Antikkabinettet by Honoré de Balzac

By Honoré de Balzac

"I en av Frankrikes minst betydande prefekturer, mitt i staden, vid ett gathörn, ligger det ett hus; males vad gatan och staden heter måste här förtigas."

Antikkabinettet (1839) är en av de stort klarsynta revolutionsromanerna från artonhundratalet. Den kretsar kring en ung fransk ädling i början av 1820-talet, hans nedgång och fall och spelet kring hans räddning. males romanen är mer än så. Det är inte bara en ung ädling som går mot sitt fall; ett helt samhälle går mot undergång.

Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), en av de största skapare som världslitteraturen har att uppvisa, efterlämnade en enorm produktion, stora delar av den samlade han i jätteverket l. a. Comédie humaine.

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I looked away from her glare, stared down at the coffee in my mug, wondered if the confrontation I had always dreaded had finally come. Even away from his employ, I owed Mac silence. Casual words, innocently spoken, too often cost my fellow agents their lives. Perhaps it was unfair, but my relationship with Dora—with anyone—had to be on 54 MAUREEN TAN my terms. And if those terms lost me a valued friend? I shrugged unhappily at the thought, but so be it. I raised my eyes to Dora’s. “Do you really want me to tell you the carefully constructed and absolutely verifiable lie that was prepared for my acquaintances?

Manners were irrelevant. I drank endless cups of weak tea, choked down a procession of rubbery beef sandwiches, related my experiences. AKA JANE 35 They challenged my information, made hostile accusations, badgered me for details. They questioned me through the day and into the night. I answered until their faces blurred before my eyes, until their words held no meaning. Then I told them to piss off. I left the conference table, staggered to the battered leather sofa at the far end of the room.

I was running my hand through my hair, trying to force the grimy spikes into some sort of order, when the corporal returned. Behind him was Jack Edwards, a bureaucrat from MI6’s London office. I wondered how he had managed to bully his way into the operation. MI-5 was responsible for Britain’s internal security, MI-6 took care of external problems. Usually the only thing our organizations shared was loyalty to the Crown. 36 MAUREEN TAN The corporal and Edwards were followed by Mac. He paused in the doorway, looked at me appraisingly.

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