Dualistic Patterns in La Peau de chagrin


La Peau de chagrin is structured initially around the fundamental antinomy of possession and contemplation, of action and thought – represented by the magic skin itself – and is apparently resolved in dialectical fashion. This study centers on Raphaël de Valentin's chance visit to the fantastic antique shop at the beginning of the novel. This well-known episode, with its apparently random imagery, its proliferation of meaningless cultural debris, actually orchestrates, in a highly structured presentation, the antithetical and dialectical concerns of Balzac's "philosophical study." (SH)

Haig, Stirling
Release Year:
1973 Summer; 1(4): 211-18.