Louis Lambert is a French novel by Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850),
included in the Études philosophiques section of his novel sequence La
Comédie humaine. Set mostly in a school at Vendôme, it examines the
life and theories of a boy genius fascinated by the Swedish philosopher
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). Balzac wrote Louis Lambert during the
summer of 1832 while he was staying with friends at the Château de
Saché. The novel contains a minimal plot, focusing mostly on the
metaphysical ideas of its boy-genius protagonist and his only friend
(eventually revealed to be Balzac himself). Although it is not a
significant example of the realist style for which Balzac became
famous, the novel provides insight into the author's own childhood.
Specific details and events from the author's life – including
punishment from teachers and social ostracism – suggest a fictionalized
autobiography. Critics panned the novel, but Balzac believed that it
provided an important look at philosophy, especially metaphysics. As he
developed the scheme for La Comédie humaine, he placed Louis Lambert in
the Études philosophiques section, and later returned to the same
themes in his novel Séraphîta, about an androgynous angelic creature.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Béla I the Champion was crowned king of Hungary.
Over 200 Spanish settlers led by conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar
founded what is now Quito, Ecuador.
Slavery in the United States was officially abolished when the
Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.
Aged 14, swimmer Sandra Morgan became the youngest Australian to win an
Olympic gold medal.
The Australian Capital Territory was granted self-government.
Members of the People's Armed Police shot and killed several people in
Dongzhou, Guangdong, China, who were protesting government plans to
build a new power plant.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. Extravagantly or excessively sentimental; self-pitying.
2. Affectionate or sentimental in an effusive, tearful, or foolish
manner, such as from drunkenness
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Is Freedom only a Will-o'-the-wisp
To cheat a poet's eye?
Be it phantom or fact, it's a noble cause
which to sing and to die!
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