Pot-Bouille

Front Cover
Le livre de poche, 1984 - Fiction - 510 pages
Zola est entré partout, chez les ouvriers et chez les bourgeois. Chez les premiers, selon lui, tout est visible. La misère comme le plaisir saute aux yeux. Chez les seconds tout est caché. Ils clament : " Nous sommes l'honneur, la morale, la famille ". Faux, répond Zola, vous êtes le mensonge de tout cela. Votre pot-bouille est la marmite où mijotent toutes les pourritures de la famille. Octave Mouret, le futur patron qui révolutionnera le commerce en créant Au Bonheur des Dames, arrive de province et loue une chambre dans un immeuble de la rue de Choiseul. Beau et enjoué, il séduit une femme par étage, découvrant ainsi les secrets de chaque famille. Ce dixième volume des Rougon-Macquart, retraçant la vie sous le Second Empire, c'est ici la bourgeoisie côté rue et côté cour, avec ses soucis de filles à marier, de rang à tenir ou à gagner, coûte que coûte. Les caricatures de Zola sont cruelles mais elles sont vraies.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (1984)

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.