Zola's Son Excellence Eugene Rougon: An Historical and Critical Study

Zola's Son Excellence Eugene Rougon: An Historical and Critical Study

Zola's Son Excellence Eugene Rougon: An Historical and Critical Study

Zola's Son Excellence Eugene Rougon: An Historical and Critical Study

Excerpt

We have long been familiar with the novel which espouses a certain sociopolitical viewpoint. As examples, Upton Sinclair The Jungle , Victor Hugo Les Misérables and Tolstoy Anna Karenina are Socialistic, Republican, and Conservative respectively. Yet despite the insistence of these and other authors in upholding a given political principle, the action of the novels generally takes place far from any congress or legislature. Once in a while a novel, touches on the process of political selection, such as Booth Tarkington's Gentleman from Indiana or Zola less well- known La Conquête de Plassans ; but in each of these stories politics is not the whole novel. Tarkington, for instance, is giving us above all a humorous étude de mœurs, and Zola is examining clerical intrigue in a small town. The true politi-

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