Émile Zola: Precursor to crime?
"I think our familiarity (at least until recently) with holding and flipping through magazines and newspapers gives these works an intriguing intimacy."That makes a nice case for printed books, magazines, and newspapers over whatever machine you're using to read this now. Forget the advantages of e-books for a moment; what have we lost?
Zola: Ancestor of hard-boiled crime?A wonderful little book called Un Certain Style Ou Un Style Certain? Introduction a l'etude du style francais includes excerpts from Émile Zola's novel Thérèse Raquin (1867). "Here is a tale of adultery, murder and madness," according to an introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of the novel, "set mainly in a single location and with a cast of four leading characters and four minor ones."
And here's an excerpt from the first chapter:
Sounds like 1950s crime melodrama to me. Has anyone ever cited Zola among those authors whose work includes elements of crime fiction?"Built into the left wall are dark, low, flattened shops which exhale the dank air of cellars. There are secondhand booksellers, toyshops and paper merchants whose displays sleep dimly in the shades, grey with dust. The little square panes of the shop windows cast strange, greenish reflections on the goods inside. Behind them, the shops are full of darkness, gloomy holes in which weird figures move around."
© Peter Rozovsky 2012