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The Assommoir By Emile Zola

The Assommoir by Emile Zola

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The seventh novel in Zola's Rougon-Macquart cycle, The Assommoir is the story of a woman's struggle for happiness in working-class Paris.

The Assommoir Summary

The Assommoir by Emile Zola

'in this life, even if you don't ask for much you still end up with bugger all!' In a run-down quarter of Paris, Gervaise Macquart struggles to earn a living and support her family. She earns a pittance washing other people's dirty clothes in the local washhouse, and dreams of having her own laundry. But in order to start her business she must incur debt, and her feckless husband cannot resist the lure of the Assommoir, the local bar that supplies all the working men with cheap spirits and absinthe. As her money troubles grow, so Gervaise's life begins to spiral out of control, and she is trapped in a vicious web of want and neglect. The Assommoir is a pivotal novel in Zola's Rougon-Macquart series. In it he lays bare the terrible poverty of the Parisian underclass, living in overcrowded tenements, addicted to drink, a world of squalor, and casual violence. It contains some of Zola's most powerful and graphic writing, unforgettable portrayals of individuals and their environment, and the fine line between self-respect and ruin.

About Emile Zola

Brian Nelson is Emeritus Professor (French Studies and Translation Studies) at Monash University, Melbourne, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. His publications include Zola: A Very Short Introduction, The Cambridge Introduction to French Literature, The Cambridge Companion to Zola, Zola and the Bourgeoisie, and translations of Zola's His Excellency Eugene 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. He was awarded the New South Wales Premier's Prize for Translation in 2015. Robert Lethbridge is Emeritus Honorary Professor of nineteenth-century French Literature at Cambridge University and Professor Emeritus of French Language and Literature at the University of London. He was formerly Master of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Table of Contents

Introduction Translator's Note Select Bibliography A Chronology of Emile Zola Maps THE ASSOMMOIR Explanatory Notes

Additional information

The Assommoir by Emile Zola
Oxford University Press
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