Beast Within

ISBN-10: 0140449639
ISBN-13: 9780140449631
Edition: 2007 (Revised)
List price: $15.00 Buy it from $5.49
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Description: A superb new translation of one of the most intense and explicit works of the nineteenth-century French master mile Zola considered The Beast Withinalso known as La Bte Humaineto be his most finely worked novel. This new translation finally captures  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 1/29/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 464
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.330
Language: English

A superb new translation of one of the most intense and explicit works of the nineteenth-century French master mile Zola considered The Beast Withinalso known as La Bte Humaineto be his most finely worked novel. This new translation finally captures his fast-paced yet deliberately dispassionate style. Set at the end of the Second Empire, when French society seemed to be hurtling into the future like the new railways and locomotives it was building, The Beast Withinis at once a tale of murder, passion, and possession and a compassionate study of individuals derailed by the burden of inherited evil. In it, Zola expresses the hope that human nature evolves through education but warns that the beast within continues to lurk beneath the veneer of technological progress.

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.

Gustave Flaubert (18211880), the younger son of a provincial doctor, briefly studied law before devoting himself to writing, with limited success during his lifetime. After the publication of Madame Bovaryin 1857, he was prosecuted for offending public morals. Geoffrey Wall is author of the critically acclaimed Flaubert: A Life and translated Madame Bovary for Penguin Classics. Roger Whitehouse has taught at the Sorbonne and at Bolton Institute, where he is a research fellow.

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