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Émile Zola
Émile François Zola (Paris, France, April 2, 1840 – Paris, France, September 29, 1902) was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political... show more
Émile François Zola (Paris, France, April 2, 1840 – Paris, France, September 29, 1902) was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'accuse.

More than half of Zola's novels were part of this set of 20 collectively known as Les Rougon-Macquart. Unlike Balzac, who in the midst of his literary career resynthesized his work into La Comédie Humaine, Zola from the start at the age of 28 had thought of the complete layout of the series. A panoramic account of France's Second Empire, the series traces the "environmental" influences of violence, alcohol and prostitution which became more prevalent during the second wave of the Industrial Revolution. It examines, over five generations and a period of time spanning principally from 1851 to 1871, two branches of a family: the respectable (that is, legitimate) Rougons and the disreputable (illegitimate) Macquarts. In all, the 20 novels contain over 300 major characters, who descend from the two family lines of the Rougons and Macquarts, and who are related.
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Birth date: 1840-04-02
Died: 1902-09-29
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My two cents
My two cents rated it 8 months ago
Les Halles in Paris—do you know it? Unless you’re into a bit of French history, you may not. It doesn’t exist anymore, demolished in 1969/70, its centennial year. It was a huge market, much of it housed in at least ten pavilions of glass and iron designed by Victor Baltard. Plus a big domed central ...
Gatta ci cova
Gatta ci cova rated it 1 year ago
“Io voglio spiegare come una famiglia, un piccolo gruppo di persone, si comporta in una società, sviluppandosi per dar vita a dieci, a venti individui che, a prima vista, sembrano profondamente diversi, ma che, analizzati, si rivelano intimamente connessi gli uni agli altri. Come in fisica la gravit...
Lillelara
Lillelara rated it 1 year ago
Reading Zola´s The Ladies´ Paradise brought me back to this piece of non-fiction by Zola. I have wanted to read this years ago, after having read An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris and I have never gotten round to it until now. J´Accuse is the famous open letter to the french president regardin...
Quite the Wondering Selection
Quite the Wondering Selection rated it 2 years ago
Pretty good read. So powerful and page turning, and so much more disturbing than Grapes of Wrath and other such books. Good insight into the life of miners in pre-unionized blue collar jobs. Such terrible working and living conditions, and amazing to see how long they could make it when they did ...
Edward
Edward rated it 2 years ago
IntroductionTranslators' NoteSelect BibliographyA Chronology of Émile Zola--EarthExplanatory Notes
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