Summer Book Club: Honoré de Balzac



Clark Art Institute (225 South Street, Williamstown, MA 01267, Williamstown MA)

Clark staff and fellow book lovers will join in a lively in-person discussions of three different books related to the summer’s exhibitions. Works by Honoré de Balzac, Marino Azuela, and Rebecca Solnit provide new insights into the summer special exhibitions, Rodin in the United States: Confronting the Modern, José Guadalupe Posada: Symbols, Skeletons and Satire, and Tauba Auerbach and Yuji Agematsu: Meander.

The summer book club series begins with Honoré de Balzac, The Girl with the Golden Eyes and Other Stories, translated by Peter Collier. In 1891, Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) received a commission to create a monument to the influential and prolific French writer Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850).

Rodin carefully researched the long-dead author and read his novels. Three novellas from Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine—a series of some ninety finished inter-linked novels and stories illustrating contemporary French life—will provide insight into the author and the sculptor who memorialized him. The novellas include The Girl with the Golden Eyes, The Unknown Masterpiece, and Sarrasine.

Each book club meeting is free, but space is limited, so you’ll need to sign up ahead. The Clark will have all of the novels in English translations in the museum store. Later in the summer, book club meetings will take place on July 28 and August 25.

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