Sur les traces d'Honoré de Balzac

I spent an afternoon following the footsteps of Honoré de Balzac, a French writer, famous for the group of novels entitled A la Comédie Humaine. I chose Balzac because I read excerpts of his work in past literature courses and I also knew that he had an interesting life history.

I first visited the Musée Balzac on 47 rue Raynouard, where Balzac lived from 1840-1847. The house is in Passy, a very cute neighborhood with beautiful houses and a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower (although of course the Eiffel Tower was not built in Balzac’s time). The museum also has a beautiful garden (I can only imagine how nice it would be during the spring or summer). Inside the museum, there are paintings of Balzac, his family, and friends, as well as some of his belongings. In addition, there is a room of sculptures of Balzac by such greats as Rodin and other artists that lived in Balzac’s time. Like MIT students today, Balzac had to choose two out of three things (writing, social life, and sleep), and like many of us, Balzac relinquished sleep for the first two. The museum shows Balzac’s coffee cup which helped him write for up to 15 hours straight.

After visiting Balzac’s house in Passy, I went to rue de Balzac, the street where Balzac died (it was called rue Fortunée during Balzac’s time). The building that now stands in the place of Balzac’s home belongs to the Rothschild Foundation. Farther down the road, I also saw a statue of Balzac.

On a different day, I also visited Balzac’s tomb in the Père Lachaise cemetery, the most beautiful cemetery I have ever visited.

— Natalie

Related links:
Musée Balzac
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