Posts Tagged ‘Zola’


This is from a great blog.



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Zola had to redesign this Rougon-Macquart family tree many times as his cycle of books progressed.

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Back again

These 1950’s covers are great, but rather misleading. Can you imagine buying ‘Savage Paris’ with a cover like that, only to get it home and realise it’s an almost plotless tale set in a fish market?

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The more I read about Zola as a young man, the more I know he was exactly the kind of writer I would have disliked on a personal and subjective basis. Zola was a pushy, arrogant little man, not above writing glowing reviews of his own books and  was very assured of his genius well before he had demonstrated it.

Zola wrote of himself in the blurb for  La Confession de Claude ..

‘ The author reveals himself as possesing a strange talent, made up of exquisite delicacy and frantic audacity’.

These days, he’d have been writing his own  customer reviews on Amazon, I suppose.

 Jules Valles, who later became one of the leaders of the Paris Commune, describes meeting a young Emile Zola when he worked for the publishers Hachette.

”A short man with an olive complexion and a ‘disdainful almost supercilious mouth’….All of a sudden Zola raised his eyes and asked Valles point blank, ‘Do you feel you are a power?’ Valles  did not know how to answer this, but  Zola, paying no attention, went on..

‘Speaking for myself, I feel I am one’ and without adding a word more, turned his mouth down into the same curiously disdainful curl.

The remark was intended as a simple statement of fact.”

And of course, Zola was right.

(Page 49 The Life & Times of Emile Zola F.W.J. Hemmings 1977)

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Day One

This is day one of my blog. I wrote a book about Elvis, I wrote a book about Jackson, and now I’m going to write one about Emile Zola, a fantastic writer whose work I’ve been obsessed  with since I was 13 years old.

So here we go…


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