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: Illusions perdues was written by the French writer HonorÃ© de Balzac between 1837 and 1843 and it consists of three parts, starting in provincial France, thereafter moving to Paris, and finally returning to the provinces. It resembles another of Balzacâs greatest novels, The Black Sheep, in that it is set partly in Paris and partly in the provinces. It is, however, unique among the novels and short stories of The Human Comedy by virtue of the even-handedness with which it treats both geographical dimensions of French social life. Although Lost Illusions is a commentary upon the contemporary world, Balzac is tantalizingly vague in his delineation of the historico-political background. His delineation of the broader social background is far more precise. Balzac was one of the first novelists to employ the technique of "in medias res" and the book is remarkable for its innumerable changes of tempo. Everywhere the same laws of human behaviour apply. A personâs downfall may come from the rapier thrust of the journalist or from the slowly strangling machinations of the law.