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    Originally published in 1830, here we have perhaps Balzacs best short work, named simply Gobseck. Gobseck is a marvelous sketch of a money-lender and miser in Paris during the early part of the nineteenth century who is a font of psychological insight when it comes to humankinds greed, vanity and other dark motives. His philosophy of never helping anyone because adversity is the greatest of all teachers was well known. He also believed that all the peoples of the world were really very much alike because money was the greatest common denominator. It gives us Gobsecks history through the eyes of Derville who later becomes the attorney for Colonel Chabert. Episodic in nature, the story moves rapidly, touching not only on Gobseck but on other characters of The Human Comedy, a collection of over 90 novels and stories in which Balzac attempts to depict all the myriad aspects of French society.

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