Émile Zola: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)

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�mile Zola was the leader of the literary movement known as 'naturalism' and is one of the great figures of the novel. In his monumental Les Rougon-Macquart (1871-93), he explored the social and cultural landscape of the late nineteenth century in ways that scandalized bourgeois society. Zola opened the novel up to a new realm of subjects, including the realities of working-class life, class relations, and questions of gender and sexuality, and his writing embodied a new freedom of expression, with his bold, outspoken voice often inviting controversy.

In this Very Short Introduction, Brian Nelson examines Zola's major themes and narrative art. He illuminates the social and political contexts of Zola's work, and provides readings of five individual novels (The Belly of Paris, L'Assommoir, The Ladies' Paradise, Germinal, and Earth). Zola's naturalist theories, which attempted to align literature with science, helped to generate the stereotypical notion that his fiction was somehow nonfictional. Nelson, however, reveals how the most distinctive elements of Zola's writing go far beyond his theoretical naturalism, giving his novels their unique force. Throughout, he sets Zola's work in context, considering his relations with contemporary painters, his role in the Dreyfus Affair, and his eventual murder.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

About the Author


Brian Nelson is Emeritus Professor of French and Translation Studies at Monash University, Melbourne, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. His publications include The Cambridge Introduction to French Literature, The Cambridge Companion to Zola, Zola and the Bourgeoisie, and translations, for Oxford World's Classics, of Zola's His Excellency Eug�ne Rougon, Earth (with Julie Rose), The Fortune of the Rougons, The Belly of Paris, The Kill, Pot Luck and The Ladies' Paradise. He has also translated Swann in Love by Marcel Proust.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780198837565
ISBN-10: 0198837569
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: October 1st, 2020
Pages: 160
Language: English
Series: Very Short Introductions