Emile Zola Classics: Nana [NOOK Book]

Overview

Nana tells the story of Nana Coupeau's rise from streetwalker to high-class cocotte during the last three years of the French Second Empire. Nana first appears in the end of L'Assommoir (1877), another of Zola's Rougon-Macquart series, in which she is portrayed as the daughter of an abusive drunk; in the end, she is living in the streets and just beginning a life of prostitution.

The new novel opens with a night at the Théâtre des Variétés. ...
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Emile Zola Classics: Nana

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Overview

Nana tells the story of Nana Coupeau's rise from streetwalker to high-class cocotte during the last three years of the French Second Empire. Nana first appears in the end of L'Assommoir (1877), another of Zola's Rougon-Macquart series, in which she is portrayed as the daughter of an abusive drunk; in the end, she is living in the streets and just beginning a life of prostitution.

The new novel opens with a night at the Théâtre des Variétés. The Exposition Universelle (1867) has just opened its doors. Nana is 15 years old (the number 18 mentioned in the book is not more than a fig leaf). Zola had taken care to make this clear to his readers by publishing an elaborate family tree of the Rougon-Macquarts in the newspaper Le Bien Public in 1878 when he started writing Nana. Zola describes in detail the performance of La blonde Vénus, a fictional operetta modelled after Offenbach's La belle Hélène, in which Nana is cast as the lead.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781105680083
  • Publisher: Lulu.com
  • Publication date: 4/17/2012
  • Sold by: LULU PRESS
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 329,293
  • File size: 588 KB

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 11, 2012

    A TEDIOUS NOVEL

    I found this book to be one of Zola's most tedious and tiresome. Of course, I am a Trollope lover, and maybe that is what accounts for my rather negative review. I will not go through the story. That has been told. I found the book crammed with scenes of large crowds -- at the dinners and salons, at the theatre, at the racetrack-- dozens of miscellaneous characters chattering away, frivolous conversations of meaningless nonsense. And most of these characters were irrelevant. None of them were developed as characters you could understand or recognize nor were they central to the plot. It all became so uninteresting, all this small talk and nonsense. Even the main characters are not very developed--in the sense that Trollope would explain them and work with them until you could understand them thoroughly. Immediately, I understood that Nana was a man-eater out for riches and glory. And that's it. She uses all her men and goes from one to the other -- whoever offers her the most. Then she dies. All very trite and tiresome. I also became bored with the excessive detail Zola goes through describing things and places. I love physical and psychological descriptions of the characters, but to go on for pages and pages over Nana's bedroom or backstage in the theatre, I found, again, tiresome. In fact, I couldn't wait for the book to end! I was watching the movie at the same time, and felt exactly the same. The movie was as uninteresting as the book! I've seen and heard it all before.

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