Balzac's Omelette: A Delicious Tour of French Food and Culture with Honoré de Balzac

  • Title: Balzac's Omelette: A Delicious Tour of French Food and Culture with Honoré de Balzac
  • Author: Anka Muhlstein
  • ISBN: 9781590514733
  • Page: 325
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Balzac s Omelette A Delicious Tour of French Food and Culture with Honor de Balzac Tell me where you eat what you eat and at what time you eat and I will tell you who you are This is the motto of Anka Muhlstein s erudite and witty book about the ways food and the art of the table
    Tell me where you eat, what you eat, and at what time you eat, and I will tell you who you are This is the motto of Anka Muhlstein s erudite and witty book about the ways food and the art of the table feature in Honor de Balzac s The Human Comedy Balzac uses them as a connecting thread in his novels, showing how food can evoke character, atmosphere, class, and social Tell me where you eat, what you eat, and at what time you eat, and I will tell you who you are This is the motto of Anka Muhlstein s erudite and witty book about the ways food and the art of the table feature in Honor de Balzac s The Human Comedy Balzac uses them as a connecting thread in his novels, showing how food can evoke character, atmosphere, class, and social climbing suggestively than money, appearances, and other conventional trappings.Full of surprises and insights, Balzac s Omelet invites you to taste anew Balzac s genius as a writer and his deep understanding of the human condition, its ambitions, its flaws, and its cravings.

    • [PDF] Download ↠ Balzac's Omelette: A Delicious Tour of French Food and Culture with Honoré de Balzac | by ï Anka Muhlstein
      325 Anka Muhlstein
    • thumbnail Title: [PDF] Download ↠ Balzac's Omelette: A Delicious Tour of French Food and Culture with Honoré de Balzac | by ï Anka Muhlstein
      Posted by:Anka Muhlstein
      Published :2019-05-09T15:49:47+00:00

    About Anka Muhlstein


    1. Anka Muhlstein was born in Paris in 1935 She has published biographies of Queen Victoria, James de Rothschild, Cavelier de La Salle, and Astolphe de Custine, a study on Catherine de M dicis, Marie de M dicis, and Anne of Austria, and a double biography, Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart She is currently writing a volume on Proust as a reader She has won two prizes from the Acad mie Fran aise, and the Goncourt Prize for Biography She and her husband, Louis Begley, have written a book on Venice, Venice for Lovers They live in New York.


    373 Comments


    1. Leon Gozlan, a friend, had fun describing him at mealtimes: "[His] lips quivered, his eyes lit up with delight, his hands shook with pleasure on seeing a pyramid of pears or beautiful peaches. There would not be a single one left to go and describe the defeat to the rest.He devoured the lot. He was a magnificent example of vegetal Pantagruelism, tie whipped off, shirt open, knife in hand[he] laughed explosively, like a bomben his chest would swell and his shoulders would dance beneath his jubila [...]

      Reply

    2. There are two grand themes in Balzac's oeuvre, one is money -- and most particularly debt -- and the other is food. Of this second theme, Anka Muhlstein does full justice with her book Balzac's Omelette: A Delicious Tour of French Food and Culture with Honore'de Balzac. Even though I have read over 95% of Balzac's work in a Yahoo! Group dedicated to him, I am still amazed by Ms. Muhlstein's marshaling of a mass of information into a coherent, and I might even say tasty, whole.There is, for examp [...]

      Reply

    3. An unexpected pleasure. Muhlstein has read as much Balzac as I have and she adores the books, the man, and her subject--food in his work. She points out that he is one of the first world authors to actually go out of his way to tell the reader what people were eating and drinking by way of giving his society a reality literature never possessed before. (We search Emma and Clarissa in vain for equal bills of fare; but after him Dickens gave us toast &cheese--and of course Christmas goose!) So [...]

      Reply

    4. Thank you for the book I won through the giveaways. Fans of the 19th century's French novelist Honoré de Balzac will appreciate this book. The author presents a brief biography of Balzac pointing out the importance of food in his life. She also explains how Balzac's writings reflect the changes that were occurring in food across France at that time as well as how Balzac used food to help define his fictional characters. This is an interesting and insightful book.

      Reply

    5. a feast of factoids from balzac's (and Maupassant, proust, zola, and hmm, can't remember the 4th dude used as a comparison of novelists and food/cooking/eating muhlstein used) novels, most of which became known as the human comedy. at first the book seems ho hum in her relating some of BALZAC's own habits, like only drinking very strong coffee and eating pears while he was writing, but then doing the blow-out and gorging on 100's of oysters, dozens of bottles of wine, and hours long meals AFTER [...]

      Reply

    6. Meh. While there were many delicious little facts in this book, I couldn't help but feel like it was written for people who want to sound smart at parties. The narrative never came together, and like a white sauce cooked too quickly, had lumpy sections which stuck my mind shut.

      Reply

    7. This is more about the history of French restaurants than it is a book about food. And if you haven't read Balzac you tend to miss most of the main points of the book.

      Reply

    8. Beautiful prose. The story moves slowly at times, but the reader leaves with a richer appreciation of how brilliant Balzac was as a writer, and for who he was as a person. If you love food, you'll enjoy this book.

      Reply

    9. In Dickens' novels, we can usually guess a character's temperament by the name he is given. Scrooge--choked and sparing of even an extra syllable; Uriah Heap, a pissy little cur waiting to bite the feeding hand; evil Murdstone with a stony and murderous heart. In the stories of Honore Balzac, what the characters chose for dinner spoke volumes. They were, indeed, what they ate. Balzac also used food as a metaphor and a description. A young girl, all ripe and pink and fleshy in her youthful embonp [...]

      Reply

    10. This book is a gustatory delight, a thorough and rollicking edible romp through the works of one of Europe’s most prolific authors. Touching mainly on Balzac’s sprawling oeuvre “The Human Comedy”, Ms. Muhlstein’s critical eye misses nothing that made Balzac great; she merely sheds a more interesting light on it.Balzac adored writing about food, whipping up dizzying metaphors connecting food to aspects of everyday life. From comparing a young girl’s kiss to being like honey to seeing [...]

      Reply

    11. I know it's not the same exact time period, but the descriptions of old-school Paris in Balzac's Omelette made me think of scenes from the movie version of the book Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. I had heard of, but not read, any of Honore's stories prior to this- it was still enjoyable, but would have been much more so had I been familiar with his works. What happened was this: little by little, chapter by chapter I became hungry for oysters or brie cheese or thirsty for wine, while I learne [...]

      Reply

    12. I'm a foodie and had hoped for more than this small volume delivered. Balzac's eating habits were extreme and therefore interesting, although I can hardly believe the quantities he is said to have consumed upon finishing a story and delivering it to his publisher. There was much more than I wanted to know about Balzac's writing, but I hadn't been aware that he was the first author to "define" his characters by the food they ate and the dinners they served. Something else I didn't know and DID fi [...]

      Reply

    13. This book captivated me by its exceptional review in the New York Times, and the first 100 pages were fascinating as I learned so much about Paris's beginnings as a city of delicious food and luxurious restaurants. I was expecting, however, to be much more enthralled by the author's analysis of food in Balzac's work. Perhaps I need to read more of Balzac's repertoir to appreciate some of her points, but I was looking for a clearer message—a thesis, if you will—and found it lacking. Regardles [...]

      Reply

    14. I must begin with the disclosure that I received my copy through the First Reads program. With that taken care offI enjoyed the book; at first it was a bit hard to keep track of what was a reference to some of Balzac's works, what to history and/or Balzac's life. But once I got into the flow and the rhythm of the writing it was hard to put down.I particularly enjoyed the historical context and the evolution of cooking and gastronomy as described in Balzac's works.The translation is well done, wi [...]

      Reply

    15. I absolutely love the French novelist Balzac (he is sadly not as well known in the English-speaking world as he should be: his work is totally incredible). He was a great observer and describer of realistic details, including food (in real life he was a great gourmand), and perhaps the first to use characters' meals and eating habits as a way to depict personality, class and economic status. This book uses Balzac's work as a way to illuminate 19th Century French food culture, when the modern res [...]

      Reply

    16. In the interest of full disclosure, I received an advanced copy of this book through GoodReads. What a fun read! Quite the lover of food, Balzac seems to go through life not looking forward to his next project (as a novelist) but rather looking forward only to his next meal.Ms. Muhlstein does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of Balzac and providing insight as to the events of his life which may have contributed to his lifestyle. She paints such a vivid picture of the times and mentality [...]

      Reply

    17. I want to say thank you for the book this was my first win on . This book will make you hungry. Honore de Balzac the French author describes through his books and fictional characters how food in the 19th century France played an important role in his life and social status. Author Anka Muhlstein takes you on a walk though Paris visiting the cafe's and restaurants that Balzac frequented. Her book offers insights into the history of French food. Her style of writing is witty and very enjoyable.

      Reply

    18. This short book gave an interesting perspective to Balzacs writing about food.Much was made about his pitiful childhood, with an uninvolved mother and his being sent to boarding school where he was nearly starved to death.This was perhaps why he elegantly described many meals in his work,and was one of the first french authors to do so.His feasts when each book was completed were amazing, and his searching for finest foodstuffs like the foodies of today was very entertaining.Not a great book but [...]

      Reply

    19. I loved this book. I have never read Balzac, but I am now looking forward to it.This is a fascinating history of food consumption and the developmet of restaurants in France. As well as the way Balzac uses food in his novels.Thecquantity of wine consumed at a meal is staggering. There are some very interesting facts. I found it very fun to read.

      Reply

    20. This was a wonderful in-depth exploration of Parisian culinary culture. Muhlstein explores Balzac's talent at describing characters and their social environment through gastronomic language and this book was still fascinating for me even though I have a limited knowledge of Balzac's body of work.

      Reply

    21. Received as a GoodReads giveaway. My high school French teacher, Madame Rohrer, would have loved this book. An interesting mix of French history, cuisine and literature. I can't decide whether to reread Balzac or pull out a Julia Child cookbook first.

      Reply

    22. Monsieur Honore Balzac was an iconic in French Literature. Setting the trend of introducing text involving food into the novel was a sure fire way to set characters into motion and class. Ms. Muhlstein use of the multiple books by M. Balzac was intriguing and worth a second look.

      Reply

    23. This book contains an interesting history of French food/cuisine and how one author utilized it in his works and life. It should be of interest to foodies and fans of Balzac (the author); however, while well-written, I do not see it as being appealing to many people outside of these groups.

      Reply

    24. I began with a handicap, having not read any Balzac myself. However, that didn't stop me from becoming completely hungry and enthralled while reading this book. Certainly some references I couldn't appreciate, but overall such an interesting read.

      Reply

    25. This book is interesting, I enjoyed reading about French culture in the 19th century, but since I have never read Balzac I didn't understand the comparisons.

      Reply

    26. I LOVED the first chapter, but for some reason I couldn't get through the second. And it has to go back to the library now, so that's that.

      Reply

    27. Not exactly what I thought it would be from the reviews! Might have stuck with me longer if I had read any balzac recently!!

      Reply

    28. A little more information than I needed, but a good "tour" of Balzac's Paris and the food at the time. Made me want to read more of him.

      Reply

    29. It was interesting to read about the French through their food choices, attitudes and habits after the revolution. A certain lens that could be applied to any culture.

      Reply

    30. Nicely written, but it was more an academic discourse aimed at readers familiar with all of Balzac's writings than a book that would engage anyone who loves food and France.

      Reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *