Every literary theory of mine was contrary to him when I took up 'L'Assommoir
,' though unconsciously I had always been as much of a realist as I could, but the book possessed me with the same fascination that I felt the other day in reading his 'L'Argent.' The critics know now that Zola is not the realist he used to fancy himself, and he is full of the best qualities of the romanticism he has hated so much; but for what he is, there is but one novelist of our time, or of any, that outmasters him, and that is Tolstoy.
In the case of France, which this article will emphasize, Emile Zola framed the issues about industrial wastelands in novels like L 'Assommoir
and Germinal that are still read today, while public health reformers John Snow and Rene Villerme, concerned about factory labor and the spread of unfamiliar diseases like cholera, helped lay the groundwork for the great urban reform movements of the nineteenth century.
He did not fall to his own personal Assommoir
Loin de servir une expression individualisee, les sonorites de l'atelier relevent d'une expressivite anonyme qui censure l'alterite dans une logique d'assommoir. Autrui n'a plus de place, on n'echange rien, on est emporte dans le dechainement chaotique du bruit.
"Les Soeurs Vatard, un petit Assommoir?" Bulletin de la Societe J.-K.
In this paper, I will start by looking at the origins of this scientific myth, and after analyzing its occurrences in Madeleine Ferat and L'assommoir, I will conclude with its crucial repercussions on the conception of the body and with its status as a scientific legend.
In the last novel of the Rougon-Macquart series, Docteur Pascal, the scientist, recapitulates the family genealogy and recalls only one example of heredity of influence, in L'assommoir: "Anna, la fille de Gervaise et de Coupeau, ressemblait etonnamment, surtout dans son enfance, a Lantier, le premier amant de sa mere, comme s'il avait impregne celle-ci a jamais ..." (Docteur Pascal 164-65).
Apparently there used to be many picnics on top, people cavorting and in something out of Zola's Assommoir
, sitting with feet perilously twiddling over the abyss, flinging down cigarettes and stones.
The thick volumes vary in their merit, but such works as L ' Assommoir