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February 19, 1922 - Image 2

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1922
Balzac held before their eyes. By d' oeuvre s beautiful, so replete with
B a l the dispassionate lens of realism that two pigments and the result is a chef
ยง l l c - - 7 a i his bold and lucid portrayal of the soul, so poignantly touching, that one
follies of this world, he waged a con- feels hands of steel tighten around
stant war against vice, although fewi one's heart while reading. Old Cousin
(By Samuel L. Ureenebaumi) to whom style was more important give him credit for it. He was never Pons brings the tears to our eyes
Philosophers, discoverers, and radi- than content. But even though in ashamed to dive into a cesspool and with his pitiful helplessness. Pauline
cals have always been held in dis- the majority of cases Balzac's style expose its filth to light. Although he and Raphael de Valentin make us
is loose, his art has a majestic sweep was not so popular in England as Sand throb with joy as we read of their
repute. Socraes was condemned toI which carries us on. Often when he or Sue, he was considered by the sublime love and kindling passion.
die, Columbus was imprisoned, BalzacI lets his fancy carry him away, he erudite few to be immeasurably su- At the next moment we shudder at the
was severely censured. Innovators loses us for the minute, only to return perior to either. Only too often is the reminder of the "Peau de Chagrin,"
are always frowned on, and Balzac and again place our minds abreast of, realist cast aside, the romanticist del-I that dread talisman, that measure of
did not escape without his share of his. fled. their joy, tsat inevitahle "'ce.
criticism. His "Comedic Humaine' Balzac was ever a calm and unbiased Say what we may, we cannot deny Awe, majesty, passion, pathos, all
made him the object of many vicioushobserver of life. Be believed, like La that Balzac's work in some fields has fight for the foremost place in Balzac's
attacks yRochefoucauld, that man was moti- never been surpassed. No novelist of "Comedie Humaine." One by one they
att hy the conservative, of th' vted chiefly by egotism and the desire any time has so filled his works with attack us, each succeded by another,
old regime. In spite of the tirade of for gain. Those who censored him pure emotion and breathing reality as we sit and see the ever-changing
criticism directed at his head, he sue- most severely were, for the most part, as has Balzac. Love and pathos are panorama displayed before us. The
ceeded in establishing the modern superficial students of life who were the two colors in which his portraits banquet teene in the "Wild Ass's
novel firmly in the honorahle position afraid to look at the world through abound. Often too, he mixes these (Continued on Page 8)
it now holds. He did not invent the'
novel, he merely modernized it. He
took the -old three-volume work of
Richardson and Fielding, discarded
the threadbare types in which they
dealt, and ingeniously substituted his
realistic glimpses of life, his "Comedic
Humaine." Perhaps this is what so
astonished and dumfounded his critics,
who, since they must criticize him
were left with only the alternative ofi
condemning him. s
Adverse criticism rained on Balzacsm artest Coats
from all sides. It must e addedl that;/S i ii te st 1 o it
it was his countrymen who censoredf
him, his foreign admirers who fought; 'i
his cause. His enemies condemned
him on many grounds. He was said - b
to have no order or coherence in his are caracterized by their
plots. He was unable to paint virtue,
he preferred to dwell on vice, which soft fubfics, simple lines
he accepted too nonchalantly. Con-
versation in his novels was not natu-
ral; his characters were mere mouth-
pieces. His style was careless, crab- $4
bed, startling, but admittedly effective.t
His women served for one purpose
only, adultery. When he did try to a
depict virtue, his characters becameTk
mere colorless creatures, untrue, and HERE are almost as many kinds of wraps
uninteresting.T
The most justifiable of the adverse as the day has hours but a partial spring
criticism lie received, was that which
attacked the atmosphere of his novels. has awarded her high honors to luxurious long
He took pieces of reality from here
and there, worked himself into a sports coats of soft English wools with gay
trance over them, and found him elf
in an immense world of fantasy. Here, plaids of color.
he roamed at will, charmed by the
products of his own immagination.
Quite naturally, the effect of this They're tailored - very much so. In fact,
rambling in the realms of fancy is
strikingly evident in his character por- the only deviation form a severe style is that
trayals. His people continually live in
the superlative. His misers are the some have their belts inside, permitting the
personifications of avarice, his lovers Did you know - that the newest,
faint beneath their mistress' balconies, daintiest silk undergarments are back to hang straight, while others are worn
his dissipated youths are always the made of pongee? Tailored styles,
last to roll under the tables in the for the most part, with occasional outside the garment. But - a provident de-
numerous drinking bouts in which touches of hemstitching and em-
they engage. All act their parts to broidery. signer has made it possible to have either style
the nth degree. There is not for an
inst'ant the slightest doubt as to the There are envelopes, there are with the one coat!
motives of a single character. When gowns and pajamas, bloomers and
once we have become acquainted with step-ins. Priced as low as $3.
them, we never fear that they will Second Floor Second Floor
surprise us with some unexpected;
whim or act.
This, in the main, is the sum of the
adverse criticism which was rained
on Balzac. Thus, to form an estimate
of Balza without examining both
sides of the question would be to layW -
oneself opento a charge of flagrantn i.uwd i e a r C o .
However much one is preisidiced in
Balzac's favor, one must admit that Doamntoin
he lacks the neatness, conciseness,
and precision necessary to a finished
stylist. Upon an examination of his life,
the cause is at once evident. Likel
Sir Walter Scott, he suffered business
reversals and was thus forced to write
prolifically. Looseness and incoher-
ence were the results. This was no-
ticed especially by his French critics,

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