February 3rd, 2008

Le Pere Goriot

You know what- they should take La Comedie Humaine and mash it all up together and turn it into the longest costume drama-soap opera ever.

By "they" I mean the BBC. Only they won't  because the Brits and the Yanks (who constitute the Beeb's primary overseas market) are such frightful xenophobes. Instead they'll keep on rehashing over-familiar titles by Austen and Dickens, with the occasional foray into minor authors like Gaskell.

Balzac is just crying out to be done on TV. Maybe it happens in France. But we won't import foreign language shows. Perish the thought!

I'm halfway through Le Pere Goriot. It's exciting. I mean here's a novel that's over 150 years old and it's a page-turner. The wonderful Vautrin (boo, hiss) has been trying to win young Rastignac over to the dark side. Will he succeed? Probably not- because Rastignac (who reminds me of d'Artagnan) seems like a basically good egg- but I love it that I don't know. This novel has two plot-lines- one of them a version of Faust and the other a version of King Lear. It's tremendous.