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Posted August 3, 2005
Rougon-Macquart, volume 8: There can be no doubt in the mind of the judicial critic that in the pages of 'A Love Episode' ('Une page d'amour') the reader finds more of the poetical, more of the delicately artistic, more of the subtle emanation of creative and analytical genius, than in any other of Zola's works... In all literature there is nothing like the portrayal of the punishment of Helene Grandjean. Helene and little Jeanne are reversions of type. The old 'neurosis,' seen in earlier bran-ches of the family, reappears in these characters. Readers of the series will know where it began. Poor little Jeanne, most pathetic of creations, is a study in abnormal jealousy, a jealousy which seems to be clairvoyant, full of supernatural intuitions, turning everything to suspicion, a jealousy which blights and kills. Could the memory of those weeks of anguish fade from Helene's soul? This dying of a broken heart is not merely the figment of a poet's fancy. It has happened in real life. The coming of death, save in the case of the very aged, seems, nearly always, brutally cruel, at least to those friends who survive. (C. C. Starkweather)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.