Front Cover
Dodo Press, 2008 - Fiction - 416 pages
Emile Zola (1840-1902), ne a Paris, est un ecrivain, journaliste et homme public francais, considere comme le chef de file du naturalisme. C'est l'un des romanciers francais les plus universellement populaires, l'un des plus publies et traduits au monde, le plus adapte au cinema et a la television. Sa vie et son oeuvre ont ete etudies dans le detail par la science historique. Sur le plan litteraire, il est principalement connu pour Les Rougon-Macquart, monumentale fresque romanesque en vingt volumes depeignant la societe francaise du second empire. Les dernieres annees de sa vie sont marquees par son engagement dans son epoque, lors de l'affaire Dreyfus, dans laquelle il joue un r'le decisif par la publication du plus celebre article de la presse francaise: J'Accuse... (1898).

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About the author (2008)

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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