Emile Zola

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  • Topic: Reality, Émile Zola, Les Rougon-Macquart
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  • Published : June 8, 2008
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Emile Zola

Emile Zola was born in Paris in 1840. From the day he was born he has changed the way people view life in many ways such as through plays and novels. Zola’s childhood, which was full of poverty, shaped his adulthood class dramatically into a well respected writer.

During his formative years, Zola wrote several short stories and essays, 4 plays and 3 novels. Among his early books was CONTES Á NINON, which was published in 1864. When his sordid autobiographical novel LA CONFESSION DE CLAUDE (1865) was published and attracted the attention of the police and Zola was fired from his job at Hachette. Zola was convicted of libel and after his internationally covered trial he was sentenced to a year long jail term but he fled to England. He returned to France when the charge against him was dismissed.

Among Zola's most important works is his famous Rougon-Macquart cycle which included such novels as L'ASSOMMOIR (1877), about the suffering of the Parisian working-class, NANA (1880), dealing with prostitution, and GERMINAL (1885), depicting the mining industry. After his first major novel, THÉRÈSE RAQUIN (1867), Zola started the long series called Les Rougon Macquart, the natural and social history of a family under the Second Empire. "I want to portray, at the outset of a century of liberty and truth, a family that cannot restrain itself in its rush to possess all the good things that progress is making available and is derailed by its own momentum, the fatal convulsions that accompany the birth of a new world" (Kirjasto). At first the plan was limited to 10 books, but eventually the series contained 20 volumes, ranging in subject from the world of peasants and workers to the imperial court.

Emilie Zola was the main spokesperson for the theatre movement known as Naturalism. Naturalism is a more extreme version of realism which is the depiction of subjects as they appear in everyday life, without embellishment or interpretation. Naturalism started...
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