Monday, August 20, 2012

Something Thoughtful

            Earlier this year, I had the privilege of proposing a public toast in Auckland’s Central City Library to Charles Dickens, on the occasion of his 200th birthday.
            This year does not mark as clear an anniversary in relation to Honore de Balzac, but it is 170 years since he wrote his famous preface to La Comedie Humaine, in which he explained the master-plan for his great work.
            For this reason, at 6pm on Wednesday 29 August in Auckland’s Central City Library, I will be proposing a public toast to Honore de Balzac in an illustrated talk. I will be assisted by my good friend Iain Sharp.
            You are most welcome. 


  1. I was unable to attend. How did you as presenter rate the reaction and audience response? More important did you find an audience well informed and well read of Balzac's works? I confess I had not read anything of his in years but was impressed recently by "Cousin Bette" and "The Cure de Tours".

    1. Thank you for your concern, whoever you may be. I think it went very well - a capacity audience for the venue (about 70 people in the central library's main meetings venue), a warm response and intelligent questions at the end. I was particularly touched that a young French couple - tourists in NZ - were part of the audience and told me at the end that it encouraged them to consider looking once again at book they hadn't read since high school.