Zola’s World

It is apposite that our thoughts should turn to Paris at this time. The current events are dominating headlines but in the intense emotions that follow such tragedies I have been inspired by the expressions of a spirit of defiance. A refusal to surrender Paris as defined by its art and culture and to accept the mantle of the victim in the face of such attacks. It is in keeping with this response to the hatred which spawned the attacks that I recommend to you a radio programme from the BBC about one of the foremost writers about what it is to live in Paris, Emile Zola. His Rougon-Macquart series of twenty novels portrays Paris through the lens of these two families, their lives interwoven, through their successes and failures. It is a fictional conception of a world complete in itself that is perhaps the only equal to Trollope’s own fictional world of Barsetshire and the Pallisers. The programme serves a taster of the forthcoming dramatisation of the whole series of novels.



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One response to “Zola’s World

  1. In the same spirit, the great “Elder” of these interwoven families and stories is Balzac with his “Comédie Humaine”. HE drove me to read Trollope and the Barsetshire and Palliser series (you may have noted I am French!). Of course, Hugo comes to mind when we talk of “no surrender” through the means of culture, and there are numbers of saga at the beginning of the 20th century where families are but symbol for movements in the society. But this time in literary history is stamped with this genre.
    Anyway, thank you to turn to us in this time and to spot our spirit of “no surrender” (!), using culture – literature, the arts, and all cultral means for that.

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