The Unknown Masterpiece
One of Honoré de Balzac’s most celebrated tales, “The Unknown Masterpiece” is the story of a painter who, depending on one’s perspective, is either an abject failure or a transcendental genius?or both. The story, which has served as an inspiration to artists as various as Cézanne, Henry James, Picasso, and New Wave director Jacques Rivette, is, in critic Dore Ashton’s words, a “fable of modern art.”
Published here in a new translation by poet Richard Howard, “The Unknown Masterpiece” appears, as Balzac intended, with “Gambara,” a grotesque and tragic novella about a musician undone by his dreams.
|Author||Honoré de Balzac|
|Publisher||New York Review Books|
|Dimensions||127 mm X 203 mm X 11 mm|
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