The following day, moreover, her anxiety was even greater still, being increased by her inability to obtain any definite tidings, for the Prussians who were guarding the roads in the vicinity refused to answer questions, as much from reasons of policy as because they knew but very little themselves.
In Zola intervened in the Dreyfus Affair—that of a Jewish French army officer, Alfred Dreyfuswhose wrongful conviction for treason in sparked a year controversy that deeply divided French society.
At an early stage in the proceedings Zola had decided rightly that Dreyfus was innocent.
He charged various high-ranking military officers and, indeed, the War Office itself of concealing the truth in the wrongful conviction of Dreyfus for espionage.
Zola was prosecuted for libel and found guilty. In Julywhen his appeal appeared certain to fail, he fled to England. He returned to France the following June when he learned that the Dreyfus case was to be reopened with a possible reversal of the original verdict.
However, the titles of the novels in the latter series reveal the values that underlay his entire life and work: Zola died unexpectedly in Septemberthe victim of coal gas asphyxiation resulting from a blocked chimney flue. Officially, the event was determined to be a tragic accident, but there were—and still are—those who believe that fanatical anti-Dreyfusards arranged to have the chimney blocked.
At the time of his death, Zola was recognized not only as one of the greatest novelists in Europe but also as a man of action—a defender of truth and justicea champion of the poor and the persecuted.
At the same time, the weight of historical moment is shown by limiting the action of the novels to one historical period, that of the Second Empire —70which was the reign of Napoleon IIIthe nephew and pale imitation of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Finally, Zola examines the impact of environment by varying the social, economic, and professional milieu in which each novel takes place. Le Ventre de Paris ; The Belly of Paris examines the structure of the Halles, the vast central market-place of Paris, and its influence on the lives of its workers.
The 10 steel pavilions that make up the market are compared alternately to a machine, a palace, and an entire city, thereby situating the market within a broader social framework.
In La Terre ; Earth Zola breaks with the tradition of rustic, pastoral depictions of peasant life to show what he considered to be the sordid lust for land among the French peasantry.
Zola superimposes the viewpoints of numerous characters to capture the vividness of individual vision while at the same time obtaining an overall strategic sense of the war. Finally, in Le Docteur Pascal he uses the main character, the doctor Pascal Rougon, armed with a genealogical tree of the Rougon-Macquart family published with the novel, to expound the theories of heredity underlying the entire series.
The Rougon-Macquart series thus constitutes a fictional family saga while providing a valuable sociological document of the events, institutions, and ideas that marked the rise of modern industrialism and the cultural changes it entailed.Get this from a library!
Biography of a war novel; Zola's La debacle. [Helen Beatrice La Rue Rufener]. As a naturalist, Zola also gave detailed descriptions of urban and rural settings, and different types of businesses.
Le Ventre de Paris, for example, has a detailed .
Telling of the march of the 7th Corps from Reims to Sedan in the Ardennes, the disastrous battle there and the burning of Paris, Zola’s descriptions of daily life .
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Zolas La Dbcle, first planned in , was the penultimate chapter in Les Rougon-Macquart. Warfare was something Zola had always meant to give full play in Les Rougon-Macquart, and his scheme had provided for a novel that will have the military world as its framework an episode in Napoleon IIIs Italian campaign.
But after [ ]. All the long, long day of the battle Silvine, up on Remilly hill, where Father Fouchard’s little farm was situated, but her heart and soul absent with Honore amid the dangers of the conflict, never once took her eyes from off Sedan, where the guns were roaring.