Paperback - 2008
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Zola's masterpiece of working life, Germinal (1885), exposes the inhuman conditions of miners in northern France in the 1860s. By Zola's death in 1902 it had come to symbolize the call for freedom from oppression so forcefully that the crowd which gathered at his State funeral chanted "Germinal! Germinal!"

While it is a dramatic novel of working life and everyday relationships, Germinal is also a complex novel of ideas, given fresh vigor and power in this new translation. It is also the thirteenth book in the Rougon-Macquart cycle, which celebrates its centenary in October 1993 with a new film version of Germinal starring Gerard Depardieu.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2008.
ISBN: 9780199536894
Characteristics: 538 p. ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Collier, Peter 1942-


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Jun 01, 2015

“Why are some miserable? why are others rich? why are the former beneath the heel of the latter without hope of ever taking their place? "
Along with fellow French writers Balzac and Flaubert, Zola steered the course of the novel in the 19th century and had a major influence on American and British writers, especially those in the realistic and naturalistic schools. "Germinal" is perhaps Zola's masterpiece, a sweeping, brutal, almost apocalyptic story of a miner's strike in rural France. Touching on capitalism, communism, worker's rights, Darwinism, and alcoholism, "Germinal" is an anti-Victorian novel, reveling in the filth and violence those books leave out. Zola spent time with miners when writing this and so is something of a "method" writer. This is part of his massive, multi-volume series known as Les Rougon-Macquart. Also check out "Therese Raquin" and "La Bete Humaine."

Apr 22, 2012

Incredible detail and storytelling. The dire images of poverty and inhumane conditions in the mine were disturbing. The events of the strike and its consequence are riveting. This reminded me of a French version of "The Jungle" but with better pace and flow. I found myself not wanting to put the book down. Zola is a truly gifted writer.


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