Nana

ISBN-10: 0199538697
ISBN-13: 9780199538690
Edition: 2009
List price: $10.95 Buy it from $3.94
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Description: Nana opens in 1867, the year of the World Fair, when Paris, thronged by a cosmopolitan élite, was la Ville Lumière, a perfect victim for Zola's scathing denunciation of hypocrisy and fin-de-siècle moral corruption. The fate of Nana, the Helen of  More...

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Book details

List price: $10.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/28/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 464
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

Nana opens in 1867, the year of the World Fair, when Paris, thronged by a cosmopolitan élite, was la Ville Lumière, a perfect victim for Zola's scathing denunciation of hypocrisy and fin-de-siècle moral corruption. The fate of Nana, the Helen of Troy of the Second Empire, and daughter of the laundress in L'Assommoir, reduced Flaubert to almost inarticulate gasps of admiration: `Chapter 14, unsurpassable! ... Yes! ... Christ Almighty!... Incomparable ... Straight out of Babylon!' Boulevard society is presented with painstaking attention to detail, and Zola's documentation of the contemporary theatrical scene comes directly from his own experience - it was his own failure as a playwright which sent him back to novel-writing and Nana itself.novel-writing and Nana itself. This new translation is an accurate and stylish rendering of Zola's original, which was first published in 1880.

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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