The Belly of Paris
Part of Emile Zola’s multigenerational Rougon-Macquart saga, The Belly of Paris is the story of Florent Quenu, a wrongly accused man who escapes imprisonment on Devil’s Island. Returning to his native Paris, Florent finds a city he barely recognizes, with its working classes displaced to make way... show more
Part of Emile Zola’s multigenerational Rougon-Macquart saga, The Belly of Paris is the story of Florent Quenu, a wrongly accused man who escapes imprisonment on Devil’s Island. Returning to his native Paris, Florent finds a city he barely recognizes, with its working classes displaced to make way for broad boulevards and bourgeois flats. Living with his brother’s family in the newly rebuilt Les Halles market, Florent is soon caught up in a dangerous maelstrom of food and politics. Amid intrigue among the market’s sellers–the fishmonger, the charcutière, the fruit girl, and the cheese vendor–and the glorious culinary bounty of their labors, we see the dramatic difference between “fat and thin” (the rich and the poor) and how the widening gulf between them strains a city to the breaking point. Translated and with an Introduction by the celebrated historian and food writer Mark Kurlansky, The Belly of Paris offers fascinating perspectives on the French capital during the Second Empire–and, of course, tantalizing descriptions of its sumptuous repasts.
Publish date: May 12th 2009
Publisher: Modern Library
Pages no: 325
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, Food And Drink
, 19th Century
, French Literature
Series: Les Rougon-Macquart (#3)
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 ...
A story of a planned revolution, the setting of this novel holds the key to its magnificence. The story takes part in the newly covered mid-19th century markets of Les Halles, in Paris—the covered stalls, the cellars under the markets, the nearby shops. Zola does an amazing job describing the abunda...
IntroductionTranslator's NoteSelect BibliographyA Chronology of Émile Zola--The Belly of ParisExplanatory Notes