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'LA FAUTE DE L'ABBE MOURET' was, with respect to the date of publication, the fourth volume of M. Zola's 'Rougon-Macquart' series; but in the amended and final scheme of that great literary undertaking, it occupies the ninth place. It proceeds from the sixth volume of the series, 'The Conquest of Plassans;' which is followed by the two works that deal with the career of Octave Mouret, Abbe Serge Mouret's elder brother. In 'The Conquest of Plassans,' Serge and his half-witted sister, Desiree, are seen in childhood at their home in Plassans, which is wrecked by the doings of a certain Abbe Faujas and his relatives. Serge Mouret grows up, is called by an instinctive vocation to the priesthood, and becomes parish priest of Les Artaud, a well-nigh pagan hamlet in one of those bare, burning stretches of country with which Provence abounds. And here it is that 'La Faute de l'Abbe Mouret' opens in the old ruinous church, perched upon a hillock in full view of the squalid village, the arid fields, and the great belts of rock which shut in the landscape all around.
There are two elements in this remarkable story, which, from the standpoint of literary style, has never been excelled by anything that M. Zola has since written; and one may glance at it therefore from two points of view. Taking it under its sociological and religious aspect, it will be found to be an indirect indictment of the celibacy of the priesthood; that celibacy, contrary to Nature's fundamental law, which assuredly has largely influenced the destinies of the Roman Catholic Church. To that celibacy, and to all the evils that have sprang from it, may be ascribed much of the irreligion current in France to-day. The periodical reports on criminality issued by the French Ministers of Justice since the foundation of the Republic in 1871, supply materials for a most formidable indictment of that vow of perpetual chastity which Rome exacts from her clergy. Nowadays it is undoubtedly too late for Rome to go back upon that vow and thereby transform the whole of her sacerdotal organisation; but, perhaps, had she done so in past times, before the spirit of inquiry and free examination came into being, she might have assured herself many more centuries of supremacy than have fallen to her lot. But she has ever sought to dissociate the law of the Divinity from the law of Nature, as though indeed the latter were but the invention of the Fiend.
Abbe Mouret, M. Zola's hero, finds himself placed between the law of the Divinity and the law of Nature: and the struggle waged within him by those two forces is a terrible one. That which training has implanted in his mind proves the stronger, and, so far as the canons of the Church can warrant it, he saves his soul. But the problem is not quite frankly put by M. Zola; for if Abbe Mouret transgresses he does so unwittingly, at a time when he is unconscious of his priesthood and has no memory of any vow. When the truth flashes upon him he is horrified with himself, and forthwith returns to the Church. A further struggle between the contending forces then certainly ensues, and ends in the final victory of the Church. But it must at least be said that in the lapses which occur in real life among the Roman priesthood, the circumstances are altogether different from those which M. Zola has selected for his story.
"J'accuse" was an open letter published on 13 January 1898 in the newspaper L'Aurore by Émile Zola.
In the letter, Zola addressed President of France Félix Faure, and accused the government of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army General Staff officer sentenced to penal servitude for life for espionage. Zola pointed out judicial errors and lack of serious evidence. The letter was printed on the front page of the newspaper, and caused a stir in France and abroad. Zola was prosecuted and found guilty of libel on 23 February 1898. To avoid imprisonment, he fled to England, returning home in June 1899.
Émile Zola (1840 – 1902) was an influential French novelist, the most important example of the literary school of naturalism, and a major figure in the political liberalization of France.
It is 1939. Despite a law banning him from performing surgery, Ravic—a German doctor and refugee living in Paris—has been treating some of the city’s most elite citizens for two years on the behalf of two less-than-skillful French physicians.
Forbidden to return to his own country, and dodging the everyday dangers of jail and deportation, Ravic manages to hang on—all the while searching for the Nazi who tortured him back in Germany. And though he’s given up on the possibility of love, life has a curious way of taking a turn for the romantic, even during the worst of times.
“The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure.”—The New York Times Book Review
The explosive first long work by "the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time" (Ilan Stavans, Los Angeles Times), The Savage Detectives follows Belano and Lima through the eyes of the people whose paths they cross in Central America, Europe, Israel, and West Africa. This chorus includes the muses of visceral realism, the beautiful Font sisters; their father, an architect interned in a Mexico City asylum; a sensitive young follower of Octavio Paz; a foul-mouthed American graduate student; a French girl with a taste for the Marquis de Sade; the great-granddaughter of Leon Trotsky; a Chilean stowaway with a mystical gift for numbers; the anorexic heiress to a Mexican underwear empire; an Argentinian photojournalist in Angola; and assorted hangers-on, detractors, critics, lovers, employers, vagabonds, real-life literary figures, and random acquaintances.
A polymathic descendant of Borges and Pynchon, Roberto Bolaño traces the hidden connection between literature and violence in a world where national boundaries are fluid and death lurks in the shadow of the avant-garde. The Savage Detectives is a dazzling original, the first great Latin American novel of the twenty-first century.
Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway’s most enduring works. Since Hemingway’s personal papers were released in 1979, scholars have examined the changes made to the text before publication. Now, this special restored edition presents the original manuscript as the author prepared it to be published.
Featuring a personal Foreword by Patrick Hemingway, Ernest’s sole surviving son, and an Introduction by grandson of the author, Seán Hemingway, editor of this edition, the book also includes a number of unfinished, never-before-published Paris sketches revealing experiences that Hemingway had with his son, Jack, and his first wife Hadley. Also included are irreverent portraits of literary luminaries, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ford Maddox Ford, and insightful recollections of Hemingway’s own early experiments with his craft.
Widely celebrated and debated by critics and readers everywhere, the restored edition of A Moveable Feast brilliantly evokes the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the unbridled creativity and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized.
Sensational, engrossing, and heartbreaking, The Mysteries of Paris is doubtless one of the most entertaining and influential works to emerge from the nineteenth century. It was one of France’s first serial novels, and for sixteen months, Parisians rushed in droves to the newsstands each week for the latest installment. Eugène Sue’s intricate melodrama unfolds around a Paris where, despite the gulf between them, the fortunes of the rich and poor are inextricably tangled. The suspenseful story of Rodolphe, a magnetic hero of noble heart and shadowy origins, was spun out over 150 issues—garnering wild popularity, influencing political change, and inspiring a raft of successors, including Les Misérables and The Count of Monte Cristo. At long last, this lively translation makes the riveting drama of Sue’s classic available to a new century of readers.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Victor Hugo's impassioned early work carries the same power and universality as Les Misérables. A vocal opponent to the barbarity of the guillotine, Hugo attempted to arouse compassion in the service of justice. This tale distills his beliefs and offers a highly significant contribution to the ongoing debate over the death penalty. A new Foreword by activist David Dow examines the message and relevance of Hugo's story to modern society.
This indelible portrait of a beautiful woman’s aching lust for more—more romance, more glamour, more fun—and her resulting tragic demise, is widely considered one of the finest novels ever written. Flaubert’s refusal to condemn his adulterous heroine, a woman trapped as much by circumstance as by her own boundless desires, scandalized nineteenth-century France and resulted in a trial on charges of obscenity. But it is the beauty of the novel’s prose, the great care it takes with characters major and minor, and the relentless but elegant thrust of its narrative, that puts Madame Bovary in a class by itself.
In the story of a provincial doctor and his wife’s tawdry affairs, Gustave Flaubert found the stuff of great literature. A perfect novel about imperfect people, Madame Bovary is the rare classic that exceeds expectations and feels as fresh now as it did the day it was written.
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Includes “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt,” and “The Purloined Letter”
Between 1841 and 1844, Edgar Allan Poe invented the genre of detective fiction with three mesmerizing stories of a young French eccentric named C. Auguste Dupin. Introducing to literature the concept of applying reason to solving crime, these tales brought Poe fame and fortune. Years later, Dorothy Sayers would describe “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” as “almost a complete manual of detective theory and practice.” Indeed, Poe’s short mysteries inspired the creation of countless literary sleuths, among them Sherlock Holmes. Today, the unique Dupin stories still stand out as utterly engrossing page-turners.
Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide
Nausea is the story of Antoine Roquentin, a French writer who is horrified at his own existence. In impressionistic, diary form he ruthlessly catalogs his every feeling and sensation. His thoughts culminate in a pervasive, overpowering feeling of nausea which “spreads at the bottom of the viscous puddle, at the bottom of our time — the time of purple suspenders and broken chair seats; it is made of wide, soft instants, spreading at the edge, like an oil stain.”
Winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature (though he declined to accept it), Jean-Paul Sartre — philosopher, critic, novelist, and dramatist — holds a position of singular eminence in the world of French letters. La Nausée, his first and best novel, is a landmark in Existential fiction and a key work of the twentieth century.
John Sturrock's acclaimed new translation of Sodom and Gomorrah will introduce a new generation of American readers to the literary riches of Proust. The fourth volume in this superb edition of In Search of Lost Time—the first completely new translation of Proust's masterpiece since the 1920s—brings us a more comic and lucid prose than English readers have previously been able to enjoy.
Sodom and Gomorrah takes up the theme of homosexual love, male and female, and dwells on how destructive sexual jealousy can be for those who suffer it. Proust’s novel is also an unforgiving analysis of both the decadent high society of Paris and the rise of a philistine bourgeoisie that is on the way to supplanting it. Characters who had lesser roles in earlier volumes now reappear in a different light and take center stage, notably Albertine, with whom the narrator believes he is in love, and the insanely haughty Baron de Charlus.
Throughout his working life in Paris Daudet never lost his almost umbilical attachment to Provence. These tales of that region are characterised by a tenderness and delicacy, a wistfulness and wry humour, which give moving substance to his claim that to invent, for him, was to remember.
Loaded with intrigue and suspense! The incredible love story of the man whose face has been disfigured into a laughing mask in childhood, the loyal blind girl who gives him her heart, and the cruelty of the privileged aristocracy whose laughingstock and savior he becomes, is remarkable in its emotional impact. Hugo wrote The Man Who Laughs over a period of fifteen months while he was living in the Channel Islands, having been exiled from his native France because of the controversial political content of his previous novels. Beautifully illustrated, this classic captures the imagination of readers of all ages and inspires a love of literature and reading.
"It is a great novel and belongs on anybody's list, absolutely." — Garrison Keillor
An eighteen-year-old girl without money or connections ventures forth from her small town in search of a better life in Theodore Dreiser's revolutionary first novel. The chronicle of Carrie Meeber's rise from obscurity to fame — and the effects of her progress on the men who use her and are used in turn — aroused a storm of controversy and debate upon its debut in 1900. The author's nonjudgmental portrait of a heroine who violates the contemporary moral code outraged some critics, including the book's publisher, Frank Doubleday, who tried to back out of his agreement his firm had made with Dreiser. But others were elated — and Dreiser's compelling plot and realistic characters continue to fascinate readers.
"Sister Carrie stands outside the brief traffic of the customary stage. It leaves behind an inescapable impression of bigness, of epic sweep and dignity. It is not a mere story, not a novel in the customary American meaning of the word; it is at once a psalm of life and a criticism of life … [Dreiser's] aim is not merely to tell a tale; his aim is to show the vast ebb and flow of forces which sway and condition human destiny. The thing he seeks to do is to stir, to awaken, to move. One does not arise from such a book as Sister Carrie with a smirk of satisfaction; one leaves it infinitely touched." — H. L. Mencken