Creativity Honore de Balzac developed under the influence of French and English literary traditions. In addition, he was influenced by the works of mystic philosophers, in particular, the Swedish Theosophist E. Swedenborg.
Such a circle of reading formed the basis for the synthesis of romantic and realistic tendencies in Balzac’s prose. The idea of the collection of works within the framework of a single set of “Human Comedy” was inspired by romantic ideas about the artist-creator of his own artistic world and a realistic orientation to the broadest and fullest coverage of reality.
The author explained the general idea of the epic, “to embrace the whole history of modern mores in all details of life, in all strata of society,” in the Preface to the Human Comedy: “Describing human vices and virtues, recording the most interesting manifestations of passions, depicting characters, choosing the most important events in the life of the Society, creating types by combining the traits of individual homogeneous characters, I may be able to write a story that has been ignored by an infinite number of scientists – centuries. Having gained patience and courage, I will try in this way to write a long-conceived book about France of the nineteenth century… I will have to disclose the reasons or one common cause of the phenomena described, to realize which hidden law manages huge clusters of people, passions and events.