Germinal

ISBN-10: 0140447423
ISBN-13: 9780140447422
Edition: 2004 (Revised)
List price: $11.00 Buy it from $1.98
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Description: The thirteenth novel in mile Zolas great Rougon-Macquart sequence, Germinalexpresses outrage at the exploitation of the many by the few, but also shows humanitys capacity for compassion and hope. Etienne Lantier, an unemployed railway worker, is a  More...

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Book details

List price: $11.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 5/25/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 592
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

The thirteenth novel in mile Zolas great Rougon-Macquart sequence, Germinalexpresses outrage at the exploitation of the many by the few, but also shows humanitys capacity for compassion and hope. Etienne Lantier, an unemployed railway worker, is a clever but uneducated young man with a dangerous temper. Forced to take a back-breaking job at Le Voreux mine when he cannot get other work, he discovers that his fellow miners are ill, hungry, and in debt, unable to feed and clothe their families. When conditions in the mining community deteriorate even further, Lantier finds himself leading a strike that could mean starvation or salvation for all.

Zola was the spokesperson for the naturalist novel in France and the leader of a school that championed the infusion of literature with new scientific theories of human development drawn from Charles Darwin (see Vol. 5) and various social philosophers. The theoretical claims for such an approach, which are considered simplistic today, were outlined by Zola in his Le Roman Experimental (The Experimental Novel, 1880). He was the author of the series of 20 novels called The Rougon-Macquart, in which he attempted to trace scientifically the effects of heredity through five generations of the Rougon and Macquart families. Three of the outstanding volumes are L'Assommoir (1877), a study of alcoholism and the working class; Nana (1880), a story of a prostitute who is a femme fatale; and Germinal (1885), a study of a strike at a coal mine. All gave scope to Zola's gift for portraying crowds in turmoil. Today Zola's novels have been appreciated by critics for their epic scope and their visionary and mythical qualities. He continues to be immensely popular with French readers. His newspaper article "J'Accuse," written in defense of Alfred Dreyfus, launched Zola into the public limelight and made him the political conscience of his country.

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