du Plessis, Eric H.

Eric H. du Plessis is Professor of French Studies at Radford University. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia.

An English Translation of Honoré de Balzac's Novel Wann-Chlore
2005 0-7734-6062-4
The early work of a once-struggling author who subsequently became a major contributor to world literature represents a fascinating incursion into the making of a literary genius. Balzac persisted in his quest for literary fame. In 1825, at the age of 26, he placed all his hopes in Wann-Chlore, his most elaborate novel to date, which he felt certain would soon consecrate him as a major writer in France. Unfortunately, Wann-Chlore failed to impress Parisian critics. Utterly dejected, Balzac abandoned literature to become instead an obscure and unsuccessful publisher. Seven years later, riddled with debts, Balzac returned to writing as a desperate measure to fend off creditors. This time, success was immediate. Recently reprinted by two major publishing houses in Paris and rediscovered by French readers, Wann-Chlore is now made available to American scholars and general readers in this first-ever English translation of the original 1825 edition.

Life of a Teenage Schoolboy in Paris During the 1960s. A Personal Memoir
2009 0-7734-4750-4
Introduces the American reader to an exotic depiction of France in the 1960’s. As a unique social and historical document, it constitutes an original contribution to the field of comparative cultural studies. This book contains twelve black and white photographs.

Nineteenth-Century French Novel. A Reader's Path to Classic Fiction
2013 0-7734-4498-X
Provides in-depth evaluations of forty-five French novels chosen as the most representative of nineteenth-century classic fiction. Selected titles are given succinct plot overviews followed by a thorough textural analysis. The evaluations provide a social, historical and literary context in order to capture both the readers’ interest and their curiosity in order to entice them to discover these classic novels in their entirety.

The Last Fay
1996 0-7734-8861-8
Balzac's 1824 novel The Last Fay marks an important turn in his literary career. For the first time, the features which today distinguish Balzac's genius can be seen taking form in the pages of this adult fairy tale. Distancing himself from the second-rate productions of his earlier years, Balzac crafted this work which, one year before his death, he still acknowledged as his first true novel. Laced with much irony and a precocious social commentary, The Last Fay represents a remarkable example among the author's juvenilia, allowing the reader to peer into the making of Balzac's literary style.