This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for March 19, 2017: Susanna

Mar. 19, 2017: on this day: Balzac’s Les Ressources de Quinola opens

It was on this day in 1842 that Honoré de Balzac‘s play Les Ressources de Quinola (books by this authoropened at the Odéon Theater in Paris. Balzac was a prolific novelist and playwright who drank 50 cups of coffee each day, which he said was like “sparks shooting all the way up to the brain.” He was also a well-known literary celebrity, and for this play, he attempted a publicity stunt that totally failed. He started a rumor that tickets for the play were completely sold out, assuming that people would turn out en masse to see what all the excitement was about. Instead, assuming that they couldn’t get tickets, no one came, and the theater was almost empty for opening night.