By Honoré de Balzac
« Un lac est plein d’amour ! » s’écrie Rosalie en ouvrant sa fenêtre sur « l. a. belle nappe d’eau » des Rouxey. « Ils se sont aimés devant des lacs ! » Ils, c’est le couple d’amants que forment Albert, jeune avocat parisien exilé à Besançon, et Francesca, une belle duchesse italienne. Rosalie s’est juré de les désunir. Albert Savarus est une histoire d’amour et de fureur, mais comme toujours chez Balzac, los angeles ardour s’inscrit dans le réel : le mariage bute sur los angeles différence de classe et de fortune, les belles promesses ne résistent pas à l’épreuve du temps, le romantisme se fracasse sur l. a. politique. Cruelle désillusion pour qui voulait posséder l’absolu ! N’est-ce pas ce que Balzac pressent pour lui-même en 1842, un des moments les plus amers de sa vie ? En créant l’émouvant personnage d’Albert, son double, miné par l’attente et l’usure du désir, il espère exorciser un destin redouté. Préface, notes et file de Jacqueline Milhit.
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Wharton舗s use of an observer eases the reader舗s entry into Ethan舗s story. In the opening of the novel the narrator recaptures his first arresting glimpse of Wharton舗s central character, when he had been struck by Frome舗s physiognomy and bearing. Harmon Gow, who had driven the stage between Starkfield and other towns in the region舗s pre-trolley days, provides further background on Frome. From Gow the narrator learns of Ethan舗s age and of his reluctance to escape Starkfield because of obligations to care for his failing parents.
As already noted, features of the landscape offer a means of reading human character; but Wharton extends her interpretation of Frome舗s physical bearing, including 舠his brown seamed profile舡 (p. 13), to reflect hidden energies and concealed emotions. Although critics have suggested that Wharton overdoes her descriptions of inscrutable New England faces, this pictorializing of physical features is essential to the unfolding of her dramatic story, especially with regard to her female characters. Thus Mattie舗s face, when lifted in Ethan舗s direction, 舠looked like a window that has caught the sunset舡 (p.
As regards settings, she developed provincial seacoast locales, poverty-stricken farms, and the pseudo-sophisticated culture of university towns. Whatever the range of setting and characterization, the primary characteristics that seem to dominate Ethan Frome (1911) and Summer (the book she called her 舠hot Ethan舡) are isolation, remoteness, and barrenness. 舡 In Newport she devoted considerable time to remodeling the cottage and grounds of her family estate, activities reflecting an interest in house design and landscape architecture developed in the early years of her marriage.