Prompted by his theories of heredity and environment, Zola set out to show Nana, “the golden fly,” rising out of the underworld to feed on society—a predetermined product of her origins. Nana’s latent destructiveness is mirrored in the Empire’s, and they reflect each others’ disintegration and final collapse in 1890.
Built around the book’s scientific skeleton is a powerful, sensual atmosphere, and a rich use of words which elevate the novel beyond the realistic platform into a “poem of male desires.”
Emile Zola (1840—1902) was born in Paris and worked as a journalist before turning to fiction. With the publication of L’Assommoir, he became the most famous writer in France. His work has influenced authors from August Strindberg to Theodore Dreiser to Tom… More about Emile Zola