Bureaucrats

Bureaucrats The Bureaucrats Les Employes stands out in Balzac s immense Human Comedy by concentrating precisely and penetratingly on a distinctive modern institution France s state bureaucracy Rabourdin aided by

  • Title: Bureaucrats
  • Author: Honoré de Balzac Marco Diani Charles Foulkes
  • ISBN: 9780810109872
  • Page: 146
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Bureaucrats Les Employes stands out in Balzac s immense Human Comedy by concentrating precisely and penetratingly on a distinctive modern institution France s state bureaucracy Rabourdin, aided by his unscrupulous wife, attempts to reorganize and streamline the entire system Rabourdin s plan will halve the government s size while doubling its revenue When the pThe Bureaucrats Les Employes stands out in Balzac s immense Human Comedy by concentrating precisely and penetratingly on a distinctive modern institution France s state bureaucracy Rabourdin, aided by his unscrupulous wife, attempts to reorganize and streamline the entire system Rabourdin s plan will halve the government s size while doubling its revenue When the plan is leaked, Rabourdin s rival an utter incompetent gains the overwhelming support of the frightened and desperate body of low ranking functionaries.The novel contains the recognizable themes of Balzac s work obsessive ambition, conspiracy and human pettiness, and a melodramatic struggle between the social good and the evils of folly and stupidity It is also an unusual, dramatized analysis of a developing political institution and its role in shaping social class and mentality.

    One thought on “Bureaucrats”

    1. This is the second time I have read this edition of Honoré de Balzac's Les Employés (translated as The Bureaucrats. France of the 1830s and 1840s -- the period of the so-called "July Monarchy" -- is governed by a "citizen king" who rules through a massive bureaucracy. In this short novel, we are treated to an epic battle between two factions for the post occupied by the deceased La Billardière: Messrs Rabourdin, a talented administrator, and Baudoyer, a well-connected dolt. In The Bureaucrats [...]

    2. "Chapter IV" is a masterpiece of prose portraiture. In style, execution and energy, this transcends genre (19th-century realism, romanticism, modernism, magic realism, etc.) and can most easily and naturally be called great. If Whitman were born earlier, in Paris, and dedicated himself to prose fiction, this is what we would've gotten. Balzac sweeps his lens through the offices of the division and gives us more than fifteen human, familiar-to-life secondary characters sketched in just a few doze [...]

    3. Definitely not on the level of Pere Goriot or Lost Illusions, but a very entertaining tale that's likely to be overlooked even by dedicated fans.Here are some quotes. I hope they give some examples of Balzac's style. 52: a char's biz: "discounting commercial paper" 55: "Isidore was nothing more than a bureaucrat, incapable as bureau chief, but a man of rote molded to routine, who concealed the fact that he was a fat incompetent under a skin so thick that no scalpel could cut deep enough to expos [...]

    4. A strange creation. Part study, part Platonic dialogue, part novel, it all adds up to a fascinating, but uneven, literary artifact.The Bureaucrats is Balzac's study of the French bureaucracy under the reign of Charles X in the 1920s. It begins with about 100 pages of essentially prefatory material that serially introduces the dozens of characters that populate this novel, explaining where they came from, what role they play in the bureaucracy, and what their plans for the future contain. There a [...]

    5. Jocoso:1. que provoca riso, particularmente através da troça2. divertido, engraçado3. trocista, chistosoBalzac é assim. Diz-nos algumas coisas na cara. E, nos tempos antigos de 1830, fala-nos dos funcionários. Desde o mais baixo nível até ao chefe. Uma certeza vos dou: nada mudou. Tudo na mesma. Tanto no século XIX como no século XXI. E, brilhantemente, escreve-se assim:Demonstração da utilidade dos funcionários"Porque se os funcionários apenas servem para escrevinhar e remexer em p [...]

    6. Hmm, this is the first of Balzac's stories that I've found boring. Long swathes of text about the arcane workings of the Paris bureaucracy (some of which I skipped) and he took too long to resolve the only bit that was interesting, the fate of the luckless Rabourdin.

    7. Balzac. Such a good man.Good taste in women also.Quotes:- () both among employees and artists there are far more miscarriages than offsprings, which leads us back to Buffon's sentence: "Genius is patience".- () he thought himself a handsome boy and had all the faults of high society without having the merits.- In front of these weird subjects it is difficult to judge whether the job has made them idiots or they do this job because they were born idiots. Perhaps responsibility must be divided equ [...]

    8. Altro mattone della grande casaPiù ci si addentra nella lettura della Comédie humaine più si rimane incantati dalla grandiosità del progetto balzacchiano, che è sicuramente il più ambizioso tentativo di descrivere letterariamente una società ed un'epoca.In questo episodio i protagonisti, come dice il titolo, sono gli impiegati, dirigenti, funzionari e lavoratori della pubblica amministrazione francese dell'epoca. E' straordinario come Balzac riesca a imbastire una storia che è in grado d [...]

    9. All in all, this was a tough book. I am not in general a huge fan of French literature and I did not have the background to fully appreciate his plays on words and French culture. That being said I found this book had some cutting insight about bureaucracy and the culture of anti-innovation it breeds, as well as a concise understanding of political thought that still dominates US policy discussions. That being said, a lot of the writing was slow, meandering, and plain boring--perhaps reflective [...]

    10. This is not one of my favorite Balzac novels, but it isn't bad. Perhaps it is more impressive in the insight it puts forth about the nature and ascendancy of bureaucracy, but that doesn't interest me much. I'm in it for the literature, not the history/sociology/whatever. Balzac does have a slight tendency in this novel to have his characters be mouthpieces for his thoughts about bureaucracy. That gets old. Still, in what for Balzac is a relatively short novel he brings in a host of delightful an [...]

    11. Cette oeuvre peu connue raconte les luttes pour la place de chef de division dans les bureaux d'un minist��re. Cette lutte, qui bien s��r, ne reste pas sur le terrain des comp��tences finira par la chute de M. Rabourdin, homme de bien. Apr��s une introduction un peu longue introduisant les (nombreux) personnages de cette sc��ne, Balzac sait faire vivre les situations par un style vari�� : comme au th����tre, comme un roman,

    12. Balzac knows how to describe men and humanity and his description of bureaucracy excels in perfectly exposing the pettiness, corruption and idleness of the giant, sprawling institution and the always-expanding number of its clerks. A great, pleasant work to read, if not sickening for the veracity of Balzac's analysis.

    13. Balzac never ceases to amaze me in his descriptive abilities. His character portraits in this work actually brought a tear to my eye - not tears of sadness mind you, but tears of unbridled joy! Hurrah!

    14. I put off reading this novel for years thinking that it would be rather dull reading. Not so. Confusing at times with all the plots and schemes, but not dull.

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