Therese Raquin (Penguin Classics)

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9780140441208: Therese Raquin (Penguin Classics)

Thérèse Raquin is a clinically observed, sinister tale of adultery and murder among the lower classes in nineteenth-century Paris. Zola's dispassionate dissection of the motivations of his characters, mere `human beasts' who kill in order to satisfy their lust, is much more than an atmospheric Second Empire period-piece. Many readers were scandalized by an approach to character-drawing which seemed to undermine not only the moral values of a deeply conservative society, but also the whole code of psychological description on which the realist novel was based. Together with the important `Preface to the Second Edition' in which Zola defended himself against charges of immorality, Thérèse Raquin stands as a key early manifesto of the French Naturalist movement, of which Zola was the founding father. Even today, this novel has lost none of its power to shock.

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From the Back Cover:

'Therese Raquin' is a clinically observed, sinister tale of adultery and murder among the lower orders in nineteenth-century Paris. Zola's dispassionate dissection of the motivations of his characters, mere 'human beasts' who kill in order to satisfy their lust, is much more than an atmospheric Second Empire period-piece. 'Therese Raquin' stands as a key early manifesto of the French Naturalist movement, of which Zola was the founding father. Even today, this novel has lost none of its power to shock.

About the Author:

?mile Zola was a French writer who is recognized as an exemplar of literary naturalism and for his contributions to the development of theatrical naturalism. Zola s best-known literary works include the twenty-volume Les Rougon-Macquart, an epic work that examined the influences of violence, alcohol and prostitution on French society through the experiences of two families, the Rougons and the Macquarts. Other remarkable works by Zola include Contes ? Ninon, Les Myst?res de Marseille, and Th?r?se Raquin.

In addition to his literary contributions, Zola played a key role in the Dreyfus Affair of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. His newspaper article J Accuse accused the highest levels of the French military and government of obstruction of justice and anti-semitism, for which he was convicted of libel in 1898. After a brief period of exile in England, Zola returned to France where he died in 1902. ?mile Zola is buried in the Panth?on alongside other esteemed literary figures Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas.

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Zola, Emile
Published by Penguin Classics (1962)
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