A Lion for Love: A Critical Biography of Stendhal


Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
6.08 X 0.88 X 9.25 inches | 1.16 pounds
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About the Author

Robert Alter's translation of the Hebrew Bible, the magnificent capstone to a lifetime of distinguished scholarly work, has won the PEN Center Literary Award for Translation. His immense achievements in scholarship ranging from the eighteenth-century European novel to contemporary Hebrew and American literature earned Alter the Robert Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Los Angeles Times. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Alter is the Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.
Honore de Balzac (1799-1850), born in Tours, ranks among the great masters of the novel. In 1816, he began studying law at the Sorbonne, but after receiving his license in 1819 he decided to abandon it for literature. By the time of his death, he had written over one hundred novels, novellas, and plays, many of them part of his greatest work, La Comedie humaine -- a reproduction of the French society of his time, picturing in precise detail more than 2,000 characters from every class and every profession.


[An] excellent and balanced biography.--Anita Brookner "Times Literary Supplement "
This excellent short biography...brings out both the charms and the complexities of Stendhal. The tone of the book is discreetly admiring, but ironic enough when need be to remind one of the saving and consummate irony of its subject.--John Sturrock "New York Times Book Review "
A Lion for Love is a splendid example of a rare and difficult critical genre: a biography which chronicles and interprets development of a character of complex imaginative genius, and at the same time introduces a lucid critical reading of his works.--Julia Epstein "Washington Post Book World "
The publication of A Lion for Love, by Robert Alter with the collaboration of his wife, Carol Cosman, supplies at last a fine, perceptive, concise critical biography of Stendhal, written with a clarity and good sense worthy of its subject... Alter and Cosman...wear their erudition with becoming lightness.--John Simon "New Leader "
A Lion for Love is a model of critical biography--a fascinating biography of a fascinating man.--Larry McMurty "Washington Star "