame 
than to praise. 

Prohatily the m.ost general fault is related to the tendency 
to exaggeration which finds expression in various elements of 
Balzac's novels: the characters, "banK accounts, hyperboles ^and 
"bT^gd generalizations. There is much color heightening hy means € 
of figures o This Is not necessarily a defect, for a certain amoutit 
of exaggeration can he Justified artistlcai-ly in any phase of lit- 
erary creation; as to how much can "be used to good effect, it is 
Ir.posslhle to fix a standard, for It depends on the reader, the nat- 
\w:a.l "bent of h4« mind, and the degree of assimilation of his own 
ideas to those cf the author. Fere we find an intimation as to 
why the estiffiates of Balzac's work as a whole, or of single works 
such as the Lys dans^ la yal lee. have varied so wiriely at differ- 
periccJs and with different individuals. 

In F i;genie Grand et the most rretentious figures grow cut of 
the effort to m.agnlfy the Import of this tragedie 
coiTjnonplace in appearance, which Balzac wills to interpret as sui^ 
passing the territle and thrilling dramias enacted in the family 
of the MrlAes. The intrigues for the hand of Ftagente are liken- 
ed to the str.iggles of the Medici and Bazzl at Florence; F-igenie 
shows more courage, when she replaces the s^igar on the ta"ble "be- 
fore the eyes of her father, that the woman who sustains vrith 
"bleeding hands a sli^en ladder where'by her lover is escairing. 
Fere the figure is pretentious f^ ^S/' a, comjnonplace act is compar- 
ed to a grandiose one; but as expressed there is really nc m . 

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exaggeration, U n men agg d_e garcpn contains exaggerations of 

poxver and Importance, as whenr'Flore Mnder the domination of pv*!- 
llppe is llKened to France In the hands of Faxoleon; t^t exaggei*- 
atlon ]iere Is^is^ially In tine direction of excessive iraterl^isa, 
which V7ill he the snhject of a later discvisslon. 

The ahove n.entioned pretentious figures we can accept with a 
smile at the conscious or unconscious irony of the author; hut in 
the L ys dans la vallee the effort to idealize, which appears only 
sporadically in Eugeni e Grandet. produces solid masses, as it wer§ , 
of pretentious poetical figures, which "become insipid from their 
)rery numher and from their character. Fearly all the comparisons 
to religious emotions, to saints, martyrs, and the llxe.come under 
this head; while the comparisons to f lowers, flulds.ard flames of- 
fend "by the manner of expression rather than hy the "basal idea. 
A single short paragraph containing six distinct figures win 
serve to illustrate tMs point : 

"Je lul contal m.on enfance et ma jeunesse,non comme Je vous 
I'ai dlte,en la jugeant a distance, mais avec les paroles ardentes 
du Jeune homime de qui les hlessures saignent encore. Ma vclx re- 
tentit commie la hache des hiicherons dans une foret. ne^'^ant elle 
tom"berent a grande "bmlt les annees mortes,les longues douleurs 
qui les avalent herissees de tranches sans feulllages, Je lul 
peignls avec des mots enfievres une foule de details terrl"bles.^/ 
dont Je vous al fait grace. J'etalals le tresor de vceux 
"brlllanta.l'or vierge de mes de8lrs,tout un coeur hralant consej^e 
sous les glaces de ces alpes entassees par un continuel hlver. 
I.orsque.cour'be sous les polds de mes scuff ranees redites avec 
les char"bons d 'Isale, J 'attendis un mot de cette feirme qui m-'ecou- 
tait la tete "balssee,elle eclaira les tene"bres par 'm regard. 

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,bts39T nr' tB.i a9Tcf9rf9.t ?.9X rnislor) elL'^.^Baetsd 9.t9.t .3X .Hai 


elle anlma le? moiides terrestres et fllT'-lns par nr\ seiil mot " ( pfa'ff54» 

Vhen the conception Is "banal, a pretentions elalsoratlon Is 
all the more dleagreea'^^le and the flgnre TDecomes pure verbiage 
worthy of the p rec ieuses : "Vons in'avez naguere dirlge savaoment 
a tracers les voles perllleuses 6n grandjl^ inon(le"( J.Y,p2i? ); "Ce 
tresor englouti dans les eaux dormantes de 1 'oi3hli"(LV.p 


"Ce regard noville. . .coirmie un eternel Joyau dont lee feDx trlllent 
aux jours dlfficlle8"(LV.p,W); ""^oe ames, qui, pour alnsl dire.en- 
tralent 1 'une chex 1 'autre sans obstacle, mais sans y etre con- 
vleec par le ■balser"(LV,p,lMrftj; "Henversant le porcpeux edifice 
eleve par sa preference ir!aternelle''(MrT.p.-5fJU; "Lrape sur son lit 
de TTort dans le manteau de la phllosophle encyclopedlste''(MrT.p.l7^ ); 
"L'airiour vral.l'airour des anges.l 'arronr fler q^il vit de sa douleur 
et qui en rceurt''(EG.p.'^5i); "Collflchets de dandy... tous les In- 
ctrireents aratolres dont se sert un Jeijne olslf pour labourer la 

The prlire requisite of a flgnre of speech is that it should 
"be apt, that it should he suitable to the thlr-g compared. If there 
is no external resemblance between the two ob.lects,or if the two 
concepts are not associated in our minds so that they can rroduce 
similar Intellectual or emotional react ions, the figure Is un^just- 
Ifiable. The effort to magnify the import of the subject under 
discussion naturally leads the author to compare it to something 
with which it is incompatible; th^^s many of the Inexact ,abs-"rd, 
and meaningless figures are the result of some form of pretention. 
The comparison of Felix drin»,irg the tears of Madame de Mortsauf 
to a taking the rfoly Comiriunlon would be revolting if the com- 
parison were not so incongruous as to be ridiculous. The ccmpar- 
isons to flowers, flu Ids, and flames have ir general no very -if 

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distinct ireaning.ancl when we are told that the inonrnf"! tones of 
MadaiEe de Mortsauf exhaled an odor liKe that of cnt (decaying?) 
flowers(LV\.p.'^4^>we are at a loss to relate the tv;o Ideas even 
emotionally, ether examples of quest lona'ble clearness and apt- 
ness are; "Ma chair laissee en larcheaux dans don coeijr"(LV.p.l-60>) 
"Un visage ou les ailes du plaisir avaient seme' lenr poussiere 
diapree"(LV.p,~50?-); "Son corps Ignore la snevie.ll aspire le feu 
dans 1 'atmosphere et vit dans I'eau sous peine de ne pas vivre" 
LV.p.-e^er. More external Is the incongruity In such expression- 
as : "Une feffime...fle posa pres de moi par un mouvement d'olseau 
qui s'ahat sur son nid^tLV.prS^); "Je suis jalouse; dit-elle 
avec un accent d 'exaltation qui resserahlait au conp de tonnerre 
d'un orage qui pas3e"(LV.p.'^e4. 

Two examples of improper comparison from. Eugenie _Grandet ii, 

are : » !W<^.No(yj piantee sur ses pieds comme ^me chene de soixante 

■23>/ / 

ans sur ses racine8"(EG.T).~2^; "Le honhomrae santa snr le neces- 

saire corame un tigre fond sur un enfant endormi '•(ECr.S^iJ. The 
first figure is rendered incongruous^ the mention of roots; as 
for the second, If a tiger should attack a sleeping child at all, 
it would not he In the manner that the passage suggests. When 
Balzac adds endgrmi,. he is forgetting for the moment his figure 
in the desire to emphasize the helplessness of liMgenle. 

The Impropriety in the figuresjbf Balzac comes largely from 
the fact that they are too physical, too materialistic for the 
thing compared. This Is especially trae of the Lys dans la vaia.e e 
while in Un menage de garcon. where everything is placed on a ma- 
terialistic basis, the figures fit in very naturally, though occa- 
sionally ths limit seems to he overstepped: "Une ferarae.verte 

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conmie nne noyee 6e deux Jonrs"(Ma.p.3^^6->. In the L ys dans la 
v allee .however, the all-per\ziaslve iriat9rlallsto\of the figures 
is displeasing, alTPOSt revolting, "by contrast with the evident 
purpose of idealizing. When Felix seeks in the hea-^t of his motft- 
er "des endrolts frlaples" where he can attach "qnelq^es rameaux 
d 'affect ion" (LV.-D."VJ?L) , when he speaks of a woman as "sechee anr 
sur^tlge.faute de seve"(LV.p.]tf^),or when he compares Madame de 
Mortsaiif to a worm-eaten fruit that is nearing the stage of pe- 
trifaction, he Is far from the realm of poetic Impressions. TMgei|- 
nle Grand et presents a measured rise of expressions of materialism 
in its crudest forms, "Un nez, . .flavescent a I'etat normal. m.ais 
roixge apres les repas,espece de phenomene vegetal *( 7(5. p."^^^ and 
"La joie semlDQ;llt s'echapper ccmme une fumee par les crevasses 
de son "brun visage "( EG, Po-?s^ are not^feigtctly pleasing to onr 
sensl'bilit leSjlDnt they are in accoyd with the character, and with 
the tone of the passage. 

The continued expression of the a"bstract l)y the concrete pro- 
duces an Im.pression of materialism. F^ich comparlsons)rised with 
discretion, could he miade, however, to produce extremely poetic ef- 
fects; the fault with Balzac's figures is that they insist too 
much on the similarities, they introduce details that spoil the 
poetic suggestion. This can he exemplified hy cases where a single 
word adied spoils the figure, we can form a vague conception of 
thoughts flooding the soul like waves, hut when we are told that 
they "Jaillissent ecunieu3es"(LV.p.xSiU,our imagination hallcs. It 
is very well that the soul should hathe in pleasure, "but it Is hard 
to conceive of its being "refraichle sur toutes see surfaces, ca- 
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a long comparison of Madame de Mortsauf to a iDlt of heather near 
the villa Didatl, Balzac aids : "Son corps avalt le verdeiir que nous 
admlrons dans les feullles nouvellement depllee8"(LV.prift4. "Un 
teint culvre.verdi le place en place" (i'[G.p.2^J4-) offers an inter- 
esting example, In which copper complexion suggested the idea of 
the green corr^ion seen so often on copper veeaeia. 

Finally we have figures which do not accord with themselves . 
The incoherence is largely attri"bnta"ble to exhn"berance of imagi- 
nation. From the multitude of images that ai-lae in his mind, 
Balzac does not choose; he adds them one after the other in such 
quick succession that they frequently overlap, we may defl!lie\a 
mixed or Incoherent figure as one In which two or more incompati- 
ble images are evolced to represent the same olD.lect or concept, ffl 
In order that such a figure may "be perraissihle ,it is not suffi- 
cient that the figurative expresslon^should "be commonplace; all 
tut one of them aaist lose entirely the power of producing an im- 
age. Until then a sort of intellectual wrench is neccessary in 
order to grasp the meaning, a process which is especially disagree - 
aiDle to the French mind, with its love of fatness and exactness. 
In the following examples the incoherence is comparatively unot»- 
tnsive : "Fnivre d'amhition par cette femme, Charles avait caresse , 
pendant la traversee.toutes ces espeVances,qui lui furent presentee 
pair une main habile; et sous forme d^ confidences versees de coeur 
a coeur "(FPt.p.-^^); "Une teinte de pie'te passionnee qui vers^ dans 
I'ame de son enfant cherie la lumlere de 1 'amour celeste "(lv, p. "-^O-) 
"N"08 arces etalent en prole a ces vouleversements qui les sillon- 
nent de maniere a y^^-laisser d'eternelles empreintes "(LV.p.t^^. 
Each figure, however, presents three or more ideas that do not 

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:foa of; JBrtcT BBetl 9'cu::a to 9 t .. -' 


harmonize, as for Instance e n prole . 'boulev ersements . slllonnen t .and 

egDjrreintea, More external Is the confusion of an arrow and a shot 

In •♦ Jamais cet nomme n'avalt rcanqne de Inl decocher une fleche au 

cdeur. Oisea'T sutllrae attelnt dans son I'Ol par ce frossler grain 

de -j)lonit),elle tomba^ "i(l^(i^,p.t^€4. "Tii ne connalssals pas ton oncte, 

pourqnol pleures-tu? l^il dit son pere en l^Jl lancant nn de ^es re- 

, <^*- ^^ 

gards '.le tlgre affame qu'il jetalt sans donte a ,tas d •or"(l!'^^.p,''»5Sj 

lacKs ai)tne8S as well as coherence; the glance of an angry father, 

of a h^ingry tiger, and of a miser "before his gold can "be hardly he 

assimilated into a single conogpt , The most marl:ed tendency In the 

Lys da ns la vallee is to fiise the various conceptions noted In 

groyp in, as when Felix speaks of Madam.e de Mortsauf as "cette 

fleur slderale*(LV.p."^^. Other examples are ii'PoMr aspirer I'alr 

qui sortalt de sa levre charge de son ame.pour etrelndre cette lu- 
iiiiere>, parley. avec I'ariieur o'lie J'aurals mlse a serrer la comtesse 
sur raon aein"(LV.t),5K); " Je sentls un farfi.m de femjne qui hrllla 
dans nion ame comme y hrilla depuls la poesle orlentale"(LV.pr2^, 
Mine, de Mortsauf 's speech is air surcharged with her soul, It Is a 
llg^t.yet at the same time Felix emlDraces it as he would the wo- 
man herself. 

In the light of what has heen said, we may analyse certain pha- 
sea of the intellectual process hu which Balzac creates his figures. 
Tine continual repetition of practically the sam.e figure would in- 
dicate that, In addition to the figures resulting from a spon- 
taneous operation of the imagination, there are others that grow up 
out of a creconceived notion of similarity. It is In this last 
class that the most salient faults occur, resulting fyora an im.per- 


feet analysis of the ^relatlonaibetween the two terms of the ::.i.- 


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coiTiparlsons, The human consclonsness crowded with concepts la 
llXe a sheet of paper on which thousands of oi'-erlapplng circles 
of all sizes have heen drawn. To malce a perfect 
must see In jiiHt how far the two concepts coincide and admit 
nothing In the expression of the figure of speech that forces him 
outside of the common territory; an artistic figure Is one In whlcJi 
the reader does not perceive that the author has overstepped the 

Balzac who frequently ^j'ites concepts that really are related 
hy VQT}/ unessential traits, that have little common territory, over- 
steps the limit in hoth^lrectlons, We have 'already noted, in speak- 
ing of figures that are not apt, that he forces a figure in order 
to raaXe it "better suit the idea which he wishes to present. (1) 
Similarly he tends to add to the figure something -tiat may refer 
directly to the first term hut is out of place as applied to the 
second. Thus in the "ilger-hoa comparison of arandet,t)ie last word 
m ethodique refers to Grandet tather than to the serpent. In "Elle 
tremhlalt de laisser cette hrehls [E'.ige'nle},hlanche comme elle.pi'i^ 
seule au milieu d'^-m monde egoiste qui voulait lul arracher sa tresors"(Err.p.?w),tresgr8 refers to Fiigenie and not 
to the lamh. From such expressions, which arise from the desire to 
express everything, it is hut a step to mixed metaphor; \t tbe mind 
reverts hack too strongly to the literal sense, it may reexpress it 
hy an entirely different figure. But it is usually in the other 
direction that the mind of Palzac is directed. He loses sight of 
his original idea and develops the figure for its own. sake/ ^ ^-^ P^ 

(1) See page 36 


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. \s->isa.nyio a.ti -ro't gtiryit erf-t sqoLsveb bas bbH iBnigito eirf 

of: B%o1 ?»93 (I) 

"Son dealr va comme le tourblllon dn desert, le desert dont 
l»ardente liranensite se peint dans ses yeux.le desert pleln d'aznT 
et (I'ainour.avec son ciel inalteraDle.avec ses fraiches nnlts 
etoilee8''(LV.p,25i,); "Henriette etalt I'olseau chantant sea po- 
emes orlentanx dans son "bocage an "hord dn .comre nne plei*- 
revle vivante, volant de loranche en "branche' parml les roses d'nn 
liranense volXameria tonjours fleurle"(LV.r.~?3^. More especially 
in tne cases we have noted of over emphasis of the materialism, 
it s-^eras that the Image has entirely replaced the original idea 
In the mind of Balzac. Indeed he^fiises in snch a way the figura- 
tive and the literal that we are inclined frequently to helieve 
that he loses the capacity of distinguishing "between the two, that 
he uses the figures without 'beirig conscious that he Is departing 
from the normal speech. 

The figures indicate also the laclc of such critical sense 
as would naturally belong tc a man worlcing more soherly, without 
such feverish enthousiasm or inspiration of creation; a critical 
spirit that would restrain his natural tendencies, correct the pat- 
ent faults, soften the hrutality of the materialism, and restrict 
the nuttber of the figures. 


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Chapter Iir 

As one may Judge from the alDOve, Balzac Is exceedingly fond 
of the fignre of speech and uses it mvich more than the average 
pro9« writer. His novels at times teem with them; a single com- 
parison is carried out into manv ramifications or one follows an- 
other in qulclc on page 3^of the Lys dans la vallee 
where there are Fowrteen distinct figntres. Moreover, a large pro- 
portion of the figures shock our sense of propriety in one way or 
another. On the whole in quantity and quality they present a 
tather undigested and indigestlhle mass. Indeed the severe and 
almost universal criticism of Balzac's style — aside from compo- 
sition in the "braoder sense — is largely equivalent to a criti- 
cism of his figures of speech, for it is in them that the vulgar- 
ity, "bad taste. homhast . galimatias .and pretentiousness most often 
find expression. When Sainte-Beuve,Taine,or Faguet wish to illus- 
trate certain had qualities of Balzac's style, It is his figures (ff 
of speech that they quote; and if you remove the figures of speeOi 
from a page of his novels, you have as a nile a passage of simple, 
straightforward prose that does not in any way merit the following 
not altogether unjustifiahle tirade of Pontmartin : "Quel encom- 
"brementl que de phrases estropieesl, que de pages hydroplquesL que 
d'ohscurltesl que d'affeteriesl que d'emphasei que de neolo- 
glsmes inacceptahles, que de metaphores indoherentes. que d'ana- 
logieH im.possihles j Sous cette richesse apparente que d'emharras 
et --e gene. Quelle fatigue pour arriver a faire moins hlen en vGn>- 
lant mieux faire, a tout em.hroulller en vouiant tout dire."(l) 

( 1 ) C aus e ries litteraire s , p 502 

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SO^ J. a9. tlBT:9. t 4 jj B9lt&3J:>jO (I) 


Hence an explanation of the figures of speech Is of conslderaTsle 
valne In a aiscijsslon of Balzac. 

The prolDlein that faces ns in a study of the figures of Pal- 
zac may 'oe formulated in the following way. Here Is a man who in 
many respects Is a iraster of lang^iage and who Is constantly try- 
ing to find the "best expression for his ideas. From his corres- 
pondence and from the testimony of his friends we hav aTDnnd^nt 
evidence that he literally tortured himself in his efforts to per- 
fect his style. Then why does he drag In this apparently extra- 
neous mass of figures which seems so often to hinder rather than 
to aid his expression? Or to resolve the problem into its three 
main divisions: Why does Balzac use so many figures? What expla- 
nation can we find for the kind of figures that he uses? What 1»- 
pression is made hy these figures upon the reader? In the present 
chapter we are concerned primarily with the first of these ques- 
t ions . 

We rust consider first a very simple explanation which of- 
fers Itself at once. The figure of speech Is a literary artifice 
and is frequently used as a stylistic ornament. It is only natu- 
ral that Balzac in his efforts to attain to an artistic style 
should seize upon this process which had "been so effectively used 
"by others and which is easy to imitate "because it appears to en- 
tall only an external grafting. This explanation accounts in laige 
measure for the unusually frequent use of figures In the Lys dans 
la vallee. The greater contine,porarles of Balzac were consummate 
stylists ; Prautler, rr.Sand,Hugo,Lamennai8,Merimee,S-t-e«to€irl-, Chateau- 
briand, and others were endowed with artistic or poetic natures, and 
each had "built ur for himself out of the nins of classicism a 


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9.tBminf3n(00 Biew obsIbH: lo ssI'XBioqsfn.tijoo i9.tB9f?5 sriT .99I iByBl 

-;.rB9.tBr{C , iBrffen ©^ J 3, 9 Sfiii-tsM.slBnnscfiB J, 0^1^ t^«-B2.r ,''o:;r. ; ••.•.tsilyJe 

MB,89trf.?Bn ol.t9oq -to£ rf;ttw Jb9wo6n9 9T9'A' atsri^o X)nB .finBlto' 

B -nalolasBlo to anir't s.iJ' to ^jro llsanlrf -rot 'c .tlhrcf fiB.-f r{0B9 

style suital)le to his genius : styles w}nlch had many adrrlrers in 
the days when the romantic eirphasls on form was at Its height, and 
which today might serve as models for certain genres. TinoDgh 
Balzac wonld not have accorded stylistic superiority to all of 
these, the continual harj)lng of the critics on his lack of style 
worried him, and he determined to show them what he could do when 
he tried. The Lys dans la valle e is an attempt to rewrite V olrip^ 
te and to surpass Salnte-Beuve in his own field of the psycholog- 
ical novel; it was to "be a 8ul)llme i(iyl of pure lo'"-e. Ke refers 
several times in his corresrondence to the dlff lenity that he has- 
in composing it. "J'ai von in me sen'^ir dn langa^e de Mass 1 lion 
et cet lnstnxment~la est lonrd a manler*(l) In his effort to 
write ornatel^^to make the style match the snhllmlty of the snlD- 
ject.he has added figure after figure, until he resem"bles the paint - 
er in the C h e f -d * o^i v re 1 nc onnu , wh o in his constant desire to add 
just one more elem.ent of beauty to his can^'-as.m.alres of It an\nnln- 
telliglTsle dauh for all others tut himself. 

But we cannot accept the desire for stylistic adornment as 
the only or even the chief reason for the frequent use of figu- 
rative language: what we find in the Lys dans la vallee is simply 
an exaggeration of a natural stylistic tendency of Balzac. He 
was already much addicted to the figure of speech, as we see from 
Pige nie ?rande t . and we may Judge that Its use corresponded to 
some conscious or unconscious need of the author. This ~^'?rtng8i^ 
us to the question of the fiindamental purpose of figures. It is 
true that they ii.ay he purely stylistic ornamients.yet even as such 
they should produce In the reader an errotloiial re- 
action, desired ty the author. Bit they sen'e also to present an 
idea in a clearer and more force fijl manner. Tn the comparison of 
(1) L ett res a 1 'etran^.er e.Vol .I.d.??? ■ 


tnfi«.trf§lsff Jb 8BW ciToT: no BleBrfqms otinEiao-^ erii nerfF ay.f-'i erf J 
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to Il£ O.T y,^lT0ft9q;ffg OitBlIVoS betyOODii SVPM Jon filro'".' OBSlBfl 

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.lleaflfirf .trrrf IIb fol cfcBb 9lcfI:3J:iXsJ 

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TV ^. o. I. lov. 9 -1 5:<:tnB't.t9' I B J (I) 


an unfamiliar or IndescrlDalale olDject to Boirethlng well klrow to 
the reader, they facilitate expression Toy the sDhstitntion of fa- 
miliar concept for a long abstract or technical (liscnssion. The 
figure Is, as it were, a pattern laid down, Toy which the reader is 
to cut the still shapeless cloth of his ti^ought. THe expression 
wo'ild lose effect iT'-eness if we should try to give sn accurate ^de- 
scription; the figure is more forceful hecause it is shorter, he- 
cause it requires an effort of the imagination to grasp the real 
meaning, which is not directly expressed. The mind Is forced to 
Torn a definite concrete image ^ Literal speech m.lght "be compared 
to an electric current passing through a series of wires in con- 
tact, and the figure of speech to the spark when the two wires are 
separated,' i metaphor such a&-|-the wings of night/T-is really an 
incorrect expression, causing a hrealc in the continuity of the 
thought. The greater the distance "between the two wires t^e \ :^ 
"brighter the spark will he, up to the point where the current will 
not make the leap; the stronger the current, the greater the possi- 
"ble leap. Thus the ohjects compared "become a"bsolutely incompatl- 
"ble and you al^^e a figure wrich is virtually meaningless, ^n 
irrpassione'l style such as that of Balzac vitalizes m.any figures 
that would fall flat in a cold, classical style with, consequently, 
a colder more critical reader, we may suppose then that Balzac 
sought hy the use of the figures to attain to a more adequate and 
more forceful expression of his ideas. In order to get a hetter 
comprehension of this statement, let us consider the problems that 
would face a Balzac writing in France in the early nineteenth 

The enforced formation of Images is one of the most importahi 

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elements in vivid writing. Oir oriMnary irodes of expression 
have t>ecoire so stereotyped that the words are purely aTsstract 
syirlools and present no plctirre to the mind: they may even he used 
and heard without a full realization of their ireaning, because thfy 
simply revive the same emotional reaction that was produced when 
they were heard he fore. It is trie that language Is largelt a 
net-worlc of originally figurative express ioni^3. vre_ de Joie.chef In 
its various meanings, or periser.etjTiiologically the same as p eser l ' } 
hut hy constant use figures lose all image -a rousing power and "be- 
come purely ahstract« The tendency in language, when such express- 
ions heccm.e to introduce a new expression, as pe ser in a 
similar meaning to that of pepse r; for the mind must crystalize an 
abstract conception around concrete phenomena in order to use it. 
With the French, a supremely intellectual people who deal readily 
with abstract concepts, this tendency is not so evident. In the 
development of their language up to the nineteenth century (bar- 
ring the increase and m:Ore extended use of scientific te?'m8 in tfie 
second half of the eighteenth), they have striven to limit rather 
than to extend their vocabulary; they have tended to restrict 
themiselves to a single word for any one generalized concept and to 
leave the particular concept to be supplied by the context( Cf .the 
verbs of miotion : a 1 1 e r . v e n i r . s e^ p r pm e ne r . r e cu 1 e r . o r a noun such 
as terre). Fach word gathers meaning from the surrounding words, A 

and the word group conveys an idea which the mind grasps with 11 
tie effort. The result Is admirable for clearness, as the eseen- 

th lltr- 


tlal significance is not obscured by extraneous or non-essential 
elements. such expression is colorless and is suitable esped- 
laliy for the transmission of abstract and conventional ideas. (1) 
(1) In English the situation is slightly different , for we have a 
larger vocabulary and have retained m.ore words relating to the 

tesf eo" n9V9 yijin vsiJ ifiniin srii o~1 sir/.Joi.T on .1n9aet>7 JbtB alocfrrvs 

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tne same general concept, some of wmicn, especially those cf 
Anglo-Saxon origin, nave Kept a strong literal slgnlflcanceCCf . 
edge and "bordex). In tnis way certain figurative expressions 
which are natural and current retain more of their power of evo- 
cation, because they are not s^ constantly used. By the side of 

them exist otner modes of expression, atsolutely literal in 

the im.pression they give, which are used unless the writer seeKs 
con6Ciou81y or otherwise the m.cre vivid formi This ahundance may 
lead to olDscurity at, times hut as a result cf it vividnesp of ex- 
pression "becomes a more natural characteristic of the language. 
Also such liherties as the English nze of sulsstantives as adjec- 
tives or adverhs enahle us to evolce an lm.age 7,'ithcut seeming to 
go out of onr way to do so: "star-mem.orles", "violet -"breath" • 
"hutter-flngered.;: HA.^ ^ "^ 

^^^/ r^- "E^ famous r at re TTorrontoire fo^ Victor Bigo wa^-an - 
attH©jg]^tre-itrti-ro4'-j:ee-a— 8l?^ 1 lar- J^raedjDiri int.o ^'^^eneh . 
In French, imagery is farther from the line cf normal speech and 
has to "be created more consciously r-nd e:>'^ernally» We mny find X 
here one explanation of the colc^ness of most French rcetry to the 
average English mind: the Im.ages are either ahsent or lacking in 
spontaneity. Poetry as a condensed and ahnorral form of expres- 
sion has particular need of vivia conceptions and impress ions, which 
the imagination can seize upon and from which it can radiate into 
the realms of the unexpressed; for if the author does not lea'"-e 

much to "be gathered "between the lines, his verse is hut rythmic 

in pft 


-OVW J:: 

•"T3vM 'io n^^rii 

■:'V-H3-,BW 0,.. 3T J ^HQiflO.Tef ftt .t g- • j(^ • \ 

s fto.a 'totaenMoo -^ rxe ©no st^rf 

ffii t>i«lfc£- : tS&liSw molt kfi& r: iso not^Bniiaeffli sfi-t 


If we st.ijfly the great masters of Frencn literature ve find 
that, in a large irajorlty of cases. they depart hnt little frorr. the 
con'^rentlonal French mode of expression. TWey— ©we^ their preeirilnence 

artistic linltatlon of the classics, to delicate ps'i'chological 
analysis, to the expression of the latent passions and aspirations 
of Iran, to their charming imagination ond fancy, or to their treat- 
rert of the prohlems of philosophy, morality, and society, all pre- 
sented ir a form and style that approaches perfection for t^ta-t 
particular genre, Bnt their creations do not give a powerful 11- 
iMsion of life^we do not tnrn a street corner expecting to meet 
one of their characters face to face. Rahelais.Mollere and saint- 
Simon, however, "belong to a smaller ^loup who are preeminently cre- 
ators. T^ey present not abstractions "but real "beings that 
"become personal acquaintances cf the reader, social orders that 
seem as palpa"ble to him as the one in which he lives. There is 
an intangi'ble something which we can only define hy that undefin- 
ahle term., genius, "by which these men impose the creatures of their 
imagination (1) upon our consciousness in spite of the impro"ba- 
"bility or even impossi"bllity of their ever having existed. 
(1) For Saint rlmon see i^^low. v-^A,^^^,(^- -^y^'HH'^ 
'There is something in these authors that appeals to us as do the 
criide elemental forces cf nature; this Is reflected ir their 
styles, which do not respect the more conventional ideas of compo* 
tion. Careless of restraint .they seek a mode of expression confoten- 
ahle to their su"bjects; one that leaves them unhampered in person- 
al expression; for in the last analysis the pilse of life must he 
transm-itted from the author's own personality, it is interesting 
to note that the characters of Moliere.who almost necessarily made 

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greater conceselons to convent. Ion. tend irore than those of RalDelalB 
and Saint-Slmon to become types or abstract ions. 

My purpose Is not to prove that Rabelais. Moliere and salnt - 
Simon outrank the other great writers; that Is a question of stand- 
ards Of comparison combined with personal preference, mt euch 
a contrast as i have n:ade does Indicate that an author who pro- 
d^^ce. an Illusion of life must have greater freedom In the choice 
Of hla modes of expression; he m,st speak a language which it- 
self has life and partalces of the nature of the creator and of 
the thing created. , 

Rabelais gave his Iraglnatlcn carte Manohe arong all the 
vertai klohes ot the renaissance and reveled In metaphore.. and 
sillies; no a,nhor ever J^ad freer range for Ms genius, Ani when 
^e read Rabelals.we read hln: withc.t stylistic prejudice, for we 
have no conventional and sacred standard for his tl„e. The con- 
tent and the style Impress the»selves upon us as so Intimately 
related. so perfectly Ir harr.ony.that we cannot conceive of his 
having written In any other mnner.and we are ready to class this 

hllarlous.obscene.tewliderlngly exhuherant raconteur as a literary 

artist. (1) 

(1) Pierre de^ia Jullilere: les linages dans Rabelais. T-^^^^- 
ftO.^' Z R Pfe,,.Bfl.lefte. XXXVII, The general t.ypes of figures 
in Rabelais correspond to the more materialistic ones 
Of Balzac. Rabelais shows for instance 363 comrarisons 
to animals. 

Hcllere m a soberer age ..ade free use cf the vivld.plcturesque 
colloquial words and ,.odes of expressions. Modern orltlcls^ has 
answered the .any objections and ad.Us that should have 
the right to m^e his character spea. the language that Is natural 
to him. as ™ch as he copied r.ore closely from 

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nature, may not "be called a creator ir. the sair.e nieasrire as the 
other two; his Imagination does not play so large a rart.liMt his 
style recreates, If it does not create. His iren and women are 
creatures of flesh and "blood and not the puppets of historical 
accounts; the illusion of l^fe on the page of a hook is the sarce 
and is equally difficult to procure whether the ncdel really ex- 
isted or not, for in either case the immediate s«arcti in the con- 
ception in the mind of the author. Indeed the representation of 
actualities presents a peculiar danger in that the mind is fre- 
quently not ahle to distiriguish the non-essential among the many 
elements that crowd lh_^the consciousness. Saint-Cimon's style 
caused considerahle sgajg^l wh^n the Mem.olr,s first appeared, and it 
reseraDles in many ways that of Balzac, with bold figures of speech 
and a disregard for grammatical and aesthetics^if niceties. (1) 

(1) Such lines as these of Taine would seem to ha^e heen 
written on Balzac himself : "(iette passion ote au style 
t^rite f^ pudeur. . .Moderation, hon gont lltteralre, eloquence, 
no"biepse,tout est emporte et noye... I^ ciil9lne,l 'ecurie.le 
garde-manger, la menagerie, les mauvals lleux, 
11 prend des expressions partout. Il est cru,trivial,et 
petrlt ses figures en pleine houe...c'est a ce prlx qu'est 
le genie; unlquement et totalement engloutl dans I'ldee qui 
l»a'bsorhe,il perd de vi^e la m.esure,la decence et le respect. 
II y gagne la force; car 11 y prend le droit d'aller jusqu'au 
"bout de sa sensation, d 'egaler les moux'-em.ents de son style !\ 
aux niouvements de son c6eur,.,ce style hizarre.excesslf, inco- 
herent e, surcharge, est celui de la nature elle-merre; nul n'est 
plus utile pour I'hlstolre de I'ame; 11 est la not^ation ' l\.- 

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lltterale et spontanee des sensations 5 Essay on Saint-Simon 

in E_8sai6A6 critique etldi^istclre (pp. 2^1-251) 


Gautler »ay&- of Falzac, : *La langne francalse.epviree pa^ 


les classlques dn dix-septleme siecle.n'est propre lorsqu'on veut 
s 'y conforiner qu'a rendre des Idees a peindre des fig- 
ures convent ionnelles dans un milieu vague. Pour exprimer cette 
mMitipllclte de details, de caracteres,de types, d' architectures, 
d 'ajreut laments, Pa Izac fut oblige (5e se forger une langue speclale, 
compof'ee de toutes les technologies, de tous les argots de la sci- 
ence, de I'atelier.des coulisses, de 1 'amphitheatre mene. Chaq-'ie 
mot qui disait quelqne chose etait le lDienvenu,et la phrase, pour 
la recevoir.ouvrait une incise, une s r.allongeait com- 
plalsamment, C'est ce qui a fait dire aux critiques superficiels 
qu'^fne savait pas ecrire»— ll avalt.tiien qu'il ne le crit pas.un 
style et un style tres "beau, — le style necessaire,"^^tale et math- 
ematique de son idees(l) 

(1) Portr aits conteir-.poralns,p,110. 
It is not true, however, that Balzac continued to think that he did 
not have a good style, for he does not hesitate to affirm that only 
he,aautier,and Hiigo Knew the French language. 

In the alDOve quotation Gautier speaKs especially of techni- 
cal tenrs which had already "been carried over into literature, in 
the latter part of the eighteenth century and Balzac does make free 
use of them. But they serve rather to give accurate, scientific 
descriptions of material objects, of the milieu in which his char- 
acters moved; they are an aid, "but used alone they "belong to the do- 
main of scientific discussion rather than to literature. Balzac 
needed something miore; he felt instinctively that his ideas and 

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Impresslone could not "be adequately reproduced In others "by '".a 
means of conventional French prose, and he could not take refiige 
In poetry as did so many of his contemporaries for their n:08t pas^ 
sionate expressions, for r.elther his genius nor his su"bject matter 
was poetic. He affirms In many places the author's right to coin 
new woyds an^ expressions to sulthls Ideas. In speaking of some old 
French words he says to his sister: "Quels Jolls motfei Exprlm- 
ent-ils "bien ce qu'ils veulent dlrej ..^i-Qi.ii done a le droit de 
faire aumone a une langue si ce n'est pas l'ecrlvaln?"( 1) 

(-1-h- Vt>i-,5fXiV";p.52 
In the Pontes drolatlcjues .where he wished merely to tell a story, 
he had the happy Idea of going hack and borrowing the rich, pictu- 
resque, and unfettered language of the sixteenth century which he 
handles with masterly art and chaining effectiveness. "Pven here 
he prohahly did not attempt an accurate reproduction of the lan- 
guage of Rahelals; he sought freedom and not a change of masters. 
Language was an instrument that had to he fashioned to his purpose , 

mt such a medium was not sultahle for m.odern suhjects and 
the various philosophical and social problems that they involve. 
Balzac's ideas on modern style are indicated in his criticism of 
Stendhal, for whom he expresses unbounded adriration in so far as 
the content of his works were concerned, hut "11 n'a pas soigne la 
fo>-n.e; 11 ecrlvalt comire les olseaux notre langue est 
uhe scrte de Madame Honesta qui ne trouve rlen de "bien que ce qnl 
eat irreprochahle,clsele,leche, "(2 ) 

( 2-^ — -La ltres a l /atrangeT-e , II ,pp . J+91-2 
He does not see how Stendhal could expect to express himself in 
the simple, correct, colorless, flgureless style of the eighteenth 


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century. ( 5) 

(5) Balzac Is "by no means alcne In his desire to infuse new 
tlood irto the French language. The matter had teen dls- 
cessed in the Journals and parlementary detiates. Chateau- 
briand, Itoe de iftael, Victor Wigo and otliers had hazarded in- 
novations in vocabulary, syntax, and figurative creations, hut 
when all is considered they had heen extremely conservative. 
Stendhal Is an out and out reactionary In matter of language. 
He says In Racine et Sha Kesipeare ( 1825, P. 115 )• "H ne faut 
pas innover dans la langue parcelque la langue est une chose 
de convention, Lalssons cette glclre,a stael.a 
Chat eautr land, de Marecha/i^.-etc. II est sur qu'll est plus 
vite fait d'lnventer un tour que de le chercher penlblement 
au fond, d'une lettre provinclale ou d'une harangue de Pajiu. 
Une langue est composee de ses tours non molns que de ses 
mots, Tou.tes les fols qu 'une idee a deja un tour qui l»ex- 
prlne clairement .pourquoi en produlre un nouveau? Cf.Prunot 
In Petit de Jullevllle :Hlstolre de la langue et de la llt- 
t e ratu re f ran ca 1 s e , vol , V T 1 1 . "V, , 7 -r 

There is a most Interesting paragraph in Louis Lam hert 
which, thouih ohscure at, throws light on Palzac's attitude 
towards words as expressions of ideas. Louis Lamhert Is speaking 
of the fascinating study of the origin and de^relopinent of words. 
"L'asneiD'blage des lettres.leurs for<^es,la figure qu' 
elles riunnent a un mot ,desslnent exactement ,sulv^nt le caractere 
de chaque peuple.des etre^inconnus donf le souvenir est en nous. 
Op-i. nous expllquera phllosophlquerrent la transition de la sensa- 
tlon a la pensee,de la pensee au verhe.du verhe a son expression 

(I ).y.Tff.tneo 

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hleroglyphlque,(3eg hleroglyphH4ies a I'alpnaiDet ,de I'alphatet a 
1 'eloquence ecrlte.dont la "beaute reside dans nne snite d'lirages 
claspees pariLes qui sont comme les nieroglyphi^ies de 
la penspe? L 'antique pelnture des Idees hnrcalnes con^lgurees par 
les fomes zoologlquea n'auralt-elle pas determine les prerr;lers 
slgnes dont s'est servi 1 'Orient pour ecrlre ses langages? Puis 
n'auralt-elle pas tradltlcnelleirient lalsse quelqoes vestiges dans 
nos langues mod ernes, qui toutes se sont partage les detiris du 
iperbe prliritlf des nations.vert'e irajestueux et solennel.dont la 
majeste.dcnt la solennlte decrolssent a mesure que viellllssent 
les socletes; dont les retentlssements si sonores dans la EllDle 'beau encore dans la Grece.s 'affal"bllssent a travers 
les progres de nos civilisations successives? Fst-ce ^ cet anclan 
esprit que nous devons les mysteres enfouls dans toute l4 parole 
humalne? F'exlste-t-t-11 pas dans le rr.ot VRAI une sorte de rectitude 
fantastlque? Ne se trouve-t-11 pas dans ^e ijddt son "bref qu'll ex- 
Ige une vague image de la chaste la slirpliclte d^ vral 
en toute chose? Cette syllalDe respire je ne sals quelle fralcheur, 
J»al prls pour exemple la formule d'une Idee at>Btralte,ne voulant 
pas expllquer le pro"bleire par un mot qui le rendit trop facile a 
comiprendre.coraire celuidu VOL, on tout parle aux sens. F'en est-ll 
pas ainsl de chaque verte? Tous sont empreints d'un vlvant pou- 
volr qu'ils tiennent de l»ame,et qu'lls lui restltuent par les mys - 
teres d'une action et d'une reaction rcervellleuses entre la pa- 
role et la pensee, Ne diralt-on pas d'un amant qui pulse snr les 
levres de ea maitresse autant d 'amour qu'll lul en communique? Par 
leur seule physionorile les m.ots raipKl)rtent dans notre cerveau les 
creatures ^uxquelles lis servent de vetement^^Z/b/o- S^^y ) 


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A"bout the same Idea js expressed "by Talne when he defends 
the style of Ealzac : "Vos rnote sont de notations, ayant chacnn sa 
valeur exacte.flxee par la raclne et ses alliances; les slens sont 
dee synitoles dont la reverie capricleuse Invente le sens et l»ein- 
plol, 11 a ete sept ans.dit-ll.a comprendre ce qu'est la langue 
francaise. La verite est qu'il I'a etudle frofcndeinent .aicls a sa 
facon,ccitF:e d'autres qu'on accuse anssl d'etre "barlDares, Ponr eiix 
chaqrie mot est.non un chlffre.amis ^n eveil d» images: ils le pes- 
ent,le retournent,le scandent: pendant ce temps un nuage d'eiro- 
tions et de figures fugitives traverse leur cerveau. . .le ir.ot est 
pour eux I'appel soudain de ce monde vague d 'apparitions evanouies " 

( 1 ) Iouv^aux.._essaJ.s_ de,, crl t ijTj^B_e i4-2 , f f . 

The central idea of the paragraph in Louies, jLarn^ert is that 
every word presents to the mind an image of the thing that it rep- 
resents, an idea which is elahorate^ln a way tha tillust rates two 
striking characteristics of Balzac's mind, which may be called un- 
scientifically scientific. He is intolerant of half-way affirma- 
tions and tends to carry any principle to its ultimate conclusion ; 
not only de concrete terms produce concrete images, tut even an: a"b- 
fetract^ddijectlve such as true : and we know that he went even far- 
ther and holds that the of people are an index to their char- 
acter. Cecondly.ln his mania for logical explanation of all phe- 
nomena, he imagines that the power of evocation resides In the ac- 
tijal form of the word and of the letters composing it, and that 
this resiJlts from the fact that formerly, writing , the idea more or 
lesB directly, which must have Influenced the form and arrangement 
of the alphehetical symlDols that were su"bstit ited for them. A typ- 
ical Palzac theory, an ingenious mixing of fact and fancy, l)ut it ^ 
shows us the necessity that Balzac felt for vivid expression. 

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He claims tnat the literal expression has the power to evoke the 
Image, Yjnt a few llneo ahove he has said the Impression made Tjyaa 
word becomes more and more Indistinct as t?ou advance from the most' 
ancient language towards the modern, and also that rhetorical Ima- 
ges are the hieroglyphics of thought. He feels this so much that 
in this very paragraph he uses numerous figures In order to ex- . . 
presLi his ideai. 

From what we have said of the naturS of figures of speech 
it is evident that they, offer at least a partial solution of the 
problem of stylistic revivification. The posslhlllties of figu- 
rative creation are infinite in nurcher and variety. '>ve have al- 
readj'- seen that Ealzac uses comparisons in order to convey Fiore 
adequately, more strikingly, more palpahly the desired impression. 
Note for example the vivid picture of the wretched abandoned Ra- 
bouilleuse given hy this succession of figures. It all hut gtves 
y^u^ the physiological reaction of disgust that you would feel in 
heholding such a scene in real life : "Une femme.verte comnte une 
noyee de deux maigre comir.e l»est une etlque de^x heures 
avant sa raort, Ce cadavre infect avait une mechante rouennerle 
a carreaux sur sa tete depouillee de cheveux. Le tonr les yeux 

etalt rouge et les paupleres etaient corame des pellicules d'deuf •• 

3 33 
( MG . jj ,~5?^ . Also the figures furnish and escape valve for hta 

plethora of ideas and his exhuherance of imagination : "Les con- 
versations entre camarades etalent dominees par le rconde oriental 
et sultanesque du Palais-Royal. Les Palais Royal etalent ^n Eldo- 
rado d 'amour ou.le soir.les lingots couralent tout ir.onnayes . La 
cessalent les doutes les plus pouvaient s'apaiser nos 
curiosites allumeesi Le Palais Royal et moi.nous furnes deux 


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-o^X'T fTf ^n*ii;.t9 Xbvq;" alBXB^ S9l .XBVoyi-aiBXe^ ^•*- '^crf^f-'Xui.rX;';^ .te 

£.1 .a&Y£jinon :^uo.l ^nftir.ti.'oo e^o^lX a9X,Tl0c; -.:.,. ^^ -x.uosw.* b or;BT 

aon tsaXBge'e iaelBvrroq bI. 89;g'r9Xv BuLq s9X asJiroft 39X .JnelBcSftO 

XX^eft B9iT.t'l SirOn.Xoni .t9 XByoF aXBXB''' SJ 1 ^:'-'^-"r'.riP. ^9.+ IBOl'r'rD 


asymptotes ^llrlgeeG I'nne vers I'a^itre sans pomrolr se rencontrer " 
(LV,p.^l-«^. Or ."'Voyez par qnelles voles nons avons rrarche I'Mn 
vers 1 'autre; quel aimant nons a dlrlges snr 1 ♦ocean 3es eanx 
amereSjVers la source d»eau donee, coulant an pleds des monts snr 
nn saTole. palllete.entre deux rives vertes et jflenries, ^r»avons 
nous pas.comire les mages, snlvl la meme etolle? Kons void devant 
la creche d'ou s'eveille un divln enfant qui lancera ses fleches 
an front des arbree nus.qul nous ranimera le monde par* ses oris 
joyeux.qul par des plalsirs incessants donnera dn gout a la vie, 
rendra aux nnits lenr soinrnell,anx jours leur aliegresse, Q-il done 
a s^rre chaque annee de nouveaux noeuds entre nous? ITe sommes- 
nous plus que frere et soeur? Ke deliez jamais ce que le del a 
reuni.^- Les sou ff ranees dent vous parlez etalent le grain repandu 
a flots par la main du semeur pour falre eclore la molsson de.-ja 
doree r^ar le plus teau des soleilSo Voyez' Voyez I N' irons-nous 
pas ^nsemtle tout cnelllir lirin a TDrin»lLV.^.~93^. The Impression 
given l->y such passages may he painful at times, hut they represent- 
a 8uper4-ahundant vitality, the overflow of a highly developed sensi 
hillty and should he judged in their setting as regards the worK 
and the author,(l) 

(1) Compare Saint-Preux excusing himself for figures used 
in a fornier letter : "Pour pen qn'on ait de chaleur dans 
1 'esprit, on a hesoin de rcei^aphores et d 'expressions figu- 
rees pour se faire entendre. . ,11 n'y a qu »un geonetre et un 
sot q^Tl puissent parler sans figures. . .Mes propres phrases 
me font I' je les trouve ahsurdes, grace au 
soin que vous avez pris a leo isoler; rcais laissez-les ou 
je les al mlses,vous leg trouverez meme energiqres" 
La nouv elle Heloise , I I , 1 6 

nrf'I snoTE.TT aaovB srroff a&lov aellstrp t£'i ssvoV": tvO . (-{^. ct. vj ^ 

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trrs B.tnOTT e«>f aJSetq- i'B d'nr>If/oo,90TJoI:' yfis^fj soTffoa bI ai^'-^ee-TeTiB 

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ssriosl*! S6S £T9on£>I xifp .tn£ln& nlvlft nv slllsvs'a jLfo'/: er'osTo J3l 

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( I ) . TOrf Jff/j sff.? fin£ 

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rx; .ts s-^.j&fToes nv* vp b yVn ii. . ,6"cf;ne.tn9 eiisl ee 'ti/oq ass-^: 

asGiJtrfq astqonq a9M. . .Be-frsjil annp, T9lTi;q .tneaeirq .t"p Son 

L'B 903T>},a66trfacr£ evi/OlJ 891 9 f . J9,9X'0V£M &(,,Gtil. .tnol S"!) 

no a9l-S9S8l£l si£'.i iiBioe.i 09i n alTq 59vb afov arc nice 

a3'pIST9rT9 9m9m ,1^,3911.610 S&19VtfOT,f 891 RirO ■• , 89SIJ! IC ^el 9^ 

rt J , 1 1 , 98l Ql9H 9jj:9Vron. Hi 


Balzac then was drawn instinct I'rely to the flgnre of speech 

■because It seemed to fiarnlsh a more adequate expression Tor cer- 
tain phases of his genius; and though he Imade many mlstaKes.we 
cannot say that he frilled In his purpose. I shall discuss this 
point, as to the effect of the style en the reader, later on, giving 
he re, however-, a quotation from Salnte-Beuve,who certainly cannot he 
accused of |avoratile prejudice. His praise Is given grudgingly 
and with restrictions: "li est un peu comme ces generaux qui n'em- 
portent le molndre position qu'en prodlgant le sang des troupes , 
(c'est I'encre seul qu»ll prodigue) et qu'en perdant fedaucjsttp de 
monde. itols hien que I'economie des moyens dolve compter, I'essen- 
tiel apres tout c'est arrlver a un resultat,^! ) Balzac en malnfee 
occaslon^est et demeure vlctorleuxjMy^yTl cominence si hien chaqaie nous circonvlent si vivement.qu'il n'y a pas iroyen de re- 
sister et de dire non a ses promesses. Tl nous prend les mains, 11 
nous Introduit de gre ou de force dans chaque aventure.y7"-e n s ' im- 
per ii er r t ,_on froisse la page sous la inaln,inal8 on y revlent est ermi / \ 
enfin,entralne on se penche malgre sol vers ce gouffre Inassouvl."^ 
(1) Portraits contemporalne, Il,p,3l3 
"^^^-;:Si i:U!LLUiu44-Ueru:ty s&<^5M-2,note and p. 351 
v/hat higher praise can an author receive than that he has gained 
his ends, that he has held your interest, imposed his ideas upon you, 
and made you accept his criticisms In spite of yourself. J?:ch 
praise concerns the style as well as the content .whatever the in- 
tention of the critic, for such an impression could not he produced 
if the style were not in harmony with the content. That is all we 
can rightly asX of any style. Brinetlere says r^Trop souvent 11 n'a 
reussi a exprimer sa pensee qu'au moyen d'une multitude do metaphores 

aii'^'.t BBfTCBiti Iluria I .saoq-Tiq ei-rf nl l)eLic1 Sii ■t>:flJ- .tonn^o 
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5f? . 
qu 1 approchent du gallraat las " ( 1) ; 
(1) Honore de Balzac, p. 29U 
■but these very rcetapliors give an Impression of vigor, or material 
life.tney relieve the monotony and chill of enumeration of detail 
and alDstract analysis, they keep onr irlnd alert "by the necessity of 
forming and relating concrete Images, hy the continual occurrence 
of the unexpected which we must fit into the trend of thought. 
Ealzac's world, his philosophy, even his spiritnallsin and metaphysics 
are all materialistic and could not possibly he expressed in js^ire- 
ly abstract terms; his style is an organic and necessary part of 
his worlc,anc3 should not "be criticized without taking this fact 
into account. But "before we can pass final Judgment on the merits 
and demerits of Balzac's figures we roist attempt to explain th4lr 
character hy their relation to Balzac and his subject matter. 

,•(!)" Br.!. lain! I£:^ vb o-ner:oo'f<ii).B Ivi 
1* P ^ . q , BS i fi^r 9 5 et or; OK ( I ) 

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"TO Y^lKssosrt srf.t vcf ^tslr. tin.tri ttro .;y99>': vsrfJ'.aiciylBnB Jo^iJ'acfF. J^nii 

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Ti^rf-t ninlqxe 6.t ;tq;\ ia;tn sw 86t;{;>aJ-1 s'obsIhr: "^o EJl'r'=*:ff9fj ftns 

Chapter IV, ^ 


The figures of Balzac, then, are the result of an effort.consclouiis 
or otherwise, to render his expression more vivid and vigorous, to' 
reproduce more exactly his own sensations In thc> ralnd of the read- 
er, we have seen, however, that very often his figures do not pro- 
duce the impression that he evidently intended they should, that 
they conceal or "becloud his thought instead of expressing It, that 
they are revolting to our sensihllltles. This chapter and the next 
will 'r^e an attempt to explain these ■^iflSWis ny Isolating certain of 
the Influences which have comhlned to produce the figures such as 
we find them, we have already, in Chapter T I, treated this question 
in so far as It concerns the psychological process that results 
iTrmediately In the production of a figure; what we have to say now 
is supplementary to the features already noted, and at the same tine 
it serves to explain them, in as much as we are getting deeper into 
the psychological nature of the author. It is an elusive suhject 
and as complex as human nature itself; we cannot hope to he ex- 
haustive, nor can we affirm anything more than certain well defined 
tendencies, Which, while incapahle of mathematical proof .present 
plauslhle solutions for the literary phenom.ena which we are dis- 
cussing. The prohlem Is slrcpl if led, however, i:)y the fact that what 
we have to explain are faults and excesses rather than excellence. 
It is easier to explain tne fall of an eogle than its flight. 

In the first place we must rememher that Balzac's attl- 
tnde towards life is in general anything hut irieallstlc; and the 

fact that a figure Is displeasing to us frequently means, not that 
the figure is improper from the sVtndpolnt of the author, hut that 


"'■'•r!0.lO"riVRiT P.T'^ O'T ■'iT/l'TT 


to r 



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cfo&tcftfs B-rUirls HB ai n .torlJXJB Brii sn iBOlaolorfoYaq srfi 

.tneestq.looTq lBoJt;tenierfJBin "to sicffiqxjonl sllrfw.rfolrfWjaslonsJineJ 

ew flolrfw snsmonsjtq Y.tfitsJtl sff.t tol 8nojt«tLrIoe aicflaireXq 

Jb::" ' ^oi3l eifit Ajcf.tevswort^fiemigfJiiB «1 mslcfotq SffT .saiaax/o 

.eonsXisoxs rusrtJ terCtBt aseasox?- i ets nlBlqxe o.f svb/I sw 

, ^^{sm Piit nBrf^ 91^59 ns to LLBt eff.t nifiXqx© o* t©l3,es p.i tT 

-Jt.JlB a*o«sXBa jBrt^ •tecrortBrast ^faum ©w 9DsXq J'atll erftf nl 

©rf^ fins ;oJt*e ilBsM Jircf snlff^y.nB iBts/tes nl ei slix eMswct efctfJ 

itBri:f ^on.enBftrfi rtX^nswps't' y^tBB^lqas i^ri:i cfoBl 

:fr>ff,t .tjrcf.torfJyB erf.i "to J; m-IJ .tiotl -csqotqnl ei stifsn erf^ 


we are not willing to accept the conception of life which produ- 
ced the figure. Balzac's figures are flesh of his flesh, and they 
lacK certain qualities of delicacy .just an he does; and frequent- 
ly this fact is sifTlcient explanation for the choice of a compar- 

I. Influence of the characters on Balzac and on each other. 
Many figures that seem lirporper may "be explained "by the man- 
ner in which Balzac conceived and executed his novels. Anecdotes, 
testimony of friends, and his work Itself show to what extent he 
was otsessed ty his characters. Fe talked of them to his friends 
as of real rren and women, discussing their characters and their 
futures. He would shut himself up for long seasons , sustaining 
himself almost entirely M'lth coffee, at home for no one "but ffrandet , 
Brid,^au,or Rastignac, living the life of each character, thinking 
his thoughts, experiencing hisljoys and sorrows. The force, verity, 
and Illusion of life In his creations result largely from this 
atlllty to suTDordlnate his own personality, to lose himself in his 
characters. But as a result of this process, we find m.any expres- 
sions coming from the pen of Balzac that would "be natural only in 
the mouth of one of his characters. The figures in iin_menage_de 
garcon are usually such as we would expect of the leading character, 
Philippe Brld^dtt. La I'^ise dn depart ement is composed in a style 
full of conceits and vulgar pretention such as constantly arise In 
the conversations of Diana Pledefer and of the journalist Lousteau . 
From, these two Balzac seems to "borrow such expressions as: "Sa 
ro"be de cham"bre. . .ce prodult incestueiix d*un anclen pardessus 
chine de Mariame Pledefer et d 'une ro"be de feu ^ie uradame le la 
Eaudraye^Cp.'TS^^); "Horticulture des viiigarlte8"(pl^ 

^ ^G: 

^) 9M5;i6!n *T" 





& sef?/! 


£ nootsa 




"Sa ferame executalt nne senate de paroles et des duos de dlalec- 
tiqiie" ("pTfH; "Cos exortltantes cJepensea a 'esprit et cJ 'attention" 
(p.^i^; "Son fenilieton dans un journal qnotidlen qui resseiT;T:)lait 
au rocher de Syspne et q^ii tom'bait tous lea lundis sur la "barioe de 
sa plume "(f^^Soii. L'lllnstre Saudlssar t is especially striking in 
this respect, as there is only one character of importance. If we 
compare the figures of Gaudissart with those of Balzac in this 
conte we find it hard to differentiate there. The same is true for 
the style as a whole; we might imagine that we are reading the me- 
moirs of Gaudissart. 

There are possible advantages in this styl|3tic conta- 
gion. The description of a Homais in the prose of a PlaulDert is 
not altogether aloove criticism, for a dual impression is produced 
on the reader "by the character and ty the style, and we see the 
character only through the style, that is, through the eyes of the 
author who stands aloof. In one of the ahove mentioned novelP'. of 
Balzac the impression on the reader is single and morevlvid, for 
the style and the character are the same; the style simply fur- 
nishes a harmonious stage setting for the actors. On the other 
hand, however, an author who composes in thsl, manner loses the use 
of his critical faculties, he loses the perspective that, is neces- 
sary in order to restrain and correct his imagination. Also, In a 
worK where there are several distinct characters, one character or 
one type is llKely to dominate the tooK and the style. Such Is 
the case with Un menage de garco n.even to the point of affecting 
the very speech of the other characters. The "brutal exrresslons 
of Joseph, the artist, are expeclally striking, and his figure* in 
every case hut one are hased on crude puns or a cynical materialf 
Ism. In the Lyg dans la baile e. priests. raids. ITatalie^and Lady 

■■•. r, c ,7 ! 

'^ \s (^ 


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fi'f-'' ^f r- '•■J'noo 

,3-.-,t'-.- crft ■r-,'i- y'v;•■^-^;,« egG^a autaJtnorrttBrf b asrtai/f 

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Dtjdley all speaK tne language of Pellx and Madame de lIpTtsiviii,and 
only the caref.aiy constructed character of Y.,6e l«:ortsauf stands 
out In strong contrast. There seeirs to "be a certain Inflexibili- 
ty in the mind of Balzac^whlch rendered difficult for him the 
quicK changes of tone and point of view in his novels, and which 
must have "been a constant hindrance to him In his dramatic efforts , 
One of the merits of Eiigenle arande t Is that her^ he seems to have 
overcome this difficulty. Three charact ers, arandet ,E)igenle and 
Nanon stand out with especial distinctness, and "by their mutual 
reaction they seem to hold the author In restraint. 

It Is v;orth while to note here the use of figures hy 
the characters in this novel. There are some forty in the speech- 
es of arandet; a large number of them are hanal.even to the point 
of helng colloquial lsm.s, "but they express excellently the attitude 
of mind of the man,his miatter-(^f-fact "brutality and ohsesslon "by 
the idea of money : «I1 faut lalsser passer la premiere averse" 
[jTears of Charles for his fatheifv^95 ); "Est-ce que nous ne vlvons 
pas des mortsfae the crows]? Qu 'est-ce done que les successions »( 
(p?T^); "TouB ce gens-la me servent de harpons //ft pecher''(p,^iJ 
"Je serai depouille,trahl,tue,devore par ma fi lie "(p. 4-9^; "Les 
ecus vlvent et groulilent corcme les hommes. Ca -"-ientjCa sue, 
ca produit "(p.l-fu-); "Qnand elle aural t dcre son cousin de la tete 
aux pleds^^-^l-^?^. The money element is present ' ;. majority of 
his figiires.hut the most interesting are the ca^a.^ where he ex- 
presses other irteas ih terms of finances: "Je ne veux pas qu'll 
t 'arrive malheur a I'echeance de ton age^Cp.TT^ll; or the more ha- 
nal "II est sept heures et demie,vou» 'levrlez aller vous serrer 
dars vo Ye portfeuille"(p.l-l^. _j^ I- /. / 

Fiig^nie uses four figures; they are hanally poetical^ and in 

-- ..'- : . Je.Q't.Jn-oo s«OT^B ;/ii cTtfo 

i - -. :)8-(;9f)fIS-'- r.of ,w|OBSJ:iJH lO ftfltm 9fW -fll "^J 

lolrTw R«B,8X9von Rj-' if '."^jIv to ........ r^xxs .$n;o.r |o sssnerto 3to2wp 

. '.1"T^ oLt.qnc.Tf Rf _ 9orfr<'rf.r^t-< ^njB^SnOQ ^ HSSGT eVBIf J-afM 

. :o£t£rfo 99tffr .^£jr"' ' ,.. s^isooisyo 

-ftoesq:; .... ... ,.:..- ..:... -- ateJ-duSiBrto ■'* 

,. . . ....-,-. ;..: ....... ^., ,.« .asiomorf 861 ©irajjoo ;ffseHX/ffotg .t9 ^'iisvlv axroe 

ro<., ;• +e 


one case rather lurticrons : "Le malhenr vellle pendant qn'll 
clort*(p.^f^§.); ".Te ro'einlDarqneral snr la fol de votre parole pour 
traverser leg dangers de la vie a I'abrl de votre nom"(p,-?594. 
The nine figures used ty Nanon are admlra'ble^expresslon of the 
plain-spoken, devout peasant : "Tl est etendu comme un veau anr snn 
lit et pleure coiTFe une Madeleine "(p. -99-1; L'enf-mt dort comr^e un 
cherutiln. . .corrre s'j.l etalt le rol de la t erre .. .comire -"in 8a"bot 
(p.j^i-g-^; "Tl y en a qui, pus y ^levlennent vleux.pus v dnrclssent ; 
ntals lui [ Grand etj, 11 se fait doux coniTre votre cassis, et y ra- 


The other figures are jn harmony with their users. De- 
serving of special comirent are the eleven metaphors in the letter 
of nrandefs hrother, which, though very materlalistic.hecome poetic 
in their somhre, Impassioned vigor : "J'aurais voulu sentir de 
saintes promesses dans la chaleur de ta main, qui m.'ei)t rechauffe" 
(p. 35^; "II lgnoralt,rar "bonheur.que les dernlers flots de ma vie 
s'epanchaient dans cet adieu"(pr53^; " -^e voudrais avoir le "bras 
assez fort pour I'envoyer d *un seul coup dans les cieux.pres de 
sa mere * ( p . 5^) . These expressions seem very natural wnen we con- 
sider the situation of the writer. 

I,i\ - yigures j-esulting from the sutstitution of imagination 

fox G"b s e rv at ion . 
If we examine the tatle given atove with a v]ew of determin- 
ing what purposes guided Balzac in the use of figures of speech, v;e 
are stnicl: a ' once with the fact that practically all his figures 
have to do with mankind. It is tri:e that one of the innovations 
of Balzac in the novel was the Importance that he gave to the ma- 
terial surroundings of his characters; and the description of 


tlfoq £• 


I-SndCi u'' 


. . .njtui/tsifo 

.^-T^C. ■, 1.) 

'"^ .^.tt' 


physical oTojecte talces up a consl(lera"ble part of these three 
novels, though he aoes not go to tltty^ir-^B as in some of the others. 
Biit in dealing with physical ohjects.he does not feel the need of 
flgnfatlve expression, for the literal term hrlnps up a concrete 
image; and Balzac, who had an admlrahle vision for the external 
aspects of things and a vocahnlary overflowing with all the tech- 
nicalities to express -"hat he sees, feels that he can give a more 
accurate irripresslon of the ohject in question hy a detailed rte^ 
scriptlon than "oy comparing It t6 other ohjects or "by Irrhulng it 
with life \)y persor!lflcatlon» 

Tt is in dealing with the more intanglhle phases of life 
that he feels the need of figurative language, of an expression 
that substitutes a conctfete image for an abstract coAcept or spir- 
itual phenomena. In other words he is not a psychologist, he has 
not the power to ^alnt in abstract terms the internal working of 
a complex ^zfoul. His greatest creations are ti-iose in v/hich the 
character expresses Itself almost entirely in actions; thesp ex- 
ternal manifestations he chooses vrith an admlrahle I'HStlnc^.so 
that the character seems alive and real for us; hut the psycholo- 
gy remains simple, composed largely of the generalizations of ele- 
mental principles. , These characters, moreover, are materialistic : 
Palzac moves at ease in the rroney-paved courts of orandet's hraln. 
The difficulty comes when it is a question of a delicate and Ideai 
Ized character. He says himself in the Lvs dans la vallee >r 
"Loreqv-^'ine vie ne se compose q^ie d 'act ion et de mouvement.tout est 
Dlentot silt; mals quand s'est passee dans lea regions les plus 
elevees de I'ame.son histolre est dlffuse''(p.'^5^. 

m the portrayal of character Balzac relies largely on 



■--(gxe J: 

"I J ■ . ■■ 

no Yis." 


a principle whlc>i is derived from the theories of Lavater.for 
v'hoin he had a most profound respect. Lsvater holds that the char- 
acter of a inan Is reveiaed.not only "by his featnres.hiit hy his 
dress, his house, >ils furniture ,all his ir lllen ; the little noolc 
of the world Ir which he fits and which he shapes to suit himself, 
reacts In turn upon him until it hecoines his very Image. (1) 

(1) John Caspar Laratar : Kssal sur la Physlognoir^ e. La 

Haye 17«3-If?03, voi.l,p.27 

df.F. Baldensp^Ter : "Leo Theories de Lavatar dans la llt- 

terature francaise," in B tudes d'hlstolre lltt.e ; rai 

Balzac stoutly defended these theories, and, In applying their., he 

arrange^ so admlrahly the ml i leu of his charactere that their 
psychological weakness hardly appears. They fit so naturally into 
the scheme of things that they seem to "be a part; remove Madame 
Vanquer from ner p ension and she h-^comes a mere shadow, we are in- 
Slined at times to "believe that Palzac would deny the existence of 
individual psychology, holding that a man's mind worlcs hy fixed 
laws according to the influences of his surroundings; and it is 
dou.ijtless true that the author's materialistic conceptions hlndej^ 
ed his developing any extended psvchologlcal facility. 

■put ,st-^-ange as it may see/r at first thought, it is the 
inner m;an that interests Balzac prirrarlly. Kis purpose is to paint 
souls, and even to go "beyond the sphere of the ordinary playchologf 
leal novel^to paint them, in their deepest and most spiritual ex- 
pressions — in a word he aspires to metaphysics. And ao ifrhen he "be- 
gins an extended description of physical ©"bjects, he is careful to 
tell us that it is necessary for the proper unlerstandlng of the 
drama which is to follow. Froni this external shell he helieves 

ui.';' , ::*9*T!;A4'i;s" . ^isjsrftvet: el naqi b lo ts^oB 

t^rij!; :;f?/ Lj3* Bdi'' - ■ ux-cow^fi-' 

.iS.:i..oerf .ft Li-: -f scJofiGt 

TfoiK"^ Crf.rl.J ats.tOiBtfi-to sitf 1» t reXIIgi sriJ YJ^tf■S^i-'^•&--• 
-^f/ftirf 6f[oJ:.?q-eofTO0 oi^eilJJlteJBm B"xOittfm Wii4)srr >s»I^crfrof) 
■-'tsniM- ,3Xir;o8 

erf.t 'to STfifciivv^'TQX'r*.' "i&qotq orf.? lo't v.'^-sefi&oe.a b.i it * j^." .t 

aev©ii= . rerfe X6nt®:fxe airfJ >aot'i .woliol ot ai .:..:\L'(b 


he can penetrate to tne germ of life wltl^ ne tells ns In the 
opening page of r acino cane ; "Chez ir.ol I'o'hservatlon (leja 
devenue lnt^'ltlve,9lle penetrnJt I'arre sans negllger le iarps; 
ou pintot elle salslssalt si "bien les detniis exterleurs»qn'elle 
allalt snr-le-champ an dela; elle fee <lonnalt la facnlte de vivre 
de la vie ae^l'lndividu sur laquelle elle s'exercait." He tries to 
project within the soul his vision for externa is, and in doing so 
he Is departing from the realm of otservatlon for that of liragl- 
natlon. Iitaglnatlon Is the mother of figures, and so we are not 
Butprlsed to hear Valentine say in the peau de <2hagrln : "L*ex- 
ercise de la recherche des Wees, les contemplations 
tranquilles dP la science nous prodlguent d'lneffahles dellces,ln • 
descrlptlhles comme tout ce qui partlclpe de l» intelligence, dont 
les phenomenes sont invlslhles a nog sens exterieurs. Au.ssi 
sommes-nous toujours force<^s d'expliquer les mvst'^res de I'es- 
prit par des corcparaisons materlelles. •rfeJ^._ 

While we are discussing the ;^ignres resulting from the 
substitution of imagination for ohs-er/ation it is well to note 
also that often the whole character is largely a product of imag- 
ination, which plays_a much larger part in the work of Balzac than 
we are sometimes inclined to admit. Hs is far from tne note-hoolc 
m.ethod of his naturalistic followers, a method which limits the 
operation of the Imagination and especially that phase of imagi- 
nation that results in figurative creation. As has frequently 
teen stated, It would have heen a physical impossihillty for Paiz4c 
tootservej^he two thousand characters that he created and followed 
through the vicissitudes of lifej/with the minuteness of a Zola or 
a Goncourti; the great arrc|nt of his production, the endless 

'^nsq- si:- '^ ■ 
oils, 671 ^tyJnl &ufi&vsi> 

t> ri<j 1 .t .& I .Vuiii. .^ . o ii -s^iaO t S;.iiP9"( Sit « ; ; i & t o a i ^ "I i^ 

tsfr , ■'^t^Xa ap'" ' ■ ■ 

.itJtf^-Javai Bel, --oi auiH'.^ici'' 

"-teiroLio't oD^kistifi&n »tn tQ b. 


correction and ■re"'orKing,hl9 financial otllgatlonB and adventures, 
nis social duties vvculd not have left hliri the tlrr.e. aantler Is 
the first, I if^elie-'/e^tc use the very f Ittlng terr.. vovant . In con- 
nectlon with him.d) What he olDserves is merely a starting point 

(1) .Jor.traits cent empora Ins p. 63 

for his imagination; it may lie dormant in his loraln for years, • 
fermenting, as it were. He claims to tie a^ble to reconstruct a 
whole human Tseing fr-m. a single trait, just as Cnvler reconstruct- 
ed an extinct anircal from a single iDone, Thus Camllle Maupln 
"bears "but little resemhiance to r^er model, Oeorge Sand. Similar- 
ly such characters as Rastlgnac, Valentin, Pel jx fle Vandernesse,and 
Louis Lamtert are evjdently in part tJiographlcal, (?) yet a close 

(2) Cf.the testimony of a frland of Ealzac in the years of 
his literary apprenticeship :Jnles rle T>etlg>ly in 

L a France centrale ('l e •pioi s )^ .]T!ars Ifl^S cited 'by 

K*^>t**^<ru-V . Hist .pp. 277-2^1 
study shows comparatively few concrete aimllrvrities. Similar in- 
stances might he cited for other authors, especlallj'' of the romanv 
tic period; only the r'lethod differs, ^'e may have a narrative fol- 
lowing closely the facts, with sore of the ugly spots gilded over 
as in the C onfession ci '^m enfant & y 5iecle ;we rny have an ideal- 
laiitdion as In .Crra3ielle .or a symhol as In Faust . Balzac's method 
seem.s to have heen tc start from som.e characteristic, passion, as- 
piration, or circumstance in his ovm life, which he Isolates, siir- 
rounds with the necessary elements of a seporate existence, and 
carries mercilessly to Its logical conclusion. Tn the p.?rson of 
Louis Lamtert ,wWr«5q he handles with mere gen^ilne delicacy and cc» - 
pitehending tenderness than his other characters, we s-'^em to see an 
effort to discover what would have heen his fote,if he had 


\^ufrf exorfw 
.©noa 9ignxs yoaiitnQ -iz Ss 



.5 0J3t.S 


"io --tP- 

ssiJSfC 1:0 fcngi-^ 

P?BJ, 8T£:., 

5? ; 9 1 lo- tn '=>0 8 OiijjLn 'i I .T 

•"^'-'^ ' •- - «. 

•: sxo'sX3 r^n ;:fr(-Bln' . j-taael rtoO e*t 

. Tgcrs'^ ^- ^ . :XXe.U£tO r 

".n ', cr ■ f:iT8lxs e -.trrsnisl? riJ'iw aftnuof 

lo n.;-Tr'r :• ;," uefrXoir v; re 159 no-: em e*" 

^rf ij:,j need svbji ijiwow iariw tevooa.J:B oJ (ftolts 

continued in tne way of the stufiles that 1q(\ to the composing of 
the youth^il essay on the will, and eventually to his sickness 
and removal from the collew-e de Vendome. The story, 'bping "but 
slightly dependant on external events, remains more personal with 
Balzac than his other :3^)asl antolDlographles, where the character 
develops in such a wsiy as to he ahsolntely distinct from the per- 
sonality of the anther; I might also add that, "being largely con- 
c^irned with p.aycholcgical ahourds'ln flgiires of speecSi. 

Thils ever active imagination, powerful to the extent of 
approximating hallijclnation.verv naturally translates Itself into 
fijires of speecli^ Balzac's says that "on exprlme 'rflen.x ce qu»on 
conceit :^ii.e ce :5uep. 'on n. epro^ive, "(l ),hi]t there is a vagueness 
( 1 ) Let t re s a 1 ; ttrni-ige r e , T , p . ^^ p 

aboo^t the Ideoliz.ed •inlcno'vm that is only too evident in the j(azy 
Impressionfi tha" v.-e receive from his figures dealing with the 
more poetic characters. The slgnlficarice is ndBt ^^er-^ clear to us, 
an'.5 we wonder -fcf- Balzac himself had any ;iefinlte conception of 
v/hat he vranted to pay or \^ he justifies the criticism of Taine, 
who says, a propos of "Raizac 's , criticism of Stendhal's style:*- 
"gj.3and votre idee.tjdt encore Imparfalt^^.ne ponvant la inontrer 
eliememe.voTis indl^ues les ohjets auxquelles elle ressem.'ble.voiis 
sortez de I'expreHslon courtiJ et dlrecte pour vous jeter a droite 
et a g.-iuche d:-xns les comparal sons. Cest done par /mpiiO^^aikte 

q'ie vou.s accumulez les images; faute de rouvcir marquer, ies la 


prem.iere fuis votre pensee t^ous la repetez vagnement rlusieurs ie lectenr.qul veut vons ocmprendre.doit suppleer a votre 
falhlesse ou. a votre pwwBB^en - 'Ms train Isant vous-m-eme a vous- 
m.eme.en vous expliquant ce que vous vonliez dire et ce que uons 



.■3JBk .911' 

^sniJdiT to fltaioi 

,9Xd"!tl©SB9t • 

.SS^JSRFSq WtslO" 


n»avez pas dlt . "(1) 

(1) Nonveanx easals ;1e crltlaue et. a*hlstoire,v.231f 

Talne was atrongly under the influence of Stendhal 
wher he wrote this, "but It is tnie that a figure of speech may 
conceil'a thought or the a"bsence of thought; and If the reader 
himself has no very definite conception of the suhject under dls- 
cuaslon.he will" pass on content v'lth the rr.ere sound of the words. 
On the other hmd.ras "'slzac in' ca/mot- descrlhe a man's 
soul in the same way that you do Vii3 -oody. ^ordu have some of 
the qualities of a measuring rod xrnen dealing with concrete oh- 
jects; when dealing •■■Itn abstracts they are elastic, indefinite, 
p-^rsonal. A concrete corrcarison may "be BibM'd; if a woman sug- 
gests a flower to the author, he may >op>? to r-:^pj-oiluce his impres- 
sion of the woman in the mind of hio reader \')y corujiarlr.g her to a 
flower. But it requires an unerring instinct and a poetic delica^ 
cy to choose always the proper cor.parlaon.and to suppress or hold 
In the iDackground those qualltlea of the -nllyslcal object that do 
nvt harmonize with the impress ior,. desl^'ed. 

On the other hand a figure of speech is C'^rt-^. inly not 
the only solution for the problcti.and the fact that ?tendhal,t?ho 
is rriraarlly a rsychciogist, rarely departs from, literal expression, 
would mcicate that it is not the m.cnt natural solution, that its 
use is really a algn of v/eukneg;-: or uncel^tainty of analysis. 
Stendhal is perfectly at case with abstract ideas; he analyses the 
emotions ar-. thoughts of his characters in their origins, develop- 
ment,and effects, until the scui sf^ems to be laid bare "nv a scalpel. 
An interesting ccm.par.i.Bon can te made between Flaubert and l^alzac, 
both of When had a physical rather than an intellectual vision. 





r-rae^ . .■. Vi., R 

.*■ iT ;!'•■. 5.^ 



It goes without sayl^ig thst neither a'bRtaln s entirely from alD- 
stract analyeie; FlauTDert -^escrts occasionally also to concrete 
compariaons.'brit hla izost tyxilcal irethod aeems to "e that noted, "by 
Bourget : "Tl considera qn 'une tete hnmalne eot une cham'bre noire 
on passent et repassent (3es images de tons ordres : ir.ages de mil- 
ieux oadis travers(5s qui a-^ repreoentent avec nne portion de leur 
forme et de leur coulonr; Images dee emotions Jadls rossenties 
qui se representent avec une portion de leur dellce ou de leur 
ane tuiT:e . . , Pou r i'lau'hert.. . .decompoaer sclent if iquement le travail 
d 'une tete hujpalne,c'eat analyser ces irragea qni affluent en elle , 
der^eler celles qvi reviennent haTDituellercent et le rhytnne d'apres 
lequel elles revlc^nnent . "f 1) Inbther words FlauTD-^rt lavs "bare the 

(1) Essais de psy^hologie conterrporalne, I,l6^ff . 
soul of the ch:>racter in a certain situation "by malclng hlir; thinl: 
aloud, hy descriTDing the Images, usually physical , that present then- 
selves to his nind. The thoughts and images, taKen in connection 
with the situr,tion.£;lve a very definite lir.presslcn of the mental 
attltride of the character. 

As for our author, 'ffhen we find Felix de Vande^nesse try- 
ing to explain ^vht he feels "by nuch a succession of flgu-'^es as' : 
"Te ne 8;.urais expllquer dans quel etat he fus en m'en allant. 

Won ame a^alt ahticrlse ipon corps,. le ne pesai^ ne marchaia 

point, yie volais. Je sentai5 en roi-Treire ce regard. 11 ir'a-"-alt in- 

ondei^ de lujTlere.ccmrrie son,rronsleur! ci-"-ait fait r'=!tentlr en 

mon ame les hariijonles que ccntlent I'Ojfilil , ) filli! fie la res- 

urr'ictlon pascale. .Te naissals a nne nouvelle vie. .T'etais done 

quelqu.e chose j'cur ellf • ,ip it. •endorrrlg ^n dsa lan^ges de pourpre. 

Des fiamnjes passe-'-ent devant mes veux t^,rv?i?, en !?e poufsulvant 


9,1 B- 

:^nj& ioBtSa 



-■•T19 f) 


:om stft 

dana les tene"bres ccrcmes les jells veii/^lsseaux ae feu qui courent 
les nns aires les antren sur les cendreg dn papier TDnile. Dano 
rres volx ilevlnt j.? ne sals inol de palpat^le.nne atmos- 
phere qui m'enveloppa de lirlere €? de parfuma.une rceloflle qui 1715. 
careasa I'esprit "(i.v.^pTtsL.), we r?^cognlze in It Balzac's fcvorite 
method of depicting the e tata d'ame of his characters, a rethod 
that results from a certain inoapacity fo^- cT)stract psychological 

Helation of figures to ar. attitude of '^Ind. 
This concrete expreBsicr. of ahstracts ls,hGv/-ever,onl3'' 
a phase of thf^ general rateriallrlng tendency in the figijres. By 
materialistic T mean. net reoessarily the oppcc-j.te of poetic, hnt the 
opposite of idealistic, for as T havo stated hefcre.a fi^r-iire may he 
mateT-ialistlc and poetic at the tir.e. we find in Balzac very 
few perscnlflcatlons.ana these -few-tii«*' little originality; there 
are comparatively few ctm-parlsons hetw?en things on the same plane ; 
hut the figure of speech If persistently emplo.yed to express the 
human attrihntee In terrs of the animal, plant , and material worlds. 
In this great predominance of ref;l3stlc figures -re can see a re- 
flexion of the realistic attitude of mind. The realist claims to 
depict life as it is.^ut In spite of all the theories to the contra- 
ry, it is evident that really normal life is -an unsatisfactory auh- 
j-ftct for literature : there rrust he a certain a:.'cunt. of exaggera- 
tion, Which with the realist tnxes.the attitude of the irap:irtial, Ira- 
personal otnerver, cutting nothing of hiirgelf In the picture that 
he ---alnts, Hi.manity hecomss a ^ere co^tpiex org-inism.a set of cogs 
whose operations and functions he Is to ohs':?rve and explain; the 


a n f ' ■^ S: r 

'JR JP''''^ f' 

sil^t aasT,, .:,;,.,..,... ,-..., , ... ..- 





attention 18 centrea on fnose pnaaas of human life that aro jr.oat 
easily st^en.inu'ierstootl and deftCT-iVjefl : the and material 
side of Kian'e existence. Tne more spiritual elements are sMl)or- 
dinated to the external, in terms of which they find expreBsion. 

Wl\en the realist vineH figures of r,peech to express him- 
self /v^e are justified in expecting Jiist snch figures as v^e find 
in BL'isac : tl^e expreg;..lon of a'ostract qualities in tenra of what 
can De s-^en anA felt,tVi« simplification of corplex hDiT'an nature tr\/ 
n.akirig it cunfwrre to ve^etat)j.e e'/jstence or to the si/rple psychol- 
Oh;y of the anjiiials. Kver. v-'' en i.he romantic side of Balzac's nal^. 
tnre iy upperiLunt and he t}-ieB to ir>ealize his characters, there is 
little ohan^^e in tais materialist ic tenaency.vvhich represents the 
fimdamertal "oont of h,i>ii.^i:;,iiid,.cind imagination : the poetry in the 
L ra dans la va].l<?e is so covered v/ith the dnst of earth as to he 
iiarl ly reaGjtyi izafele . 

Wnen an.Y mGutiun uf /"^gvirit Ive imagination is made, -.he 
name of Victor TTugo naVirally suggests itsoj.f. Tne wur'K of .M^-.E. 
Bigiiet -has? ;(i.;de a comparisoj*" of hia figures v;ii-,h those of Balzac 
ooEparatlvely diiuple.and we cannot do hetter than to quote tns 
author's o'Ji'n coiiCiuaions concirning the ge-^eral teiidency of TlUgo's 
Imagination: "D'autre -Mrt.noois avons vu coiurnent, il lonne a tout 
la vie, el JTiejna la volonte,rec-.jn:iai3sant dan.- les a^itres d^^s houche s 
qo.i orient ou .^ul 'baillent .dans las branches des hras,'lan8 
lofi ronces des gri f fes ri^echantes. Oorarnent n'aurait-jl r-ar I'ideetx*. 
donner a t.ouf^ las forces 1^ la nature, avfjc ia rolonte.l'lntelli- 
g9rice?r He lc> atterrptiiig to explain t)\i fre.^uem: comparlf^on hy 
Vi.?/cor rC.-.go- of crude to the products '.f human artj L' ocean, 
la goutte Veau.ift ve' ri-ejiie des ahstract.lons, 1''; t'^npB.le 


X noiJiic-jg'B 

ei £':e 

<■•:) I'lf \;.{ 9T>'G 

^i i (j bx I rt;^ 


, anc i ■ on- 

-J J A- a 


y^ p<=»nvent-il8 fl'^venlr des 'irtlnt'^B f^cnt la colla"boration 
tantot pat.-i (>nte,tr^ntot Trnitale.rraj.s toiTjcnf'S lnfatjga"blft,Trftt, -tea 
rrllllerfl fl 'anriefta a prodi^lre (l«s prortlf.lenx ohefs-fl»qenvr«? 

L'ocjenn n'est thp toiijonra la fniftMie qnl r^evore le navlre.ll eat. 

s.^iRfl) la r.ain q" i sciilpte.clsele et pollt le rocher." "On salt 

corruTient tori.t. s'anire rtana 1 'in arl nation (^o Victor TTi.igo -f la vagne, 

la ni^ee.Te •r'cch'^r.l •• rlDre.ia fienr. On salt corjnent t.artcnt il 

fllFtJngne lep formes et ler, mouvementa 'I*" I'^oinTneCfe de 1 "animal." 

(1) Te sprs rte la forrr'e <5.?ns le? nietap^cres '"■''=! Victor >!UgOt 

p. 299 

(2) Le e cu leu r, la Inirlere et I'orrire clans les metapnorer, 

(le^Vlctor Bigo,p.59 
"Toujonr? o"bse(ie par I'idee du n,'yi?tere,'-'es li^ns invialt^lea entre 
toDs le? cnercTie ie ujo^ir -a des"holes,ia manifestation 
dejjf rapports q^.e l» intelligence nnmaine pent tout an pins aonp- 
Conner. Ajontons a cela cette vie ccnRcJente q\i»il prete volon- 
tiers a tout. ..son yinTDitude de compare-* I'aotlvite des forces de 
la nature a I'actlvlte de I'honiree^d 'aLlp-irer la ricliease inepnls- 
atiie de 1 niniverSjla prodigallte a^i rempilt' do dlainants I'eapace 
Infini aara o^.t^iler d'en anapendre i.rn a I'extreiTilte dn "brin 
d •her'be. "( ^) "^/laia snrtont.c" del est vlvajit. Les aatres n'e- 
clalrent pag le vide, 1 • indifferent . Ce sont dea flarr"beanx qnl, 
comme oenx de nos /alsons.eclalrent la vie et I'activite. Ce aolit 
des ye\ix qni nous o"bservent ,=»tc. "( 4-) 

(3) La inr^iiere et i^ov^r^ dans les rretaphores 

de i^jctor HUgo,p.'i''^fi . 
(U.) ITild.^p.lT? 

i Ru; .Jiisva-iioo 

■ I ) 


( -'1 1 ' 


Of ty^.e figures cited in tne tvc volnraen of H'.Tii^gnet, 
practically all v.'lii fall into ore of the. followirig t^ree clafsses. 

l.^i^Cemparisons tetween p)iyslcal o"bjects p-»:gf,estPd "by ex- 
ternal slirjllarltlea of form and color. Tn t'nese v^ note a yer- 
sl stent tendency to compare tne c-n.x6e an^ natural to a product of 
huiran art, - a tenc^ency wmch we hove seer expressed in a few fig- 
ures of the Lys dans la yallee . 

2.f T>^e animations of nature. 

3.-^ Corcparisons "oased on a symhclDC Interpretation of 
the seconi term. Soffe of tnase correspond externally t.o the ma- 
terialistic coniparisons of Balzac; o^it "by the choice of t]ne rjom- 
parison and tne manner of expression, the concrete concept* with 
Wigo loses its material significance and heccrne'jja pure pymtjol of 
an abstract idea, so that the actual concrete expressiof' tBf ar. aT>- 
stract concept is largely neutralised. This group would include 
a great many figures which are not included in the classification 
of M.HHguet,such as the representation of conscience as "la hous- 
sole de I'inconnu" or "la colonne vertelDrale de l^ame." 

Such a use of tne fl^^ure of speech corresponds to cer>- 
t::in romantic ter dencies. Prepossessed with viis ego,t>^e rorranti- 
cist infi^ses nis own nature, not only into his characters, h^it into 
inanimate ohjects.xvnich he tries to elevate, to iDrlr-g nearer to 
himself. Artistic exaggeration with hire is idealistic ratlner than 
material) Stic. He loves nature "hecause he has hreathed life into 
her, and the sympathy that he receives from ^er is' hut a return of 
what he has iven, Ke sees tninga colored hy Ms own lersonallty 
and they tend to TDecome alive, nore intimately associated with hu- 
man activities, or symbolic of higher truths. He sees man and God 


vj i. .' -; .1. .;, '.' i 


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In nature, whereas the realist nees rat^ire 1.n wan. 

The ooTnT<ari?on T Inavo tirswn h=tw.;en Balzac anfl victor 
Fi.igo is dangerous If h'q atteinpt to draw from It definite and gen- 
eralized conclusions, tut it, la at least BMggftstl^'e to anv one v/ho 
is trying to formulate Balzac's relation to t?oe roniantlc school. 
By the side of the idealistic fignrt^s yow v/iii find, in the worKs 
of Victor B.igo as many i-f not more rnaterlalistic flgnros.from ^ /^^ 
which, helng a great pflrit^he c'btains pcetlc effects ;> the oontra st 
t^- palzac 13 merely a matter cf p>*opcrtl 6R-. Bvit the fact thr^t 
the idealistic flgi^.res are alrrcst regliglhle in Balzac, would in- 
dicate spite cf his rrany rorrantlc traits, '-e lac/s a cer- 
tain attitude towards nature j^vhlch Is ch.?racterlEtlc cf the romaft- 
tlc authors from Rousseau en, and wMch finds such a strllflng m.ani- 
festation in t^e fl,t:ures cf Victor T-Digc. T'^^r<:i 3 s a corresponding 
difference ivhen we consider the characters. T^e rorf:antlclst infused 
his own nature into 'lia creations, and hT"-lng hut cne 3;^o,hiffl va- 
rious characterB wer^^ ryaily one and th^ gnre. Only fne condi- 
tions charged. Hence a sarneness with th.T lndl"-ldual authors, whicSi 
extended to the mo^'^eriient ^In as ."nuch a^ the x'arlous authors had tilm - 
liar natures an*^ aF>Tlrr?.ti ons; tn-is we can sy'^aK: nov/ of tt\& roman- 
tic hero ag of a sin^'?;le t\rpe. r^ir, r.rooesG 1? tht^ excsrtion v/ith 
Balzac. His ego Is continually oht-mdipg itself jn }■•!?> work, hut 
it is either dlc?tinct from or cuhordinate to the characters. 
the roir-anti cists raised their cl^aroctprs up tc their Ideaiired 
selves, attalred a Blrrllar refuJt.^'l thout impnij'lng ]"ls cre- 
ative power, hy levering hirreelf rr it '."pre tc tr^e plane of those 
wnom he descrllDed. He h^d the dramatic jo''"^!* o^ rutting himself 
In their places, living their lives and thlnTcln^^ t^i-'^ir thoughts. 
Balzac had a i^ susceptihle nature and heifig subjected to the some 

• :' '^-- •"'; asf trail ©l^Bil^eM ©rw to sM« sxTJ YS 

':■■! *'.> ;),"■ 

75 a 

g0n'?ral Irfln^iices s.f? the romantic antnors h*^ conld hnr-lly escipe 
sharing noine of their tTaitn,hiit the fiinrtarental cant of his mind 
is almost v;holly realistic, '■''e is related to thfl •►'oir.antlc school 
rather "by erotlv^nal trnlts and superficial lltorary artifices. 

Chapter -Jry 76 


In his article on rtendhal, Balzac cTlstlnKiJlshed three types 
of contemporary literature : "la litterature des iifiages, "chiefly 
lyric represented by Hi.igo, Chat eauhr land, Lamartine.Ohe rmann.Oau- 
tier anci others; "la litterature des Id ees, •''dealing largely with 
facts and head-^d "oy ^tendhal,l^lsset and Iti'; and "1 'electisme 
litteraire, ♦» ci eolith in at Ion of the< two — "le lyrlsite et I'actlon.,, 
yfte vrie totale des choses,..les iirages et les idees.l'idee dans 
1' image ou 1* image dans I'ldee." Tnis last school, In which he 
places Scot ti- Cooper, Madame de Stael,and George Sand, is his own, for 
"je ne crols pas la pelntare de la soclete moderne poasiole par 
le precede severe de la litterature du XVlle et du XVIlle siecle . 
L''tion de l»element dramatique de I'irpage.dn taiolean,de la 
description, du dialogue me parait Indlspensahle dans la littera- 
ture moderne"(l) This analysis, trie in its general outlines, is 

(1) Vol.XxflI,pp.6f?7 ff. 
especially apt in so far as it concerns Balzac himself, for in his 
work we find a striking mingling of emotion and ideas, of JLmaginat ion 
and facts. We are Interested here In his powerfi.Jl imagination and 
his ahunclance of ideas,^ for. as he intimates himself , "both If^eas and 
imagination find expression in the figures of speech. 

If we examine the fig^ires of Victor Hugo .we find that ' 
they reduce themselves In large measure to w}iat w^e m;ay call pure 
imagery plus Imagination; in other words tine external appearance 
of chjects plays a most inportant part in his figurative creation, 
which consists frequently in the mere association of two concrete 
images; and when imtaginatlcn enters to any considerable extent it 
is as pure imagination, which seeks a more subtle, fanciful, or sym- 
bolic criterion of ccmipariscn, P.uth processes may be illustrated 

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"oy a ■beautiful figure in the Ch ants du Z'repusculeiCyo.xrv) a 
drop oi" wrter glistening in the sunlight at the end of a "blade 
of grass is a pearl, when it falls it Is CDud ; the striking con- 
trast, the coi-itari-ination of perfect purity he relates tc woman, who 
also is "perle avant de toniher et fange apreg la chute." Ideas, 
to he sure, are not ahsent from such a coiriparison.hut the associ- 
ation of ideas v.-hich produces the figure r^^suits entirely from 
the operation of the imagination. 

On the other hand^the figures of Balzac are usually the 
result of the fusion at white heat of imagination and i^leas; his 
CGitparisons often result from certain ideas, ard in turn they seemi 
to confiriL and develop these same ideas, to iifpose them more power- 
fully on the mind of Ealzac; in fact it soeras at tlrnes that the 
idea really originates in a tanal figure. This fiision of imagery 
and ideas is dangerous, for the one is likely to "be distorted to 
maice it conform to the ether, and with Ealzac, as we shall see, it is 
usually the figure of speech that suffers in its suhordi nation to 
the idea. Moreox' order that a comparison should "be effective, 
its meaning should readily "be grasped T-jy the reader, and, v*en it is 
"based on a conception vvlth which he is unfamiliar, it is sure to 
appear false and ridiculous. 

We come now to a detailed study of the relation of ideas 
to figures, using our tahle as a guic5e. Tt is well to note here 
that the fact that such a classification as is there made should 
"be so simple, and at the same time so nearlv comiplete,Js in Itself 
an indication that there nust "be some clearly defined urderlying 
principles which cause the figures tc fall into these distinct 
groups. For our present purpose the L ys d ans la vallee is 


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especially interesting, for, Toeing Intlriiately associated In the 
rolnd of the author wUh the ^ tud eg ph.llospphlq^ies It offers a 
nioSt striding exanjv le of the fusion of Ideas and Imagination. 
Also in the Ti^nre.E of speech and In other r^anlfestatlons of the 
same Influences that produced then, we find an explanation for the 
rrlscarrlage of thlc favorite child of Palzac's "brain, ""'e must g6 
get "beneath the nere statement of materiallsir and natural indel- 
icacy, for, from a certain point of view, he seems especially fitted 
for v-ritlrg such a vvorK. There is much in his nature that strikes 
us as poetic : he Ideaile^s purity; always prepossessed with the 
feniinine,he places woman just "below the angels and v:orships her; 
in his lettej'S, especially the earlier ones, he shows consldera"ble 
delicacy of appreciation. Strange a? it may seen.jn a rom.anesque 
novel of his youth such as Argow le PI rate, where neither ideas 
nor flgu.res played any Important part, we find a young woman, who, 
while reseml:ilirig in many ways "Fugenie Trrandet , through all her ad- 
ventures retains m.ore real femlnlrie charm and -jelicacy, 

Tnen we approach the question of Balzac's svstemi of 
thought v;e note at once a doLinant principle expressed in liter- 
ature, science and philosophy : the unity of creation — a princi- 
ple vv>iich appears under various aspects in the romantic philoso- 
phy, and one which, even considered a"bstractly, encourages figurative 
creation; for^if things have so many points cr resem-'olance as to 
"be conceived of as a slr^gle whole, a multitude of comparisons Imi- 
mecUately present themselves to the mind. One of the happiest mo- 
ments In Balzac's life was when he conceived the idea of Joinifig 
all his works into a significant whole, and he always protested 
against theri, "being judged on therl individual rrerits. Also he 
would have humanity conform to the animal world, for, as he states 

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in the Avant froTjQ3_l "II n'y a qu'im aninal." This idea he .1e- 
velops in the^Etiides^phllCispphl^ues^ under the influence of ?we- show that ruan is hnt an intermediate stage of devel- 
oiir.eiit uetween the animal and the angel. Fe may live en earth 
and partake largely of the nature of either; he nay like r:era- 
phite^hecome so spiritualised tl-'at he loses practically all human 
traits even hefore he Lreaks the honds of mortality and takes 
his place among the angels. Similarly the Recherche de, l/P-P.^PJ-U 
is hased on the principle of the unity of the material world. All 
of these conceptions which floated vaguely in the minds of oth- 
ers, seemed to assum^e in tine nlnd of Ealzac a concrete or miathe- 
matical forn.. They \xere not theories hut facts capable of scien- 
tific and artistic application. 

Tlie relation of this general t^ieory to the figures In 
group I, as analyzed in Chapter T,ls evident, T^^lrty odd of the 
comparisons of man to man consist in the suhstitution of a divine 
Conception for a terrestrial one. Ma5ame de Mortsauf is a sister 
of charity, a martyr, a saint, or even the deity. Felix offers his 
love as a priest at an altar; he drinks the tears of Henriette 
as he v;ould drink the tlood of Christ at the holy communion, l^at- 
urr;lly I did not list the mere references to Kenriette as an angel, 
for the idea is so hanal that it is almost impossihle to revive 
the figure; in the Lys dans la vallee the word aiif^e almost sup- 
plants femme and is used as if it were entirely literal. Alto- 
gether t>ere is a distastefiQly insistent confusion of the carnal 
and spiritual emotions. On the other hand, the comparison to ani- 
irals is equally Insistent, in accord with the theory of Palzac 
that "I'homn.e est compose de mjatiere e'- d 'esprit : I'arlmalite 
vient ahoutlr en lu.i et I'ange comjiience a luL^fl) 


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: 3noictB^oup/lo sstTPa £ 9vi:'^ IlB-^a I rioirfw nott . jtgcf.iiBJ si t.foJ ni 

"Ici-tfas.tont. est le prodiilt 4 'une SUBSTANCi: ETHSRE1!!,"ba8e 
comimme de prisleurs pnenomenes ccnmis sens les norcs Impropres 
d 'electric it e,chaleur,luirl ere, flMlde gslv-anlqne.rr.agnetlqne.etc. 
I. 'nnlx'Grsrllte des transmntatlcns de cette sutstance constltne 
ce qii'on ^ appelle V!nlgalreir;ent la matlare. . ,Le cer^eaii est le 
matras on I'ANIllAL transports ce qne,siilvant la force de cet ap- 
parel 1, en ac\me de ses crganlsations peiat a'bscr'ber de cette Stjp- 
STANCE, et d'ou elle sort transformee en volonte. La volonte est 
un fluide (p.r5ip.)ty /chiir.istes de la vclGnte(p,^)j yyLa volonte 
pouvait.par un iTiOnvenient tout contractile de l«etre Interieur, 
s'amasser; puis par un autre mouveu'ent etre projetee au dehors... 
reagir sur les autres...les penetrer d 'une assence etrangere a 
la lenr ( p ."^k y ^ l_a volonte s'exerce par les org^nes vuigalre- 
Uieiit ncmres les cinq sens qui ne sont qu'un se^ faculte de 
voirf p.T^)'^y/Le son, la couleur.le pcrfurc et 1? forrce cnt une ineirie 
orlgine..,la pensee qui tient a la lun'lere <i''expriii'e par la pa- 
role qui tlent au son.,, La colere.ccmr.e toutes ncs expressions pas - 

'' ' >\ 

siunees,est un courant de la force humalne qui agit electriquement 

. ^7 

(p.r3i?>>5^^1^'attente ...n'est si doulcureuse que par I'effet de la 

loi fin vertu de^laquelie le polds d 'un corps est mjltlplie par sa 
viteHse. "(p.'TS^ 

The idea.Toriefly stated, in that there Is "but one sub- 
stance, that all forms of watter.all forces that act on matter, all 
intellectual and spiritual attributes of man are really one and 
tixe same, the only difference teing of quantity and condition of 
stahiilty or movement. Hence wi li, thought , or passion is only an- 
other foriT' of fluidity, light, or sound. The question arises as to 
how much of this Ealzac really telleved. Hie sister tells us 

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that he put in tne nicuth of Louis Lan-bert ir.any of his own opin- 
ions that were too advanced for personal expression (1) The 

(1) ^oi.xxiv.p.-t^^^X^^ 
sarne ideas arise continually in his work "both "before and after ."t^S^ 

(-e-) — Cf. JS vair t 7 rrpppp. Vol.1 .en{..euiaily p./ V v here rre-:r^^&t^efi- 
L o n J L J i Lan hprt to e:p l Rln hlg iaea #-r- 
Ke speaks in lils own name in Ursula Mironet : "La science des 
fluides.seul non qui convlenne au magnet isme, si etrcltement lie 
I-ar la nature de. ses phenomenesya la luir-lere et a 1 'electrlclte 
...La phrenologle et la science de call et celle 
de Lavater,qul sont Jujnelles.aont I'une est a 1 'autre ce que la 
caup.e ejit a I'effet .dement raient aux yeux de plus d 'nn physiolo- 
giste les trapes au fluide insals issatle.tase des phenoirenes de 
la d'ou r^sultent les passions, les habitudes, les formes 
du visage fit celle du crane, ''(p„^67) A priest seeking tc explain 
a drean. of Ursule says : "Si les idees sont une creation propre a' 
l'horrirue,sl elles sutslstent en vivant d'une vie qui leur solt pro- 
pre, elles dolt avoir des fonces In8al8ls8al:)les a nos sens exte- 
rieur6.,ii,ais percept Itles a nos sens Interlenrs quanfl lis sont dans 
certalnes conditions, Ainsi les idees vie votire parraln t^ous en- 

We are forced to the conclusion that if Palsac did not 
helieve in his theories he at least thought he did, for he express- 
es the/ii here as a^clence that will complete if not replace the 
existing sciences, and is very positive with his affirmations In 
a letter to 4^ctX4i Moreau on the receipt of the letter's "book 
on Le genie et la jfplle . ( l ^ The extreme form of his ideas results 
(1) Cited ty cabanes : g alzac ;Fgn oj::e.p.2l6 


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partly from Ms rtania for logical explanation, which appears so 
freqv.ently in his work ancl which is the fnndanental principle of 
his psychological studies. Fis irlrd Intuitively sought a plaus- 
ible solution for the mysterious of thought and passion, 
and, when it fails hlrr,,hia liragination "begins to he 
iT.ore exact ,iniaglnat ion and intellect work side "by side, Tt seems 
jiiore than pro"bahle that the former seized upon such expressions 
as 1 8 feu de l.'aitiour.le fe u d.'u n regard. and ep ancher , sa tendre.sgfi 
which In the form of the concrete image evoked hy the "banal fig- 
ure, reacted on the mind of saizao and '■gate form to his vague con- 
ceptions; for Balzac really invents very few comparisons, and his 
"boldest figures are m.erely detailed developments of the idea ex- 
pressed in the most hanal figures of every day speech. Fe have 
already seen his views on the evoking power of words; we know alao 
thd. 'in real life he had only to let his mind dwell upon an idea 
in order to "be convinced of its truth. Gautier says of him. : 
"L'idee etait si vive qu'elle devenait reelle en quelque sort; p^ 
parlait-11 d'^in diner, 11 le mang,ealt en le racontant; d»une vol- 
t').re,il en sentalt sous lul les moelleux cousslns sans secousse.L^J 

(2) Portraits contem.porains,p.90 

?ft^ figures tb^fi-are not mere suggestions of s^m:"bolic significance, 
"biit they have a logical basis of similarity; for even if Palzac In 
his saner moments would laugh at his theories he had at least con- 
cieved of them as realities, and the figures must represent the ex- 
istence or the reminiscence of a concrete image. The reaction of 
theory on figure and of figure on theory had continued until his 
treatment of humanity is a kind of composite treatise on "botany, 
zoology, physiology, hydraulics, optics, mechanics, etc . TXotice in 

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the following passage from LodIs Lair."be]-t the ir.nltltude cf fcrms 

1a which sk thought presents Itself tc his rr.lnd : 

"Tout a ccnp ^ne idee s 'elance , passe avec la rapi^nt-e 
de 1 'eclair a travers les espaces infinls dont la perception nous 
est donnee par notre vue interlenre. Gette idee hrillantejSnrgie 
CGiLii.e iin fen follet ,s 'eteint sans retcur; existence ephen:ere,pa- 
rellle a celle de ces enfants jjui font connaltre aux parents une 
Joie et dn cha^grin sans homes; espece de fleur irort-nee dans les 
chan:ps de la pensee, Parfols I' lieu de jalllir avec force 
et de nour/ir sans consistance.corrxence a poindre dans les llffhes 
Inconr.nB des orgenes on elle prend nalssance; elle nous nse par rin 
long enfanteiTient ,se developpe.devient feconde, grand it an dehors 
dans la grace de la .lennesse et paree de tcus leg attrihnto d'nne 
longne vie; elle sontient les plus cnrienx v2g::rds,elle les at- 
tire, et ne les lasse jamais; I'exareen qn'elle provoqne coinmande 
l»adiEirntion que snxcitent les oenvres longtemps elahoree. "an- 

A ' 

tot les idees naiscent par essairn.l 'nne entraine 1 'autre, elles 

s 'enchainent.toutes sont agacantes.elles ahcndent .Giles Sent follesr. 

Tantot elles le levent pales, confi.ises.depelrlssent faute de force 

/ ■■ 
on d'aliments; la suhstance generatrlce rranqne. Enfln a certains 

jours, elles se preclpitent dans les pour en eclairer les 

inirrienses profondeur; elles nous epouvantent et laissent notre ame 

ahhatne. Les idees sont en nous an systeine complet ,seinhla'ble a 

1 'un >les regnes de la nature, nne sorte de floraiscn dent I'lccn- 

ographie sera retracee par un hoirj.e de genie qui passera jonr un 

fou pent-etre, Oul,tout,en nous et an dehors .atteste la vie de 

ces creations ravissantes que je compare a des flenrs.en ohelssant 

a je ne sals quelle revelation de leur nature: Lenr production 


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^5 • 
conurie fin de honjre n'est d'allleurs fa-s pluss et?(onante que celle 

des parfun-js et des couleurs dans la tlante. Les parfums sent des 

idees peiJit-etre/(p.""''^-?-i4^) 

The central thought Is that ideas have a distinct though 

dependent existence, and the coF.parison that doirilnates throughout 

the x^sssage is that of a child in Its "birth and levelopitent . Put 

inteT-w'oven in this minutely developed iretaphor,ve have other terms- 

apflled to ideas snch as feu follet ,fleur, jallllr,polndre,oeuvres, 

essalm.eclairer.systeme ,floralson,and parfurris. Th.e passage offers 

a rr.ost Irteresting exariple of the f^ision of science and iinagiratlon 

and of the class of fig^ire that is lilcely to rasiiit from such a 


In the Lys dans la vallee we find "^alzac still ohsessed 

"by the ideas upheld so stoutly in Lo^jis Lair;"bert ; "but in the Lys / 

dans la valle'-w-e h5ve not the scientific expression of theories, hut 

figures of speech vhich reflect those theories in the choice of the 

cottparisons, An examination of the ta"ble will show to what extent 

the Irriaginaticn of Ealzac was influenced "by his seni-sclentifiG 

conceptions. It is not necessary to dvv-ell on the figures drawn 

frorr. fluids and flarres. They have already been analysed ^(1) and 

( 1 ) Bee a."bove , pp . ^ ' - "S 

their relation to what has "been said is sufficiently evident. It 

won.ld naturally he inposslhle to deduce froir, each figure a definite 

&cientific conception, "bnt on the other hand Ealzac's scientific 

theories are themselves more than hazy. In theory and figure we 

find the same attitude of mind and the same channels of thought. 

In t'Oth ve find the ela"boraticn of the idea expressed frequently 

ir "banal metaphors; this is esvecially true as regards flame, or .:....,;;.;: ... ...'..: ,,zsbl izA.: ..L J,:i^;iww.; IstJnso 9/iT 

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TO STiBlt a.ijTB-'^ftf RS 9tn:.t v IX.:;.fo?- 't?: ':?.i oXrf.+ ; a^oriq'e.JgTi Isnscf -lil 

or fire, which appears in various evt-^ry-ilay expressions .lonct.ln^i 
«:ij-(t,i.t. .troth, joy, ICAf-e.aiiger.dispalr, or pain. Balzac as a niie 
cerely elalDCrates and Intensifies. The assimilation of the spir- 
itual to the phyciological sile of man shown in eithty-three fig- 
ures is one of the most fundaiTiental ideas of Ealzac and one of 
his most coiwiori literary devices. It is tr.e underlying principle 

of t.lje citations I have given froru Louis LamlDert and Ursule Mlrcuct 


The '^ery numerous comparisons to flowers daf not seem to depend on 

any definitely formulated theory; they seem rather to tie used "be- 
cause the idea is essentially a poetic one, which Ealzac thought he 
could maKe still more poetic 'oy elalDoratln® it and carrying it out 
Inlddtalli Throughout the whole "ooolc he is o'osessed "by this flov;er 
motif, which in the other novels is relatively Infrequent. Tt is 
evidently a case of auto-intoxication, produced prohahly "by the very 
title of the hoolc. Tt is interestitig in this connection to compare 
some of the expressions vrt-dch Ealzac uses in his letters Iw speaic- 
ing of iJadame de EernyjOn whom he modeled the character of I.:adr 
ame de Mortsauf, There are two that are especiallj'- striking hy 
their »iji;ilarity vvlth figures already quoted fruui the Lys dans la 
vallee : "A tout momient la niort peut m'enlever ^m ange. qui a vellle 
9ur moi pendant quatorze ans.une fleur de dlditude,que Jamais le 


monde n'a tuuchee et qui etait mon etoile (l) (cf. the mixed figure 

(1) Lett res a 1 'Etrangere, Vol ,I,p .220 

nil fleur siderale yi-V.pJg^J^ and others); "Madame de B...,qui de 

son cbte,cenche la tete Comjae une fle^ir dont le callce est charge 

, I, 
d'eau (2) (cf: "Penchant la tete comrae in lys trop charge de pl-ile,-7' 


(2) rbi(l,p.l''51 ^"^ 

Let us study a little more closely the artl&txu re.^ult of this f>i- 
sion of i.ieas and im.aglnatlon in the Lys dans la vaiiee. The novel 

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Is r-^iated ln the nlml of Rilzac to the nM^s_j:]illiiSi;a2lla.^^ 
an'i reserohles Peraj^ita eRp=;clally,Maiiairie <\9, I-'ortsan.f "being a 
wGiran only a little less Meallzefl anc! srlrlt^ializ'^d than ^--^ra- 
phita. The purpose of the majority of the figures of the Lvs 
dan? la vallee.then, Is to Idealize, to produce a poetical iir- 
p res si on, hut his scientific theories dominate, glide in and spoil 
the effect. It is not only that the figures conform to the real- 
istic tendency towards the concrete expression of the abstract 
and the comparison of higher to lower life. Thcugh this is op- 
posed tw the elevating tendency of the figurative cr'^atlons of 
romantic idealism, such conipariscns as a woman to a flower or pas- 
sion to a rishing wave are fre^^uently used with poetic effect. 
Biit they must he used with discretlcn as regards numher and form; 
one must "be content to dwell lightly on actual sirrilaritl<=>s,to 
confine one's self to a com.parison of the ahstract qualities pres- 
ent in "both terms, to iirhue the m:aterial o"bject vrith syit"!"'0lic sig- 
nificance. "Palzac hy introducing too m.any phvslcal details into 
his figures destroys the poetic as weii as t"-e idealistic impres- 
sion which he intended to produce. Tave.for instance, the v?ry 
pretentious comparison of the soul to a flower, "b.^ which Felix he- 
gins the story of his life. It represents the roots as reaching 
down into the dom.estic soil and finding only hard stones, t>^e first 

leafage as stripped off "by des mains haine^ises ,and the flowers as 


killed by the frost ijnst as they are beginning to open. (LV.p .^) 
all this is very logical and exhaustively anal.'^^. ic hut it is not 

Such expressions result from the clearness with which 
Palzac visualized bis comparisons. "Pven when we meet. In the ridst 
uf real fign res, such a hanal expression as : "^^pres le so^pir 

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natnrel anx coe-irs TMrs an n'crr.ent. on s'ils s 'OMvrent "f LV.p.-fc^Oj, 
v;e cannot "but. t.Mnk that t>^.ls "hit of dnblons psychology ray O'-e 
it.e: origin to tine association of a rronrnf'Tl sound with soirethlng 
that opens — a door or an oyster; an^l certainly when Felix says 
that seated "beside Madarre de Liortsanf seeking a "moment on .1e ire 
glissera dans son coenr^. , ."^ 'avals flnl pa-^ entendre en elle 
des ren-neir.ents c1 'ent-rallles canses tar nne affection qnl ^--onlalt 
sa place"(LV,7. 74-Jf5),h9,that Is Balzac, conceives of lo^-'e as some- 
thing which .exolnded frLin Its rlghtfnl place In the heart of Fad- 
aire de luortsanf .dlstnrlDS the other organs In Its frantic efforts 
to enter the-^e. We have already rera-^ked that figures has^d on 
■•mfairiljar scientific conceptions are likelv to "becoire ohscn.i-e 
and >'ldlcnicus. Th'i? the hasal conception of a flgnre rray he so 
evident to the irlnd of Balzac that he does not realize the neces- 
sity of Indicating It for the heneflt of his readers. Tn descrl'e- - 
Ing Lady Ridley he says : ?on corps l:^ncre la sne^ir.ll aspire le 
feu dans 1 'atmosphere et vit dans I'eau sons peine de re pas vivre 
(LV.p.l>^0-) . A veritahle Chinese rnzzle.the solution of which, how- 
ever, seeirs to he suggested^cn the rrestj. page, where Lady Dudley is 
compared to an African desert, and then contrasted to Madarre de 
Mortsauf : "L'orient et 1 'Occident : l»une attlrant a eiie les 
ifiolndres parcelles huirldes pour s'en nourrlr; 1 'autre eyud'mt son 
arje.en'^eloppant ser ficieles d 'une luir.lneuse atnosphere. " The "baste 
of hoth is evidently the conception of the eiriOtions and passions 
as fluids and flarres. I.:adarre de Morts uf exudes ^er soul In a sort 
of liquid flaire for the use of others; w^-lie Ladv Dndlev takes and 
gives nothing in return, she replenishes her flarrjng passion froiD 
wlf-'put and irust ll^-^e in an ctrosp'^ere hnirld wth the erot lens of 

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others In order to satisfy that jasslon. To "be corplete ."^alzac 
aa^s thot her -^^ery tcrty flees not persrl re.'hMs afflrrlng t^e In- 

t-^r^^refcatlon of tne physiological nnr! srirltnal natM>-es. 

PMCh f'xpresslcns srr.aclc too stroiv;ly of th'i^ earth-"- to p^o - 
drice the poetic lir.presslon that -Ralzac rl^'slred; he is not satls- 
fleri v/itn .-^.escrlhlng a S'^'ntlrrental reaction "bv corr.parlng It with 
the sentirrent aroused In the rclnfl hy the consl'leratlcn of a phys- 
ical ohject or reaction. V.Tien he draws a corr.parlson froir a flower, 
the Irr.age taXes sn"bstance; he sees the roots anfl the soil around 
thein.the green of the leaves; he srrells the perf^ire of the hiossora s 
and sees theic gllstenirt- v^lthdevr.-beaten hy the raln,heiraggled '"Ith 
iT'd, dried hy the s'-im and hy the lacV of sap, or picKed to pieces "by 
the tjirds, P^icv^ a -^isicn Is a gift, it is in this po'-e-r cf g-"-oca- 
tlon that consists the genl'is of palzac, Fit this evocation of Fa- 
terall letails is snltahle only fo-t- those i^orXs which we call -real- 
istic, and -vhen Palzac corres ont of ^is natural dorain and deals 
with more spirltnallzad suTn.iects .this evocation necessarily talces 
on a ir.ore figurative aspect. Hence thei-e are iro-^e flgr-ires ,ard they 
are out of harmony with the s^-bject, Palzac s=>errs to he dimly 
conscione of the contradiction existing hetw,^en th-^ t-'-o phases' of 
his worl: vAie.n he says In Louis Lambert r'^Peut-^^tre les mots rrate- 
rlallsme et splrlt-ialisre exprlment-lls les deux cotes d 'iin seul 
et ir.em.e fait , "(p.^^^) A Justifiable supposition as far as he was 
concerned: fo-r when you afflnr the sMprerracy of the spiritual side 
of man, you have to "bring it down to the level of matter "before yon 
can explain how it can act on matter, unless von a^e content to 

l'='ave the connection s^^ronded in mist and calmlv sav :"t do not 


Know, •which Palzac was not content to do. Tn his '"o^-ld , then, the 

spiritual iriy rule, but "l-s Is Itfeelf so a'^solutelv the result of 

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pvivt;lolOj-;lcal •"in>-i iraterial infl'ierces t.>int, one s>(?irs to sf?o a 
negation of spirituallsii.of FOMl.and of rroral resfonslMllty. 

The Lys dans la vallee.lri "Ralzac's ilny.TH'a? ^rp'-ry -pop- 
Mlar in certain circles, anfi "'e at 111 flncl, critics wi?o spealc of 
It as a rraster^lece . pit the flgijres.wMch represent the general 
tone '. f the hooXs.are llsconcertlng to onr F:oral and aesthetic 
s^nsihllltleSjlDelng unsnlted to the suhject. The reason Is evi- 
dently that Palzac, while constantly urging ns to Tncrxnt the heights 
with at the saire tlir.e steeping ms in iraterlallsm : a mix- 
ture cf the purest water and the hest earth res^ilts none the less 
in ir;id. Pirtherirore we are often confused "by a rr.lngllng cf in- 
conipatiole eleirents, fused into a single figure. One roirentia pas- 
sion is a flower and the next it is a star, now a liquid and then 
a fla.rre. The explanation of tbese dp^^ects Is to y)'^ found In the 
coiriplete fu,slon which ta^es place in the mind of Palzac het'-een 
his l>ieas or theories and his irraglnation, resulting in fic'-ures, 
which, for Palzac are not rere s^rrhols, hut/express ions of real slm- 
llfirity or e-'-en l''entit^'■. He f lis apparently to distinguish he- 
t-^'-ean the literal and the figurative. Such a process of creation 
was not conducive to the artistry and restraint that the Ideali- 
zed s^i-oject iemanded. 


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The pnrpose of this last chapter is not prlir.arlly to 
Justify the stylistic faults that we ha^'-e noted and others that 
have "been sc often pointed out; it is an atteirpt to explain cer- 
tain sensations experienced in reading ?alzac, which linger with 
MS and yet v^'hich stride us as surprising when, in on^ irore criti- 
cal moments, we judge hlrr' hy the ordinary literary standarls. Can 
we say that it is only the content of Balzac's newels that pleases 
and that the favora'biLe Irrp-ression is lessened hy the style ? Is 
the stvle a liability and not an asset ? Being convinced that the 
impr-^'ssicn produced "by the works of Balzac would he irrposslhle If 
t>'ere wsrs not consl'lerahle conforrrity "between the style an'i the 
subject, If the form and the content were not wo^-lclng to the sam.e 
end, I have sought to Isolate certain element? that offer a psy- 
chological explanation of the effect on the reader. (1) 

(1) Cf. I'. .Paul Flat, I' Seconds essals s^^r Balzac for the same 

-a -- 

suhject treated "by him from. .^slightly different angle. 

In estimating the merits of the various imaginative 
processes of Balzac, we have already had occasion to "broach the siifc- 
ject of this chapter hy noting and explaining the impression that 
is m.ade hy the figures; and, as has "been seen.s^'sch a discission 
naturally extends itself at times to a more general consideration 
cf style, in as much as the figures are frequently the most stri- 
ding and the most concrete manifestations of general stviistlc 
tendencies. The impression m.ade on the reader is a still rcre 
complex T ro"blem than that cf t^e origin of the style, for another 
psychological elerrent is introduced. Yet this elem.ent must he 
taken into c nsideration.for the very term style p^-esupposes 

TV TOtjB.r^r/ 

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an audience : Just as tliers Is no sound wlt^^out a bearer, t^^ere 
is no Btyle unless t.^iere is sorre'one t.o r?t'ister the Ir'tellectnal 
vibrations conveyed tty the "^ords. ^"^T'.en a style Is felt as good, 
it ireans that the author, his ape,' (usually ), his sui^iect ,and the 
reader are in unison. An ppic froir. the -pen of Ronsard an-^^ a play 
of Mollere as read hy Renan ir.ay "be said to lack a necessary ele- 
ment of style v-hich is present In a ^"'orlc of Chapelain 1n the hands 
of his conterrporaries „ As a ccnsf^quence of these facts, any estl- 
rrate of the style of an author imst he largely personal, in so far 
as hu/iian nature varies. For t^ls reason I cite frequently passa- 
ges froic critics .which though jrere expressions of opinion, are of 
value ^r'r\ar\ analysed and justified, in that thev give ns a ha?ls for 
"broader generalizations, 

Fe-'-hert Ppencer (1) holds that the "b^'st style is the 

(1) The Philosophy of Style* 

clearest ,thr> one that req^iires the least effort on the part of the 
reac^er in order to grasp the ireaning, Ahout the sair.e idea we -^ind 
In the coir.TT.ents on style hy Buffon(2)^c^ Renan(^),. Lea-"-lrg aside 

(2) Disccurs sur le style- 

(3) Fssals de critique et de morale, p .^'^l ■ 

t^-ie question of literary trad it ion, such inould naturally he the at- 
titude of the philosopher or of science, '.^hose interest is cen- 
tered in the transitission of ideas, t^q prirrary function of lan- 
guage is this transirission of ahstract conceptions , and the simpler 
the style the more adequate an^ unencumhered is its operation on 
the m.ind. But the man who 'vould use words to create life and matter 
has to rival 'vith nature and "'1th the nrts t)?at appeal more il- 
r'^ctly "-0 the senses: he must nse language in snch a way tha* Its 
f'lnctions are enlarger? . The prime requisite In literary creation 


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tr^at alms at the represertatlcn of life Is that it snail reprodnce 
as vividly as posslTDle In the irlnd of the reader the eirotlons ,the 
cor'ceptt^.and even the phj'slcal percepts of the a^Tthor. Tf lucid- 
ity and heanty can he oTrtalned at the same tlire,so mch the "better, 
■But; they r^ir.aln secondary. The pnrpcse Is net that the reader 
Should stop and adrrlre the style, hMt that he should react accord- 
ing to the content. 

The train difficulty is a tendency, especially fo-^ the 
hurrle.i modern, tu snhstltute words for Ideas. This occurs In his 
speech as well as In his reading; It 1? "'1th phras'='S tliat he talks 
poj^ltlcs, discusses literature r^nd art. An expression which Is 
frequently heard hecoines fairlllar a^-d produ.ces a certain reaction, 
a vague association of lir.presslons received on fo-^ occasions. 
He does not stop to consider whether he knows the real meaning of 
the words. In ir.ost cases, If pressed for a definition, he would 
succeed in gl^'lng one app^roxirtately correct^ hut the wo-^d Is a 
pro;py,and the l''ea. never fo'^'irilated /remains in a more or less cha- 
otic stage. 

Let us take the case of a man reading a piece of smooth 
correct prose, where every '.vord stands in Its proper anl loglca,l 
relation with every other word. The grarratlcal relations of the 
woT-ds coincide so perfectly "'1th the psycholot^ical relations of 
the Ideas that there 1? little incentive for him to go hack of 
the individual ^vords; without translating them into definite con- 
ej)ts,lt is posslhle for him: to grasp the trend of the liea of the 
whole. Put often this ahstract conception that he recei"es is not 
real hut only a reflection of the words, wnich disappears soon after 
the words themselves. Pope solved the difficulty hy expressing his 


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Ideas In a form tnat clings to ty\(^ rrerrory; a political p^irty or a 
system of philosophy may nave Its existence proiongec! "by t^r. coin- 
age of a nappy phrase; hnt witho^it tn^ wording the I'lea FPrges 
Into triat mass of what may he called potential concepts, fir exag- 
gerated form cf the tendency mentioned a^^o^'-e is fo^md in the case 
of a -reader whose concentration is Toor. ^e may read a paragraph 
aloud e^'en.and at the end have no Idea of w^at he has read. Tt 
would s^er that the pron^'mclation was p^irely m'^chanical an-^ the 
words ahf^olntely void of meaning, hut for f^e nega^l^e reaction of 
the mind "'hen the attention is arrested "by an unfamiliar vor(\ , 
Moreover as he goes hack' to reread the paragraph, the ^'ords them- 
selves have a familiar loolc anri sound, showing that the ^Imal and 
auditory memory was fimctioning. The same phenomenon is involved 
when you suddenly realize that you have heen hearing a hit of song 
or v-.rse for- vears ^'ithout having any real comprehension of Its 
meaning, "^h-n a verse of the Plhle is flooded with significance hy 
personal experience or hy merely reading it In a foreign language. 

Thus it is posslhle for the clearest stvie to he the 
least effective : it rms so smoothly through th^ lahor-sa^lng ma- 
chine of our hraln,thr;t we do rot feel the necessity of t^nnslajfe 
ying It into definite concepts capahle of lea-'ing an*^ impression. 
Various Incenti^'-es to this translation ar'^ used : the orator has 
his tone and r:estures,the author th<=> mecha-lcal de-^'lces of capi- 
tals, italics .and paragraphing; hoth can ^se rhetorical ^levices to 
focus the attention of the reader or hearer : lnte-r>-rogat Ion, repe- 
tition,, etc, .which are mere external elements of composltl05 ; 
or antlthesls.ironv .an^^ h.vper>ole,wnich pro.^'ice a mental reaction 
In the mind of the reader hy making him ad.ludt th<> author 13 state- 
ment 4a^ <y-^, dji^ -\-t) oLL^CLrr-^-^ /Vz/v-e-J kJ--k. '^2n-^~^ dix- S yvLKoUAUi^ 


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Flrtlla-^ In their effect to th<=8'= last ar^ tvie ?1ir1le and 
the itietaphor.wnich are .hcvre^'-er.Trich s' that ^hey are ca- 
pa"ble of infinite raT^lety and ro.vivenatlon. Avr" ore of ^l^e other 
fi^^Mres ,V'i=!ltTg the aarre ii'tiere"er yen fln;^ it, loses qnlc>:ly Its spl&e 
of ^ novelty, and hv frequent ^ise hecomes as ine'f'f ^ctl'^e as the rr.ath- 
8r^atlcla^ statement . The simile and rretaphor.^'rhose stviistlc ralne 
we ('•Iscussed fron; a slightly different point of view in Chapter TIT. 
have the advantage of Keeping the rr.ind alert; thev present a diffi- 
c^Uty hy tho Dolntlfln of which the reader Tsecorces active, irather 
than passive^'and participates in the ir.ental processes of the au- 
thor. Talce.for- instance, the expression of social ser ice as hnman 
irrigation. Irrif-atlon does not fit in ^"'ith our line of thought, 
OMr attention is arrested, this ^crd he translated and assim- 
ilated hefore we can pass on. An lirage arises; \"e think of the 
vast enterprise that is tni^ing the western deserts Into flowering 
gardens; in orler to relate this to social service, the irlnd mst also 
produce a definite and detailed image of what the latter reans. 
Then we see that the sluir-s with their infinite possi-'-ilitle? of 
manhood, undeveloped on account of conditions , are ll!-:e the deserts, 
and that the waters which win hring these hidden qualities to the 
proper flower and fr^iitage are sanitation, e'''icatlon,econorric .^istlce 

A figure, then, unless entirely hanal, requires not only 
that the* reader should formulate a rrental l'rage,hut that he should 
analyze it S'lf ficlently to find the toints of siirllarlty with the 
chject of the comrarlson. Mot only does '-e use his own facilities 
to interpret the author's expression, thns irrpr?sslng t^e ifleas Ttiore 
TurcVoly on his consciousness, hut , if the figure Is "ell c>"Osen,he 
should he a^^le to grasp the unexpressed iieas of the author or 

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even to go ■beyond into ori^lnaipreatlon. Not all the effect Is iofe 
lost .Inov'e^'er, If t^.e coirparlson Is onlj'- partially apt; trie pirpose 
of the figure Is usually clear, v^^lle on the other hand the reader 
ipist call Into play his mental faculties and analyze the jirp^es- 
sion t?iat the author wished to ^'^'^e, he fore he can pronounce ,1udg- 
rent on thp propriety of the e-prer>slon; thus the idea iray he con- 
veyed almost as forclhly as hy a irore exact expression. 

Balzac's figures of speech are rterely one manifestation 
of his .lesire fc-^ a more adequate representation of life. Fe feels 
the necessity of something that shall keep th^ minds of his read- 
e-^s alert; he '-^-rltes In a kind of feverish excitement , and he does 
not want a purely passi^'e reader. A propos of the Physlologle du 
marlage,he says : «ti me fallalt done en"^eiopper mes idees et les 
rouler.pou.r ainsi dire, dans une forme no^'-"-ell9,acerTDe ^t piquant, 
qui revelllat les esprits en leur lalssant -les reflexions a redl- 
ter;''(l) similarly he speaks a^^riringly of an article of I.uclen 

(1) Correspond an ce p. 9 7 

de R^ihempre "ecrlte dans cette maniere no^iveiie et orlglnale ou la 
pensee j-esuitait du choc des m:cts,ou le cllquetls des ad-i-erhes et 
des adjectifs revelllat 1 'attention. "(2 ) In this connection a 

(2) Ilus ions perdu es^ jT. p. IPfr -yb'^ ^ 3. 

fac-^tious description which Balzac gives of his manner of compo- 
sition is i^orthy of helng citeti : "Le cafe torfhe dans votre esto- 
macL.^jdes lors tout s'aglte; les idees s'ehranlent comre les ha- 
taillons de la ^ronde /riree sur le terrain d 'une lDataille,et le 
hatallle a lieu, Les souvenirs arrlvent a^i pas de charge, en selgnes 
deploj^ees; le cavalerie l'='gere des cafrnparalsons se cief^eloppe par 
un m.agnif jq-iie galop; I'nrtille-ie de la loglque accourt avec son 
train r't ses gorgousses; les traits d'epprit arrlvent en 


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tirallleMrs ; les figures se dressent.le papier s^ cc^ivre '^•encre, 
car la 1^-t.te ccir^rrence ot. fjrit par des torrents '^ 'ea^i noire, ocmr.e 
la Tiatallle par sa porvire noire, "(l) T^ese citations Irfllcate a 

(1) Tralte cles ejccltarts no'lernes.Vol .yy ,p ,623 

rat^ pnysical conception of t^e elements of Ftyle.a "belief tvat 
the ;^tteIltion irav iDe aro^ised t'V the n.ere form and Juxtaposition of 
tiie v'orcls ; and he is ready to nse every weapon at his disposal to 
stonxi the citadel of hi? reader's intelligence, 

te'^ny of Falzac's predecessors ard contemporaries had 
felt the need of lea^'lng the traditional paths of ccrposltion In 
the pf^rach for a rrore acleq'iate expression, hnt "^alzaCjhy vis exam- 
ple if not hy theory, rerains a pioneer arrong t^e gr'=>ater writers 
of the nineteenth centur^^; ard.thc^igh there is no Palzaclan sChod^l 
of style, his influence If evident to one "•"o coirparea the style of 
the novel hefore and after him,, In the novel Itself he "brought 
about a great revolr^tion; he attenpted a corresponding re-'^clutlon 
in the language, (2) h^.t language, "being the coTtm-.on property of the 

(2) ?mrot ir Petit de Jutier^llle ,o^. ett-.Vol .VTTT 

nation and in daily use hy every one, is necessarily rrore hound hy 
tradition than a literary genre. To allow an author all the li"b- 
erties that Ealzac wished to take^would rrean anarchy and chaos, and 
v/c-'ild defeat the very purpose of language as a mediuir. of intellect 
"al excharge . Put when Palzac protected against the irflexihllity 
of language he was voicing an idea that meant a progression and re- 
juvenation, ar idea which was In the air, hut wMch the other great 
writers v;ere tlirid ahout putting in rractlce; Palzac was Irpelled 
to do so hy the very nat^ii-e of his genius, in the rore a>-tistlc 
styles of Flau"bert, Zola, and the Ooncourts we find jrany of Ms 

n DwteoifiTi aaoI.rijJto sae-f"^ (I)".0'Tion siBroq; Be tsq eiliB.t.crf r.l 

.tBilJ' lSJtI??Cf B.SlY'tS lO Stff9^T9l9 grfJ" to noi.tiX90rt00 IS'JiSV'rfq 't9lTJ'fe-C 

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TTTV.IoV.d'i07;^tD,9CIiT-t9^.rn", ?^ j^t'^<T nl ionm'^. (5) 

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Bx't to ynan finit 9^j attfoonoO 9rit DnB.Blos, J'T9d'trBl'!I "r- -^r,.*.. 

Drccedes . wMle en trie other hand tl-i^y have prcflted "i-y ^'Is er- 
rors, which showed t>ieir; c^-rtaln things to iDe avoided, '^it It was 
Paizac who f.roved t>at one nay ignore npon occasion the conven- 
tionalities of art .aesthetics and language, and at the sarrie time 
write powerfnlly and effectively; and when ^e see t^^Pt so many of 
his imitators, In smoothing off his rough edges ,]Ji^,K# lost seme of 
the hest traits of ^'is creation, we are tempted to helie'"'e ^'-ith 
Pnmetiere that his f-ults may really "be the condition of his gen- 
Ins . 

For the style of Palzac can grip even those "'}no are hos- 
tile, v'ho struggle against his sednction. We have already cited the 
case- of Faint e-Reuve;( 1 ^ here is an additional testimony in "'hich 

( 1 ) S<»e— artrore-f . . , 7 
style is specifically mentioned : ""^t malgre tont.ll y a dans ce 
style unei rnlssance de sensuallsme.plns encore que "^e r'^allsme, 
qnl vons domine.vo^js entraine,nalgre les re-'-'oltes du go^it. / tra- 
vers cette incorrecte et lahorie^jse prollxite.ces trivlalltes ■^e^- 
cherchees,cette affectation dn '^etail ignohle et tas.on sent r'ans 
ce style ime verve ir.terienre, dans 1 •ecri'^aln ce 
qn'on a si hien appele le diahle au corps. Ft si le diahle an 
corps ne d nne a personne ni la grande eloquence, ni la g-rarde po- 
esie.ll peiiTT donner, 11 donne a. Palzac, dans toMt ce qM»ii ecrlt.Je 
ne sai?' quelle imperleiise magie et quel prestige qui dom.ptent 
les ecprits les plus rehelles et s'ircposent Irresistahlement a la 
cnrioalte al non a la s.ym.pathie. (.O^-Caito, Toc^es ei^""' »«'-'«'-*,/' ?^"X^ 

Priinetl^re,"'ho Is nxre fa^or-hly inclined towards Pal7,ac, analyzes 
the causes of his pow-^r : Tans 1^ roman comme an theatre, nous 
nous sommies apercus que le style ne consistait essentiell'^'ment nl 
cans une correction dont le merlte,en ■"■a pas an ''.«»la de 

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pavolr rr.ettre 1 'orthographe; rd sars nne '^H4. faclllte.Aans vj^^. 
a"bcn(lanoe,dans mti f :ux de dlscours qnl finlssent — alr.Hl la 
prose cle George Sand — par rtonner la sensation fie la F,onc*.onle ; 
nl dans ce.tte ecriture artiste qiil a fait le desespolr de Flau- 
■fcGrt.n-.als peut-etre et unlqueFient dan? le don de falre "-Ivant . 
Oi.i ili:tGt encore : falre ^l^'-ant ,volla, messieurs .ce que 1 'artiste 
moderne se propose arant tout; C'est la-dessus qne noDS le Jnge- 
one; c'est ce qui ass^ire.en deplt des maltres d'ecole,la duree 
de son o'eiivre; '^t enee s^ns .Kesslei^rs ,le style, tel que les gram- 
rarlens 1 'entendent ,n'est et ne etre qn 'nn moyen...La vie est 
qiielquechose de ne vols po'j>*qiiol .le ne d Ira Is qi^elq^^e chose 
de trouTDle, File est le rrou.vement qnl *derange les llgres,* Kile 
est confTislon,descrdre,illoglsir:e,lrrogiTlarlteo Rlen n'est pins 
divers, et rlen n'est plus coinplexe. On I'altere en la siir.pliriant ; 
on I'eteint en la f Ixant . Changer,rmer,evolner,c 'en est la def- 
inition Een:e. On ne la saJsit un rr;Oirent,on ne ncns en donne I'lni- 
tat ion, 1* Image, la sensation qn'en se falsant sol-ireme anssl chan- 
geant.pour alnsl dire.aiissi sonple , ondcyant qi.i'elle. C'est ce que 
Moliere,Salnt-Sln!on,et Balzac ont essaye de falre. . .C'est anssl ]L 
I'ldee que nous pouvons opposer hardirrent a tontes les critiques 
que I'on a faites ou que I'on fera du style de PalzaCo"(?) 
(3) Etrj(dee,U<rttle|ue8,Voa.VTT;p|3,f,9^t,3oo 

Judged frorr this point of view the effectiveness of a 
style r.ay Toe ev^n enhanced Tdv its heJng at tjnes incorrect. Mere 
perfection is norotonous .Insipid like an over-ripe fruit .w/v-ne the ahncrrral and nnusual 

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iBfsr'fitr J5ns iBniTortcfB bb, .t99t"[..ont 


arrests the attention, and \T tne ireanlr^ Ip still clear, tn«» Im- 
presf'lon iray te ircre lastlng^ftw?- as Prmetlere says a certain 
Irregularity and conf^islon gives what itlght "be called an ono- 
R'atapoelc representation of lire. Put It requires irore genius 
to Vie unconventional and effective than to h.<e conventional and 
correct. The incorrect is not something to he irritated, it rrust 
grow up out of the nature of the author and the requirements of 
his is personal and human, and through "being so it is 
more appealing. Certain idiosyncrasies of language leave gaps 
through rhlch we can catc^ glimpses of the author, A soher fault- 
less style would give us a very imperfect idea of }^alzac,hls pow- 
crmi perscnalitj' and child llKe naiveness.his exh-'iherant imagina- 
tion v'hich "brushes aside all restrairts of ref Inem.ent .Ms 'Eter- 
nally active and self-lrto:xlcatlr^ mind, his all pervasive sensual- 
ity — ar.d after all Palzac is the moat Int-^resting character in 
t^e Corned ie humalne, ^'^.en ^re hal"!c at the style, It Is really the 
ran that is distastef'Jl to us. To borrow from the pv^llosphy ofla 
Rochefoucauld, perfect ion may he said to he oppressive, pairf-il to 
our ajRiiayirEilPJ'r® i ^'Mle ther^^' is a certain pleasure in heir.g ahle 
to plcK flaws in genius; they s^em to excuse some of our own. and 
— to he a little more optiirlstic concerning nature — they 
give us m.cre of a fellow-feeling, a more comprehending s^nnpathy 
for the author,'s excesses in other directions may well 
re-ult in some measure from his continual use of figures of speech. 
When you speak of the arms of a tree t^e expression Is strictly 
speaKlng incorrect , and the hahit of using words in other than 
their normari sense tends to make one careless about meanings and 
relations, Balzac came to feel hlnself a master of language, "-hi ch 


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ne couW ir&nlfl as pi:.tty fcr Ms purposes; from tni? fe«=llng of 
irastery to a tendency to abnse tliere Is "but a step. 

An Idea Intlnated ty Prinetlere In the a^ove Tnoted 
passage, Is more definitely expressed bv Fippolyte Castllle : "Cn 
lit nn roiran de i;.de Palzac avec ce genre d'lrter'^t q^ie I'on 
prend a regarder passer I'err'e^Jte dans la me." And we do get 
sorr.etnir^ of tlie lirpression of dcdglng through a ir'Otley throng 
on a crowded street, where we see the woman In silks and f^irs 
jostling the laborer cn his way home from worlr.the tir^^d office 
girl ?^nd the giddy searchers after pleasure, the "blind heggar and 
the young couple interested onlv in themselves; we hear the cry 
- of the newshoy.the metallic notes of the hand -organ, mingled with 
'the rattle of wheels; a pell-mell conglomeration of visual and 
auditory sensations. For some, such a scene has a strange fasci- 
nation; otl-iers even find a morhid pleasure in roam-ing through the 
centers cf poverty, disease, and insanity; still others p>-efer the 
solitude of their room:s or the smooth flow cf conventional soci- 
Gty, Literary tastes vary in the sam'e way. It is t^-^ie that a ^ may find pleas^ire in a ■book which deals "-ith conditions that 
would he unrearahle to him in real life; the-^e is Pome^hlr.g of lip 
the lure cf the unknown, which is denied external mianifestaticn 
through pride, convent ion, physical or aesthetic "barriers. Palzac 
goes f.lummiirg rather too often,i^n.t,when one has r'^ad ^ncugh of 
him to get the proper p'^rspecti-'^e.the general iiripressiC'n is of tft 
the pletbora of ^'ariegated life that throngs the streets at cer- 
tain hours of the day. The multiplicity and complexity of the im- 
prentiione received hy the author renders his style em"barrassed and 
latjored.hut this fault, so easily avoided hy one who has less to say 

10 1 
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to ri§rrorf9 J&B9T BBri sno. nsrlw, J;rcf,ns.tto oocf -tsrf.tBt sninniix/ls esog 

£f? to 8i noiaaetqinl lBt9n93 9r!:.t,9^^i.t09q3teq taqoTq ecii J9s o^ ralri 

--[SO jB.3crsi9TJa 9rf.t asnoTcl.t cTBri-t 9ti:I f)9J-B§9itBv to STOd.tsIq 9rt.t 

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briB JbgassTTBcrrrie 9ly,ta elri a^:9^rr9t tOitJirB, srfJ "^cf J:>9vi909T anoin."'T 

^.B5 O-t 3391 3Brf OdW SnO V.'l B9RIOV6 yIi8B9 08,;tIfTSt 3lrl.t .tt'Cf.&g-tOCTBl 

^ ceases to be a fault when It ^elps to reprd^ice In t]^^ irlnd of 
t>e reader the lirpresslcn of t^e r'nthor. 

We na"''e spoKen rr'ncn of the rrate"^lallsn: of Palzac.and not 
In a la'iflatory irarner.tnt this ^-^^ry rrate-^lallein.iTilxed as U. Is 
v'lth a certain arronnt of jdeallsui, intensifies the Illusion of 
life, P poetic character attracts i:s, appeals to o^ir hotter na- 
t-iires ,hnt "'? are reit'lrded rather of what rr^lght he than of what we 
Know to hCo We have fr'^a'Tently exTerlencefl a shock at the real- 
isation that the greatest of rrien anri the most lofty of ir.oveaents 
have their rraterial and often r<^pTilslve sides; the rrore intirate 
our association with man, the rrore does his anliral nature ftand out 
for the riiajor portion of onr tirre and energy is ahsorhed hy thfe^- 
concerns of physical existence. On the other hand we are fre- 
quently siirprlsed at the loftiness of the aspirations and l^Seals 
which we find perrrieatlng the most prosaic of lives. Palzac, em- 

phaslzes too much the physical and materizl side, l-ai*- his m.en and 


women, exaggerated as they are, Impress r)s as creat^ires of flesh ail 
and hlood and not ajpl abstract ion„ The sty le, laden with material- 
ism, Intensifies this irpresslon "by an aim.ost physical reaction on 
lis. Ir this connection, a citation of a prot'^stlng critic Is Int.* an adm.lsslon that for adequate description th^^ style 
m.-ist i.artake of the nati:re of ^he thirg described. Tr speaking 
of Balzac's style l;.Caro says : "Ponr le blen deflnlr 11 fmidrait 
1 'Imlter, . .11 a nn choix de mots o'^ eclate nne sensual Ite a la 
fois violente et rafflnee.d 'nne slr.guiiere p^iissance snr 1 'esprit 
et d 'nne contagion presque irresistible. Pi je ne redoutais d »em - 
plover ces abominablefl mots de la science medicale.dcnt ab^ise si 
solvent re serais pts aussl embarasse qne Je le suls 
pour rendre ma je pourrals alors 'lesigner avec precision 


to bnim f'ril' .it sofj^Ofq^t ot sjistt .ti ■'!9i1-v .tltrfii b scf o.t 80??eft0 

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1C2 -a 
c-tte B-aladle cles nerfs qui envahlt son lir,a.glnatlon tent entlere 
et I'aglte ccnviilslven.ent , "f 1 ) 

(1) F.caro^/ poetes et Rcinarclers .pp.3S5 and 36U, otner 
critics fr-q^ently ^)se figures slnliar to these of Palzac. 
^-hen t>-,e.y to flescrlDe Ms pevgonallty and work. 
Cf. Tair.e and Gautler.o^.cit . 

•T9nj*0 .-i^a^ f)rr.s i??? .qq, ST^iortBOTOB ^'§' 6eil6^ ''^ ,OtB0."T (I) 


The psiTcA'iOlo-^v ol style is too dolica.te anti Gori.plax a 
subject to perirat of an ej;]iaustive analysis. -- conpltte study 
of tliu origin of Palzac' s,. f i^iures >.oulci liave t- take into account 
every phase of his corpiea. j-ersonality , every iiofluence, external 
or internel, eirotional, intellectual, or physical, lastinir or 
ir.omertary , to v/ he was sutjected.^:- 'hese eler.ents do not 
-:;-: ote for example such an expression as:'', ui verse h 
I'heure dite un thd iS-uave-^savapriefit. d^pli€' (L .p.-Strt), in 
which the peculiar use oi d^pl i i, i^: p^-obcbly explained 
by Balzac's thought of his oun precious t..a^-vv]':ich he kept 

in paper covered v/ith hieroglyphics and tlie liinwrapx^ing O'f^ 

"^f. Leon C-o::lan, Balzac en pantoufles, p.'^B. 

as a kii:d of cereirony. .'SiEiaExiy Similarly the . : , 

i lower aisetitr him. byihias friends, the Duchesse de Castries 

and Louise while, he! vwa si vifriting the -Ij^s dans la, yall^v 

, ay ■ avs suc:^ested! offirtain corj-parisons to i . " ! \\. 

consecutive t J. e.t'fce2?a-tLci I ouiSQV; expire sg ethanes 4;or']5ifts of 

flowers, three of th.din-,inentionin2; also. t}ie Lys dans. ,.1_p 

vs.llde^r/k;f-iG-orrespondance, p. 263:T-f.:f..y»Also there are the 

infinite psssibilltios of literary influence by suc^'t .men 

as Fousseau and Chateaubriandj the similarities between;." 

the figures of I!alzac and Ui'^se of Rabelais and Sa.iii.t'iJ^^ 

SiiT.on result fro". a similar bent of^. ratiier ; than, frojii 

i:, itation. 

manifest themselves sinr^ly; they combine, theiy, interact, they 

counteract each other, and the fi;3ur^s, ':hen spontaneous, are 

forned as naturally as crystals are precipitated froiE a chen;ical 

solution. ' in rr;y discussion it has been necessary to Isolate 

J;3i Joje^i. 

the individual elenerits and treat t]-eir. as distinct forceE; also 
definite statement of- a. r;^re tendency, necesEary in order to 
specify and explain it, appears to exa-;-erate its ir;:p'")rtance 
and to mindn.ize the many dicturbin^; and contradictory :ereinents . 
Confusion ^ ill result uiiless vve keep in mind that such an isolat- 
ion of individual tendbncies is r.-ally artificial though unovoid- 
able> that 'they all conibine; in a eoEiplex personelity, throuj-h the 
iii,edA;yin of ;wMch several mayt find expression e in the sair.e figure 
of' speejCJ:!..' 'H-'he f oil ovring. •epiiclus ions, e on e i d or o d.-. in-- the ' 11 rht 
of,- ,tjae.; above stateinent. iray he considered £S the result of our 
study . 

The figures of speech forir- an important t>ler.entdr :r;lzac's 
realistic rnethod. ;.In.., thier: he atterqjts to convey n ore completely 
ajad rpre vividly his own sensations than it would be possible 
for hinrto do.. with conventional French' prose. in his sttitiude 
towards Ir.ncuagjeche ,/is related to s ,r-eneral liberalistic tendency 
of his are, and rore especially he follcvs Vr.e lead of other 
original ce^niuses with crentive pov/ers sirilar to his O'vn -- 
Fabelais, '.olicrejand Saint-^Sirion -- who creeteo for themselves 
a r:^ediumtj,,suited to th-sy ^ad to convey. Possessin," a vivid 
iF.a -ination,.,whi6l:il^n:ounts at times almost to '^.allucination, '/alec 
is inclined to liolc a word, even abstract, should produce 
a concrete ima^e in the ;r.iKd ■ of the- reader; but he realized also 
that S;Uch, is not the case in tlie faded n.odern speech. ':'he 
logical method to induce the formation of a concrete ima'^e that 
will leave a lastin- impression is by the simile and inetaphor. 

"^he fi,fiUres serve also as an out for Balzac s sentirriental 
effusions; by a succession of coriparisons he seeir.r. to batlie 
hiiTiself voluptuously in certain err.otions. I-urtherr.ore he uses 

.liUUOiiJ- i;:xj. 


vfioo oj .-■ xija, m/xLic ,; .a 

:Ail:jijLx d.^ixJ Je cJauo ,.^ ::.oi.^ noiiB. 

the fir^uree as stylistic ornarients. "'hese tv/o tendencies, v/hlch 

are rat]ier roiriantic traits, HppEXP especially evi(ient in. the 

Ijvs__dans la v ail de^ 

"hile t]':e fi^^^ures are often effective, a universal verdict 
of excessiveness needs very little restriction when they are j^V^ 
judged froir. an artistic point of view. There are too ir.any figures, 
they are frequently too pretentious or too ir.aterialistic; as a 

result partly of tliese last two traits, we find r.any cor:pa.risons 


that are not apt or apprpriate , which fact, together v/ith the 

occurence of incoherent figures v/ould indicate an imperfect 
analysis of the similarities between the tv."o objects compared. 

If ive^ seek an explanation for tl'e forn: of Balzac's figures, 
ot'^er than Ids natural indelicacy and lack of a certain artistic 
and critical sense, t' e points suggest themselves. 

l^,"'alzac's faculty of losing hir.self coir.pletely in his 
character^ causes him to use expressions that would be natural 
only as used by a loustou of a Frid^au v.horr. he is painting; a 
strong character tends to set the tone of tl-e book and he 
influences the expressions even of the ot]ier characters. 

2;^,:^alzac is primarily interested in the internal workings 
of the hur^an soul, but not being a psychologist he seizes upon 
theirs by an intuitive ir.agina tion rather than by observation and 
expresses tlieF. in teri-s of something that he can see,v;hile, on 
the otiier hand, physical object^ for which he had an adrr.irable 
vision are usually described literally. Thus a large proportion 
of his figures are concrete expressions of spiritual phenorfi^a, 
and t)ie indefinite irx^.ression that they frequently give is 
probably due to a vagueness of conception on the part of '^alzac. 

aijs \j9rict nariw aoxj oi^iasT: sl-tJ'il Y^^v' absan a-asrtsvisasoxa lo 

■ 'nloq olJ8iJ"iJS ni5 Tfo^^ bs-^bsJl 

.; 3iJ joiJaxlBiatiJwn ooJ -lo nuo iJnaJarcq ooj vUrieupst'i sTfs -^arfj 

too Y" ' • btj ow^ cfsfll 33diii lo vliisq .tlysat 

9r(>J riJiw ^erfJ^3oJ ,aOJHi ji-jiifw , sJbx' -o Jq.e J-on ^^5 JerfJ 

Jo^l^^qmx hb eJsoibni bluow aeixJi^xT. j-nts'^i^iioonl lo ^^^y^iJ^oo 

.b^^Bq;noo 3Jo3i,^o ow^ arfJ asawiacf aoiJiTGlx ' 'to aia^LBciQ 

LI a'ojssiB" ' >snsi(|xa hg Aa^a ^3v/ 'il 

;': iSi'Jo 

.30 BoiJ ito 

[vf- j8.U-aa'-''Xc3^ajBTjSf<o 

, g^oj-os'ijs: ':K) Isaa'tcixy a>{i aaorfauXlnx 

.nnijiaow IsmaJni S'lJ" ni; beJastaJni iiq si oBSlsg.^S 

•frcfx/: ess] ''ucf tlLfOB aBr^urf srfi lo 

bne ndl>JB^' ^ 3vxJiijJr£x hb ^d '^s^'i-^ 

no ,9lxfi%,sea n/' • nx .nt9ff:f aeaasiqxe 

alcfsTxni; -O-'^ Iso j.aY.-'^'^l t&nBrf T:8r{.:to ariJ' 

oxJioq'- • rstsJxI bscfx'Toasb' ir-£-E^J^3i^ ^"^^ ^rtolalv 

(jf^^rnonsri' anciassnrfxa' 9J'^^orto^ 9T8 aanuslT: airf 'lo 

The predOEinatirg raterialisr. of t'/e figures is rt-lsted also to 
the attitude oi mind of t: c realist who sees the animsl and TiBt- 
erial sides of hunian nature, in contrast to the roirianticist, 
exeifiplified by Victor •lUt^o, in who"**'we find rtianifested in the 
figures J of speech a tendency to elevate inanimate nature. 

3^, The ir.ost strikinj^ feature of Dalzac's fi£rures in t' e 
fusi'-n of ideas and in;a£:ination which they present and as reSult 
of which they fall into well-defined groups according to the 
corce^, tion underlying the coiiparisons . Tl'iere is a continiial 
interaction between the conception and the figure: Balzac seer^.s 


to visualize concrete.foertain bahal figures end to deduce fror 
theF. a scienliific tlieor:" feal relation betv/een the tv.'o 
concepts coripared; or ' '.lier hand, the materialistic concept- 
ions of nature, expressed in Louis Lambert and growing out 
of "^alzac's general theory of the ur-ity of oil creation, are 
constantly finding expression in the figures of the Lys dans la 
vallde, and soinetiiaes the figures is absolutely K.eahingless 
unless We trsce out its relations to the ryaasi-scientific theories 
of the author. The result is an all-pervasive materialisrr; Vvhich 
jar the poetic pretention of the book all tlie Fibre on 
account of the minuteness of tie comparisons. Falzac visualizes 
the figures so clearly V. ' fails to distin.;uis]-: between the 
figurative and lit|eral expressions. 

In seeking to explain the operation of lialzac on >iis readers 
t'ore are three points in his style 'tliat should be considered. 

];^, re of speech forces ' ilatc a 

definite ii;sro ':efore l jrificarce 

of what is being saidj thus tie idea is ;!'->re forciblj: impressed 

on him than by a piec\ of sr:ooth conventional prose,, 

since the grami.'iatical and logical relativns so nearly coincide. 

' ^ "' :'."'"'_ :;io.i: 1 1 :. ^ .!- -c^^ 

' " '^ ^ — - cAili^Jfa ^.a: "" ''," 

" ' arf.t rf-oiffw lo 

.j,.ai'i::ij:. . : ioni-i;;^ ^ 'j;ii3nnij. ;noiJ»q^j>rfOO 

oi ixJriSXQS s nariJ- 

-. . );ico axo 3.1. i.,7X"iy J."^ .' . aiq=>:9noo 

jiio -irilv;0' ■ ■ --. ^ wa lo a^ic ■ 

3T6 jnoiJ 5..'io ilc ":c ^;Ji '- • " '.j 

gI ■:^;i^^ ■■ '^ijajojaaoo 

a^:. :-;x a .;. i. sjmxJjjoa ijii-B ■■ ^e 5*11. «v 

■ ■ ■ ' 3^lnu 

..i,X.oX iv-.' .' ;:JiJ3 ailJ iO 

511X^X18 : ^AiWOSB 

3 -IS' at-iarivt 


there is no incentive I'or t' c forraation of concrete iia.' for 
the individual .vords. . < urtain ;)oint 11:6 style re- 
quires the greatest i.ental effort to understand nay be t' e r ost 
effective for an a 'lose purpose is not to trpnv ''tract 
ideas hut to produce an illusion of Ufa, to create. 

'rl,(i,rt_rt;'-in irref^ularities ord confusion of style ^ive a 
more gre, ■ ^ Icture of life ^ 1 :"~j l,;^^ some of its iu;'-li ties ; 
also being less conventional, more personal tliey . ./.to 
r.iora intimate relations with the author. 

3j«j(^atsrialisr:i of style rray aid in giving a nore vivid 
picture of life as we knov/ it; the iiripression /iven is tisat if 
the real as oj. posed to tlie ideal. 

In ah©^, a Sttid/? of the^figurfescana iKe &l^le..of I'^-aiaais 
shO'i'S ..that- the|r' bear fen MntiDctte; relation to l-is cor.plex person- 
ality and to his subject matter, and that their operation on the 
reader is largely due to tl^is fact. 

In view of what has been said, ./e r^ay ourselves yihQ.t 
vrlll be the fate of "^alzac at t'..^. hands of future generations. 
It has been pointed out that artistic perfection of style, being 
largely a r.:atter of convention, lacks a certain pj'rsonal' appeal . 
.: ut m as ii.uch as t'le conventions of art are fairly stable in a 
given race or group of races, very Irr'.personality gives a 
F.ore lasting and more universal ch.aracter to a literary work; as 
custo.MS, interests, ideas, and points of view cliange, the personal 
appeal of s.n autlior is liable to fade, even for those whose cast 
of rind 'A'ould naturally incline tl err to be enthousisstic adr.irers. 
This is especially true for on autlior \v]io represents the rrdnd 
and soul as so iii.tiratel^' loi'^^-' i\^ 'vit;- physical existence; the 
universal and eternal nature .-. '^ - '^ anif cstations is obscured 
^-•-' V e e." t: .''"r:,-;! fcler.entr-, ■' .i(''i, rTn^**^ 


' ■ic! .:§Cy I« sH/ i^rn 



3 a , 

■"".rii 'g%'orfB 


forr;erly an aid to coiivicin;;; rsali^.B tion, bc;con;e o hindranct ahen 

the age has --rovvn either less familiar or less int-rbstln,- . 

llter.'.r'" v.orl-: in order to fendure should have a universal appeal 

eit'-er as a v.orlr of art or as a document of the'hu^an sou], h(:.r;C6 

it is not irr.prohable that the readers of the real Balzac -- not OTfj 

the author of ^U£L^nie f^raxidS-t or Ffere ..C.orl_Qt-- v.'ill be itore and 

rore restricted to those who^ovcrcor.e prejudice and rental inertir 

' and put theKSsjIves as far as possible in the author's world, lor 

such -readers the Cor..^die^ humaine v/ill always offer an unlirited 

store of riches. 

:^iBLioar. . 

. cori^lcto biblio^rapiiy of Falzac would include soi-e thousaxnc 
titles an('. I hope in the nenr future to tskt rhvt in the puhlicft- 
- ' . ' ut here, since t-e raterialc for the present 
study must necessarily be flrawn largely frorr; a study of tht; 
CoE^^ie' hurraine itself, I have tried to li; bibliography 
as wuch as possible. andThere are tv/o section;:; tlie first includes 
the works that I have found rr.ost suggestive in t'leir discussion 
of '-alzac's style or in their appreciation of t'-u co:-_ ' " 
personality of the man; the isecond inclueleG general discussions 
of figures and style, and studies of individur" ■ -o? t- 

of theory and method of attack. The citations from ; alz^c are 
froii the definitive edition, ''ich.el-Levy, 24 volumes, ^orirv , 1876. 

ri\yEaldens(jer.g:fer<? ^tuues d ^histo^ire littdraire. 2'^ s^rjjj, 'ach:ette, I&IC 

. rrrifere, L'oeuvre de li. de S alza^j^ ^tude litt^raire et 

phllosQ phiaue sur I a (M3gj^i_e hur^aine^j Calrann-I (=vy, 1£90. 

Paul Botirget, Introduction to the F.epe^ oire de La corned ijejTUJi^ine 

d e ". de Ealzac of A. Perfberre and J. Thristophe, pp. I->"III, 

•■ ,'■] eaimahri-li^vy, '.;i£9?. 

F. Prunetibre, Monord de.Palzac , Calmann*Lt5vy, 1906. 

Ftudes cri,, Tf s_|rie, .".acl ette, 1905. 

.^ CabandsV Falzac i^inor^ , 2^ ^d., , F. : ichel, 1911. 

'F^") '~f^J"0>V P2^t;£§ 6t_¥'_oinanciers, ''achette, IFFG. 

-^ . 

l^^Fa^uet, FaJzac, -c-,.*n4-i , "achette, 1913. 
.'^aulj Flat/ Fssais sur Falz ac, "Ion, 1F9F. 

Seconds essais sur Falzac , Flon, 1894. 
Thdo..hile Pautier, For t r a i t s _c orvt e mp or a i n s , Charpentier , 1874. 
L. Cozlan, Falzac chez lui, souvenirs des Jardie^, Michel-F^vy , 18c^ . 

Falzac en ^ antoufles, ] 'ichel -I ^vy, 1SG5. 
- . " c'-reton, Falz a£^_lJ_Fo-;jr.e__et 1^ oeuvre , A. ro]in,lSC5. 

.IS, .3£)Xd iJ- 

.^1^. ^j. ■■.Ll'i:. 

1^1 , .3 vt J 

ioj.JiJ*i • SI 

F. "'oltines, Balzac., Ilevub de deux r.ondcs. if^' nove niVirfc. 1PA2. 

r. !'oore, Shakespe are and ralzac. Century /.a [^azirie, ■"oLFB, pp.F.'-Qg, 

'^ ' ^' 1914. 

J Pdrbs, le r..ystlcisme de la volont^ chez "alzac, Hercure^d^^rranc , 

1*^^ juill et, 1908. 
Pontr.artin, Causeries littjraires^ 2^^ .^i_tlon, :'ichel-l^vy, 1855. 

Causeri es du samedi , nouvelJLe ^dijbion^ " Icl.el-: ^vy,lH7 5. 
Sainte-' euve, Fren:iers lu ndls, Vol. 2, Calriann-J cvy, 1894. 

Portrai ts contei np.oralns_j Vol. 2, yichel-I dvy, 1870. 
^l£ii££r.ij,^.-^-'^y--ly-Rd.ij '"ol. 2, ^smler, 1857. 
T aure de Surville, Balzac, s a vie etses deuvres d'aprbs sa 
correspondancs, published as introcjuction to the definitive 
edition of "alzac's works. 
. ""sine, Uouveaux essals de critique et d'histolrej 7^'^^^ (Edition, 

: achette, 1901 . 
. "erdet,. Portrait imtime de Balzac^ -?.?:. „-Xi£?. son humeur et son 

caract ^re. -entu, 1869. 
, Zola, I e roman ejgjJrjjnentaJLj,^ Charpentier, l$fip. 

L e^s r oi c i er s naj^ural i s t e s , ri-.arpentier, 1910. 
Spoelbach de -ovenjoul,Autmir_ de Jf^^^^^^ CalFL8nn-Pdvy,1897. 

T;;[n_j^onian d'airiour, Calmann-I ^vy, 189G. 
' istoire de. deuvr es d e Palzac, 3"-^ ^ci(bion, 
ralrcann-Ldvy, 1888 


A. Albalat, L'art d' d crirs, ;. . Colin, 1910. 

Chi "ally, ^"raitd de gtylis . " '. ^c]>, Pari£.:,19r' . 

runot,i in:";;uistic sections iij .-etit dt Jiillbviile, isto ire de 1 
lanrue^ e t de la littdi , . 'I-"III, >'•. .Colin, 18 91 

• Jrul "oiir;;et, I.ssais de "..,?-• 

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F. I. Cari.&nter, : o taf.hcjr , '^r.d 3 Iruil 6 in t'r.o MjLr.or Mina>:othPr 

' rreia . C'■lica^:o disserbaticn, 1P£Z.. 

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Cb Ir f- 

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Born Hear Pulpeper, Virginia, Tuly 12, 1R9G, I received r?,y 
prelir.inary traininj^ froE private instr ictlon and at the 
^andolp:i-"acon Acader.y, Bedford City, Virginia. In Septen-.ber 
1906 I entered Randolph-"acon rollege, wi.ence I was graduated 
with th.e degrees of r'achelor of Arts in 1909 and ''aster of Arts 
in 1910. The next three years were spent as professor of Irench 
and Oerjuav. at "'illsaps College, Jackson, T'ississippi . Turing the 
sumr.or of 191"^ I studied '^(oii-.ance languages at rolurbia University, 
and in the fal] of the sane year I entered the Johns ''opkins 
■^ni versity , taking Irench as my cajor subject and Spanish and 
Italian as r.y first and second subordinate subjects respectively, 
''^uring my first tv/O years I held a Virginia scholarship-) and at 
present I hold a Ur Iversity fellowship. 

"incb my entrance in this university I have attended the 
courses of Professors Armstrong, ''orize, Brush, T eguy, "^argan, 
Carcassonne, "'arden, Shaw, Jove joy, and Bloonfield, to all of 
whom I wis): to express ir.y appreciation for their stimulus and 
guidance in scholarship. I wish also to express iry indebtedness 
to Professor Dargan for his advice and inspiration in tr.e study 
of Balzac, and to Professors Arn:istrong and Carcassonne for trieir 
sympathetic suggestions and for their invaluable aid in the prepar- 
ation of rr.y manuscript. 

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