portrait of Honore de Balzac
Daguerreotype by Louis-Auguste Bisson (1842)

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Quotes of the Day for 20 May 2002 – Honoré de Balzac

The prolific French novelist Honoré de Balzac was born at Tours, France on this day in 1799. His "La Comédie humaine" (The Human Comedy), which was meant to stand beside Dante's The Divine Comedy, ended up spanning ninety novels and novellas and included over 2,000 characters. And that was after a slow start. After college he worked at the law, but by age 20 had decided to write. By age 30 he had failed at two business ventures, and would stay in debt the rest of his life, despite leaving so much material to draw quotes from.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies.

Behind every great fortune there is a crime.

When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes; when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even our virtues.

Vocations which we wanted to pursue, and didn't, bleed, like colors, on the whole of our existence.

In diving to the bottom of pleasure we bring up more gravel than pearls.
     - All today's quotes are by Honoré de Balzac, 1799 - 1850

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