Th�r�se Raquin

ISBN-10: 2070418006
ISBN-13: 9782070418008
Edition: N/A
Authors: �mile Zola
List price: $9.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: A gothic tale of murder and adultery, Therese Raquin was denounced as pornography on its publication in 1867. "Putrid literature" was how Louis Ulbach described the novel in a contemporary review. Zola defended himself against these attacks in his  More...

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Book details

List price: $9.95
Publisher: Gallimard, Editions
Binding: Paperback
Weight: 0.286

A gothic tale of murder and adultery, Therese Raquin was denounced as pornography on its publication in 1867. "Putrid literature" was how Louis Ulbach described the novel in a contemporary review. Zola defended himself against these attacks in his preface to the second edition, in which he outlined his aim to produce a new, "scientific" form of realism. The novel marks a crucial step in Zola's development and is a major early work of Naturalism.In his introduction to Therese Raquin, Brian Nelson places the novel in its cultural, intellectual and artistic contexts, and compares Zola's scientific aims with his actual practice in this work. The scientific status of Naturalist fiction remains problematic; in the final analysis it is influenced by literary models and conventions. Zola's powerful mythopoeic imagination does much to counteract the mechanistic view of humanity the novel was intended to embody. The myth of the fall is, indeed, fundamental to Zola's Naturalistic vision.

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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