All the critics who could not make their reputations by discovering you are hoping to make them by predicting hopefully your approaching impotence, failure and general drying up of natural juices. Not a one will wish you luck or hope that you will keep on writing unless you have political affiliations in which case these will rally around and speak of you and Homer, Balzac, Zola and Link Steffens.
Between Malraux, Balzac, and Montaigne, I choose Montaigne. Montaigne will survive all the others, because the essay, meaning direct communication between the writer and his reader, will outlast the novel, by at least a thousand years.
The only street I like is Rue Honore de Balzac, because 'Balzac' sound so gay, and I love my gays. I might like Parisians more if they named their streets only for gay icons, like Rue Liza Minnelli or Rue Bette Midler or, my favorite, Rue McClanahan.
I'm interested in everything. I don't see why Borges can't work along with Neil Gaiman, or Stephen King can't be mixed with Balzac. It's just storytelling; it's different ways of using codes and images and words and sounds.
My film is actually very critical of the level of French we're using back home. To have an immigrant from an ancient French colony come and do that is a little critical of our education system back home. Balzac is definitely over their heads. It's meant to be funny also because it would be also probably too much for kids in France, but kids in France would know who Balzac is. But, back home at that age, I guarantee you they don't know who he is.
The artist is of no importance. Only what he creates is important, since there is nothing new to be said. Shakespeare, Balzac, Homer have all written about the same things, and if they had lived one thousand or two thousand years longer, the publishers wouldn't have needed anyone since.
My maternal grandmother - she was a compulsive reader. She had only been through five grades of elementary school, but she was a member of the municipal library, and she brought home two or three books a week for me. They could be dime novels or Balzac.
Thackeray and Balzac will make it possible for our descendants to live over again the England and France of to-day. Seen in this light, the novelist has a higher office than merely and amuse his contemporaries.
It is scarcely exaggeration to say that if one is not a little mad about Balzac at twenty, one will never live; and if at forty one can still take Rastignac and Lucien de Rubempre at Balzac's own estimate, one has lived in vain.