Emile Zola

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Émile Zola, Impressionism, Musée d'Orsay
  • Pages : 2 (309 words )
  • Download(s) : 15
  • Published : August 13, 2014
Open Document
Text Preview
Émile Zola

Émile Zola was born on April 2, 1840 in Paris. He spent most of his childhood in

southern France. He went to school in Lycee Saint-Louis in Paris and failed the Baccalaureate

exam. In 1863 Zola became unemployed for two years. In 1865 he was hired as a clerk to work

in L.-C.-F Hachette where he then worked in advertising. His first novel was La Confession de

Claude (Claude’s Confession). He then went on to journalism. He continued to write many

works such as Therese Raquin(1867), Madeleine Ferat (1868), La Fortune des Rougon

(Beginning in 1870), Fécondité (1899) Vérité (1903) and Justice (which remained incomplete).

He defended the art of Cézane, Manet, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Pierre-Auguste

Renoir in newspaper articles. However, his novel L'Oeuvre (1886; The Masterpiece) depicts the

life of a ingenious painter who is unable to realize his potential and hangs himself in front of his

painting. This novel ruined the friendships he had with these artist, especially Cézanne who

chose to see the novel as disguised commentary against his own talent. In 1870 Zola married

Gabrielle-Alexandrine Meley. He also had an affair of fifteen years to a woman named Jeanne

Rozerot, who bore him his only children. In 1898, during the time of the Dreyfus Affair, Zola

published a bold denunciation of the French general staff in J'accuse (I accuse). Zola was

prosecuted for libel and found guilty. After his appeal in 1899,

Zola fled to England until he found out the case would be reopened bring him back to France.

In 1902, Zola died unexpectedly by coal gas asphyxiation from a blocked chimney flue. The

event was determined to be a tragic accident; However, there are those who believe that anti-

Dreyfusards arranged his chimney to be blocked. Zola was a man of truth and a champion of the

poor. His works have changed the course of French history.
tracking img