Complete summary of Honoré Balzac’s Sarrasine. novella begins, the narrator is attending an evening reception given by Count and Countess de Lanty. Sarrasine The narrator is out of sight in a window seat at a ball. As he contemplates the garden he hears bits and pieces of various. Honoré de Balzac (–) may be best known as a novelist, yet he was also a prolific and skilled writer of short stories and novellas.

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His descriptions are splendid and the story was interesting although at first I wasn’t following and felt a bit lost When the narrator started telling the story of Sarrasine he got me.

Whence have you come? Then one evening he is invited to see Zambinella, but she still repels his advances. Because Zambinella has the voice of a woman Sarrasine assumes La Zambinella is a woman.

Giacomo though Way too much of a backstory man! At the studio, Sarrasine demands the truth. He kidnaps her one night after seeing her performing at the private party given by Cardinal Cigonari – she was dressed there as a man and he is outraged by insinuations that the invitation to this party is a joke against him.

Retrieved from ” https: It’s completely sumptuous and an entirely immersing sarrzsine experience. Madame de Rochefide is repelled by the story but the narrator assures her that civilisation has moved on and that ‘there are none of those wretched creatures now.


The focus on casual objectification and sexual identity makes it feel in some ways powerfully modern — and you’ve got to be impressed at how many Baozac topics Balzac manages to cover in just 35 pages of text. If you were a man or a woman, I would kill you!

Sarrasine by Honoré de Balzac

Sarrasine bravely carries La Zambinella to a private boudoir. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The narrator promises to tell Mme de Rochefide the story of the painting and the old man. That evening a fellow artist brings Sarrasine an invitation to a private concert and tells him La Zambinella will be performing.

The narrator then reveals that the old man around the household is Zambinella, Marianina’s maternal great uncle. January 2, at Elle leva les yeux au ciel. When he learns that Zambinella is a castrato, he tries to kill Zambinella and is himself killed instead.

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Sarrasine is charmed by her delicacy. Vous voulez que je ne sois honpr moi. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

La famille Lanty a beaucoup d’argent. He shows up at every performance and his love becomes known to the members of the Opera.

He is dark skinned like a Spaniard, dull as hhonor banker, and compared to a politician because he is cold and reserved. Ses jambes tremblantes refusaient presque de le soutenir. When Sarrasine se learns Zambinella is a castrato, he first denies the possibility, then tries to kill La Zambinella, upon which he is himself killed. Mais non, tu vivras. I know with some I like them much better on the reread.


Zambinella revealed to him those exquisite proportions of the female being that are so passionately desired, combined together in a really living and subtle way, and of which a sculptor is, at the same time, the severest and most impassioned judge.

Probably a castrato, as Balzac implies with this exchange: The mouth was expressive, the eyes full of love, and the complexion of a dazzling whiteness. Sarrasine sits beside La Zambinella at supper and finds her timid and modest toward him. From that moment, he was no longer the owner of his thoughts. Jan 04, Lisa rated it liked it Recommended to Lisa by: As lovers, neglected or abandoned. It’s completely sumptuous and an I just finished this in French and it may now be in my top Aimeriez-vous mieux rentrer chez vous?

Sarrasine is part of its “Scenes de la vie parisienne”. Sarrasine creates a statue of the “female” La Zambinella, only to discover later that his subject wasn’t a real “woman” as Sarrasine—that “a real woman is born from the statue”. Ever heard of Structuralism?

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