Overview

Prompted by his theories of heredity and environment, Zola set out 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 ...

See more details below
Nana

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$4.49
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$5.00 List Price
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

Prompted by his theories of heredity and environment, Zola set out 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."

Part of Zola's famed Rougon-Macquart series of novels, this is the portrait of the scandal of Parisian society--Nana, a goddess of love who ruthlessly uses her sexuality to obtain wealth and to send her ruined lovers to the gutter from which she ascended. A tragic heroine ranking with Anna Karenina and Emma Bovary. Originally published in 1880, this is a new edition.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This rather risqu novel-for 1880 that is-tells the story of ruthless protagonist Nana's rise from the gutter to the height of Parisian society. The book's heavy allusion to sexual favors caused it to be denounced as pornography upon publication, which, of course, made it a big hit.
From the Publisher

"The translation...is fluid and true to the text. The A.G. Stevens cover print is an excellent choice."--Roy Arthur Swanson, Univ. of Wisconsin

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486114804
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 8/24/2012
  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • File size: 912 KB

Meet the Author

Émile Zola was a French writer who is recognized as an exemplar of literary naturalism and for his contributions to the development of theatrical naturalism. Zola’s best-known literary works include the twenty-volume Les Rougon-Macquart, an epic work that examined the influences of violence, alcohol and prostitution on French society through the experiences of two families, the Rougons and the Macquarts. Other remarkable works by Zola include Contes à Ninon, Les Mystères de Marseille, and Thérèse Raquin.

In addition to his literary contributions, Zola played a key role in the Dreyfus Affair of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. His newspaper article J’Accuse accused the highest levels of the French military and government of obstruction of justice and anti-semitism, for which he was convicted of libel in 1898. After a brief period of exile in England, Zola returned to France where he died in 1902. Émile Zola is buried in the Panthéon alongside other esteemed literary figures Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Nana


By ÉMILE ZOLA, Burton Rascoe, JANET BAINE KOPITO

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-11480-4


CHAPTER 1

AT NINE O'CLOCK the Variety Theatre was still almost empty. In the balcony and orchestra stalls a few persons waited, lost amidst the garnet-coloured velvet seats, in the faint light of the half extinguished gasalier. The huge crimson curtain was enveloped in shadow, and not a sound came from the stage behind. The foot-lights were not yet lit up, and the seats of the musicians were unoccupied. High up, however, in the third gallery, close to the roof—displaying figures of naked women and children floating among clouds, to which the gas imparted a greenish tinge—were heard the sounds of shouts and laughter above a continual hum of conversation, and a crowd of men and women, all wearing the caps of the working classes, were seated in rows reaching almost to the gilded festoons of the ceiling. Now and again an attendant would appear, fussily conducting a lady and gentleman to their seats—the gentleman in evening dress, and the lady slim and slightly stooping, and glancing slowly over the house. Two young men suddenly appeared in the stalls close to the orchestra. They remained standing, looking round about them.

"What did I tell you, Hector?" exclaimed the elder—a tall fellow, with a slight, black moustache. "We have come too early. You might just as well have allowed me to finish my cigar."

An attendant passed by at this moment. "Oh! M. Fauchery," she said familiarly, "it will not begin for half an hour."

"Then why on earth do they say nine o'clock on the bills?" asked Hector, whose long, thin face assumed an expression of intense annoyance. "This very morning Clarisse, who is in the piece, assured me that the curtain would go up at nine, precisely."

For a minute they relapsed into silence, as they raised their heads and gazed into the shadows of the boxes; but the green paper, with which the latter were lined, made them obscurer still. Below, the small boxes under the balcony disappeared in total darkness. In the balcony boxes only a very stout lady, leaning heavily on the velvet covered balustrade was to be seen. To the right and the left, between high columns, the stage boxes, hung with drapery deeply fringed, remained empty. The body of the house, decorated in white and gold, relieved by pale green, seemed to disappear filled as it was with a misty haze arising from the subdued light emanating from the huge crystal gasalier.

"Did you succeed in securing a stage-box for Lucy?" asked Hector.

"Yes," replied the other, "but not without a deal of trouble. Oh! there is no danger of Lucy's coming too early—not she!" He stifled a yawn, and then, after a brief silence, resumed; "You are lucky, you who have never yet been present at a first night. 'The Blonde Venus' will be the success of the year. Every one has been speaking of the piece for six months past. Ah! my boy, such music—such 'go'! Bordenave, who knows what's what, kept it purposely for the time of the Exhibition."

Hector listened religiously. At length he hazarded a question: "And Nana—the new star who is to play Venus—do you know her?"

"Oh, hang it! are you going to begin that too?" exclaimed Fauchery, gesticulating wildly. "Ever since this morning I have heard of nothing but Nana. I have met more than twenty fellows I know, and it has been Nana here and Nana there! Do you suppose I know every petticoat in Paris? Nana is one of Bordenave's inventions. She must be something choice!"

After this explosion he calmed down a little. But the emptiness of the house, the dim light that pervaded the whole, the opening and shutting of doors, and the hushed voices suggestive of a church, irritated him.

"Confound it!" he said, suddenly. "I can't stand this, you know. I must go out. Perhaps we shall meet Bordenave below. He will give us some details."

In the marble paved vestibule, where the box-office was situated, they found the public beginning to arrive. Through the three open doors all the busy throng on the Boulevards could be seen enjoying the beautiful April evening. Carriages dashed up to the theatre, and the doors were slammed noisily. People entered by twos and threes, and, after stopping at the box-office, ascended the double staircase in the rear—the women walking slowly with a swinging gait. In the glare of the gas were pasted, on the naked walls of this hall, whose meagre decorations in the style of the Empire suggested the peristyle of a card-board temple, some enormous yellow posters, in which Nana's name appeared in huge black letters. Men were loitering in front of these bills as they read them, while others were standing about talking among themselves, and blocking up the doorways; whilst near the box-office a thick-set man, with a big, clean-shaved face, was roughly replying to some people who were in vain endeavouring to obtain seats.

"There's Bordenave!" said Fauchery, as he and Hector descended the stairs.

But the manager had caught sight of him. "You are a nice fellow," he called out. "That is the way you write me a notice, is it? I opened the 'Figaro' this morning—not a word."

"Wait a bit," replied Fauchery. "I must see your Nana before I can write about her. Besides, I made no promise!"

Then, to prevent further discussion, he presented his cousin, M. Hector de la Faloise, a young man who had come to complete his education in Paris. The manager weighed the young man at a glance; but Hector surveyed the manager with some little emotion. This then was Bordenave, the exhibitor of women, whom he treated in the style of a prison warder, and whose brain was ever hatching some fresh moneymaking scheme—a perfect cynic, always shouting, or spitting, or smacking his thighs, and possessing the coarse mind of a trooper! Hector was anxious to make a good impression on him.

"Your theatre—" he began, in clear, musical tones.

Bordenave interrupted him quietly, and said, with the coolness of a man who prefers to call things by their right names: "Say my brothel, rather."

Fauchery laughed approvingly, but La Faloise was shocked to a degree, and his meditated compliment stuck in his throat, as he endeavoured to look as though he appreciated the joke. The manager had rushed off to shake hands with a dramatic critic whose criticisms had great influence, and, when he returned, La Faloise had almost recovered himself. He feared lest he should be regarded as a provincial if he appeared too much disconcerted.

"I have been told," he began, wishing at any rate to say something, "that Nana has a delicious voice."

"She!" cried the manager, shrugging his shoulders—"she has no more voice than a squirt."

The young man hastened to add: "Besides, she is an excellent actress."

"She!—a regular lump! She never knows where to put her hands or her feet."

La Faloise coloured slightly. He was at a loss what to understand. He managed to stammer out: "On no account would I have missed this first night. I know that your theatre—"

"Say my brothel," interrupted Bordenave again, with the cool obstinacy of a man thoroughly convinced.

Meanwhile Fauchery had been calmly examining the women as they entered. He now came to his cousin's assistance, when he saw him doubtful whether to laugh or be angry. "Gratify Bordenave; call his theatre just what he desires, as it amuses him. And as for you, my dear fellow, you need not try to fool us. If your Nana can't sing and can't play, you will make a regular fiasco of it to-night. And that is just what I am expecting."

"A fiasco! a fiasco!" exclaimed the manager, whose face became purple with rage. "Is it necessary for a woman to know how to sing and act? Ah! my boy, you are much too stupid. Nana has something else, damn her! and something that will make up for anything she may lack. I scented it, and she has plenty of it, or I have only the nose of a fool! You will see, you will see—she has only to appear, and all the spectators will at once smack their lips." He raised his big hands, which trembled with enthusiasm, and then, lowering his voice, murmured to himself, "Yes, she will go far—ah! damn her! yes, she will go far. A skin—oh, such a skin!"

Then, in answer to Fauchery's questions, he condescended to give certain details, making use of such offensive language that he quite shocked Hector. He had become acquainted with Nana, and wished to bring her out; and it so happened that he was in want of a Venus. He never allowed a woman to hang on to him very long; he preferred to let the public have its share of her at once. But he had had a damnable time in his shop; the arrival of this great hulking girl had revolutionized everything. Rose Mignon, his star, a fine actress and an adorable singer, threatened daily to leave him in the lurch. Divining a rival in Nana she was furious. And the playbills—Deuce take it! what a row they had caused. However, he had decided to print the names of the two actresses in letters of equal size. They had better not badger him too much. When one of his little women, as he called them, Clarisse or Simone, did not do as she was told, he just kicked her behind. If he treated them differently they would never leave him any peace. He dealt in them, and he knew what they were worth, the hussies!

"Ah!" he exclaimed, interrupting himself. "There come Mignon and Steiner! They are always together. You know that Steiner begins to have had enough of Rose; so the husband sticks to him like a plaster lest he should escape."

The flaring gas jets running along the cornice of the theatre threw a sheet of vivid light over the footpath. Two small trees stood out clearly with their fresh green foliage, and a pillar was so brilliantly illuminated by the blaze of light that the bills posted upon it could be read at a distance as clearly as at midday; whilst, afar off, the dense darkness of the Boulevards was studded with multitudinous lights, revealing the surging of an ever moving crowd. Many of the men did not enter the theatre at once, but loitered outside to finish their cigars and chat under the gaslight, which gave a livid pallor to their faces, and threw their shadows, short and black, upon the asphalt beneath. Mignon, a tall, stout fellow, with the square head of the Hercules of a travelling show, shouldered his way through the crowd, dragging on his arm the banker Steiner—a short man, with a big stomach and a round face fringed with a greyish beard.

"Well!" said Bordenave to the banker, "you saw her yesterday in my office."

"Ah! that was her, was it?" exclaimed Steiner. "I thought as much. Only, I was going out as she entered; I scarcely saw her."

Mignon listened with downcast eyes, all the time nervously twisting a large diamond ring on his little finger. He knew at once that they were talking of Nana. Then as Bordenave proceeded to give a description of his new star which caused the banker's eyes to sparkle, he decided to interfere.

"That'll do, my dear fellow; she's not worth looking at. The public will soon send her to the right about. Steiner, my boy, you know that my wife is expecting you in her dressingroom."

He tried to lead him away, but Steiner refused to leave Bordenave. The crowd at the box-office became more compact, the buzz of voices grew louder, and the name of Nana was repeated over and over again with a sing-song enunciation of its two syllables. The men, standing in front of the posters, read it out loud; others, as they passed, uttered it interrogatively, while the women, smiling and uneasy, repeated it softly with an air of surprise. No one knew Nana. Where on earth had Nana come from? And little jokes were passed about from ear to ear, and little tales told. The very name sounded like a caress, and fell familiarly from the lips of every one. Its constant repetition amused the crowd and kept it in a good humour. A fever of curiosity took possession of everybody—that Parisian curiosity which is sometimes as violent as an attack of brain fever. All were eager to see Nana. One lady had the train of her dress torn, and a gentleman lost his hat.

"Ah! you ask me too much," cried Bordenave, whom twenty men were besieging with questions. "You will see her presently. I must be off, they are waiting for me."

He disappeared, radiant at having inflamed his public. Mignon shrugged his shoulders, and reminded Steiner that Rose was expecting him to show him her costume for the first act.

"Hallo! there's Lucy, over there, getting out of her carriage," said La Faloise to Fauchery.

It was in fact Lucy Stewart—a little, ugly woman of about forty, with a neck too long, a thin, drawn face, and thick lips, but so lively, so graceful, that she charmed every one. She was accompanied by Caroline Héquet and her mother. Caroline with her frigid beauty, the mother very stately, and looking as if she were stuffed.

"You are coming with us, of course," she said to Fauchery; "I have kept a place for you."

"So that I shall see nothing!—not if I know it!" he answered. "I have an orchestra stall; I prefer to be there."

Lucy fired up at once. Was he afraid to be seen with her? Then suddenly calming down, she jumped to another subject.

"Why did you never tell me that you knew Nana?"

"Nana! I never saw her!"

"Is that really true? I have been assured that you once slept with her."

But Mignon, who was in front, put his finger to his lips to signal to them to be silent. And when Lucy asked why, he pointed to a young man who had just passed, murmuring, "Nana's sweetheart."

They all stared after him. He was certainly very good-looking. Fauchery recognised him: his name was Daguenet, and he had squandered a fortune of three hundred thousand francs on women, and now dabbled in stocks in order to make a little money with which he could treat them to an occasional bouquet and dinner. Lucy thought he had very handsome eyes.

"Ah! there's Blanche!" she exclaimed. "It was she who told me that you had slept with Nana."

Blanche de Sivry, a heavy blonde, whose pretty face was getting too fat, arrived, accompanied by a slender, well-dressed man with a most distinguished air.

"Count Xavier de Vandeuvres," whispered Fauchery to La Faloise.

The count shook hands with the journalist, whilst a lively discussion took place between Lucy and Blanche. They quite blocked up the entry with their skirts covered with flounces, one in pink and the other in blue, and Nana's name fell from their lips so frequently that the crowd lingered to listen. The count at length led Blanche away, but Nana's name did not cease to resound from the four corners of the vestibule in louder and more eager tones. Would they never begin? The men pulled out their watches, late comers leaped from their carriages before they really drew up, and the groups left the pavement, whilst the passers-by, as they slowly crossed the stream of light, stretched their necks to see what was going on in the theatre. A street urchin who came up whistling, stood for a moment before one of the posters at the door; then, in a drunken voice shouted out, "Oh, my! Nana!" and reeled on his way, dragging his old shoes along the asphalt. People laughed, and several well-dressed gentleman repeated, "Nana! Oh, my! Nana!" The crush was tremendous. A quarrel broke out at the box-office, the cries for Nana increased; one of those stupid fits of brutal excitement common to crowds had taken possession of this mass of people. Suddenly, above this uproar, the sound of a bell was heard. The rumour extended to the Boulevards that the curtain was about to rise, and there was more pushing and struggling; every one wished to get in; the employés of the theatre were at their wits' end. Mignon, looking uneasy, seized hold of Steiner, who had not been to inspect the dress Rose was to wear. At the first tinkle of the bell, La Faloise pushed through the crowd, dragging Fauchery with him, fearing lest he should miss the overture. Lucy Stewart was irritated by all these demonstrations of eagerness. What vulgar persons to push ladies about! She remained to the last with Caroline Héquet and her mother. At length the vestibule was empty; outside, the Boulevards maintained their prolonged rumble.

"As if their pieces were always funny!" Lucy kept repeating as she ascended the stairs.



(Continues...)

Excerpted from Nana by ÉMILE ZOLA, Burton Rascoe, JANET BAINE KOPITO. Copyright © 2007 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 85 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(22)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(12)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 87 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 30, 2011

    Slightly entertaining

    The first 1/3 or so of the book was pretty dull. The only real strong parts of the book happen towards the end. The interplay between Nana and her courtiers is ridiculous. The plot was very well thought out. This was the 9th in a series of 23 novels. The commentary stresses that this series was thought of by Zola as an experiment, needless to say that it shows. The characters are introduced one after the other. Towards the end it is pretty hard to sympathize with any of them besides the main 3 or 4.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2014

    Jack-ass

    Fell off tree house

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2014

    Sam to Coco

    Thats weird. I never sent thaat someonr else must be stalking our conversation. How old r u coco

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2014

    Coco to Sam

    Why would you want to go out with me??

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    Hey

    Baby

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Hi rea other first

    Gtg is got to go sys is see you soon

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    i dont read french

    be nice if they tell u its a dff language

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2010

    Loving the Classics

    :)

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2001

    A very diferent kind of story

    I think that the story is really different, you will always be amazed about all the little things that occur in the set, but it's really great, something that I really didn't like to much is that this book is a little exhausted to read, because it has to much details of the story.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 87 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)