Germinal

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Oxford University Press, UK, Jun 18, 1998 - Fiction - 538 pages
17 Reviews
Zola's masterpiece of working life, Germinal (1885), exposes the inhuman conditions of miners in northern France in the 1860s. By Zola's death in 1902 it had come to symbolize the call for freedom from oppression so forcefully that the crowd which gathered at his State funeral chanted `Germinal! Germinal!' The central figure, Etienne Lantier, is an outsider who enters the community and eventually leads his fellow-miners in a strike protesting against pay-cuts - a strike which becomes a losing battle against starvation, repression, and sabotage. Yet despite all the violence and disillusion which rock the mining community to its foundations, Lantier retains his belief in the ultimate germination of a new society, leading to a better world. Germinal is a dramatic novel of working life and everyday relationships, but it is also a complex novel of ideas, given fresh vigour and power in this new translation. It is the thirteenth book in the Rougon-Macquart cycle, which celebrates its centenary in October 1993 with a new film version of the novel, starring G--eacute--;rard Depardieu. - ;Zola's masterpiece of working life, Germinal (1885), exposes the inhuman conditions of miners in northern France in the 1860s. By Zola's death in 1902 it had come to symbolise the call for freedom from oppression so forcefully that the crowd which gathered at his State funeral chanted 'Germinal! Germinal!'. The central figure, Etienne Lantier, is an outsider who enters the community and eventually leads his fellow-miners in a strike protesting against pay-cuts - a strike which becomes a losing battle against starvation, repression, and sabotage. Yet despite all the violence and disillusion which rock the mining community to its foundations, Lantier retains his belief in the ultimate germination of a new society, leading to a better world. Germinal is a dramatic novel of working life and everyday relationships, but it is also a complex novel of ideas, given fresh vigour and power in this new translation. -

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User Review  - jmoncton - LibraryThing

If there was ever a book that demonstrates the need for unions to prevent companies from oppressing the masses, then this is it. This book describes in dark, gruesome detail the lives of coalminers in ... Read full review

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User Review  - roblong - LibraryThing

In 19th century France, the miners of Village Two Hundred and Forty go on strike after the company cuts their wages below subsistence level. The standoff becomes an outright war against their ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Peter Collier is at University of Cambridge. Robert Lethbridge is at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

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