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The Belly of Paris

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Paperback published by Modern Library (Random House Publishing Group)

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Part of Emile Zola’s multigenerational Rougon-Macquart saga, The Belly of Paris is the story of Florent Quenu, a wrongly accused man who escapes imprisonment on Devil’s Island. Returning to his native Paris, Florent finds a city he barely recognizes, with its working classes displaced to make way for broad boulevards and bourgeois flats. Living with his brother’s family in the newly rebuilt Les Halles market, Florent is soon caught up in a dangerous maelstrom of food and politics. Amid intrigue among the market’s sellers–the fishmonger, the charcutière, the fruit girl, and the cheese vendor–and the glorious culinary bounty of their labors, we see the dramatic difference between “fat and thin” (the rich and the poor) and how the widening gulf between them strains a city to the breaking point.

Translated and with an Introduction by the celebrated historian and food writer Mark Kurlansky, The Belly of Paris offers fascinating perspectives on the French capital during the Second Empire–and, of course, tantalizing descriptions of its sumptuous repasts.
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Part of Emile Zola’s multigenerational Rougon-Macquart saga, The Belly of Paris is the story of Florent Quenu, a wrongly accused man who escapes imprisonment on Devil’s Island. Returning to his native Paris, Florent finds a city he barely recognizes, with its working classes displaced to make way for broad boulevards and bourgeois flats. Living with his brother’s family in the newly rebuilt Les Halles market, Florent is soon caught up in a dangerous maelstrom of food and politics. Amid intrigue among the market’s sellers–the fishmonger, the charcutière, the fruit girl, and the cheese vendor–and the glorious culinary bounty of their labors, we see the dramatic difference between “fat and thin” (the rich and the poor) and how the widening gulf between them strains a city to the breaking point.

Translated and with an Introduction by the celebrated historian and food writer Mark Kurlansky, The Belly of Paris offers fascinating perspectives on the French capital during the Second Empire–and, of course, tantalizing descriptions of its sumptuous repasts.
Product Details
Paperback (368 pages)
Published: May 12, 2009
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Modern Library
ISBN: 9780812974225
Other books byEmile Zola
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    A companion edition to the TV series from Masterpiece on PBS Through charm, drive, and diligent effort Octave Mouret has become the director of one of the finest new department stores in Paris, Au Bonheur des Dames. Supremely aware of the power of his position, Mouret seeks to exploit the desire that his luxuriantly displayed merchandise arouses in the ladies who shop, and the aspirations of the young female assistants he employs. Charting the beginnings of the capitalist economy and bourgeois society, Zola captures in lavish detail the greedy customers and gossiping staff, and the obsession with image, fashion, and gratification that was a phenomenon of nineteenth-century French consumer society. Of all Zola's novels, this may be the one with the most relevance for our own time.

    In Secret

    In Secret
    A Novel (Movie Tie-In)
    Emile Zola's story of adultery, murder, and madness—soon to be a major motion picture starring Elizabeth Olsen and Jessica Lange In a dingy apartment on the Passage du Pont-Neuf in Paris, Therese Raquin is trapped in a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille. The numbing tedium of her life is suddenly shattered when she embarks on a turbulent affair with her husband’s earthy friend Laurent, but their animal passion for each other soon compels the lovers to commit a crime that will haunt them forever. Therese caused a scandal when it appeared in 1867 and brought its twenty-seven-year-old author a notoriety that followed him throughout his life. Zola’s novel is not only an uninhibited portrayal of adultery, madness, and ghostly revenge, but also a devastating exploration of the darkest aspects of human existence.

    Germinal

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    The thirteenth novel in Émile Zola’s great Rougon-Macquart sequence, Germinal expresses outrage at the exploitation of the many by the few, but also shows humanity’s capacity for compassion and hope. Etienne Lantier, an unemployed railway worker, is a clever but uneducated young man with a dangerous temper. Forced to take a back-breaking job at Le Voreux mine when he cannot get other work, he discovers that his fellow miners are ill, hungry, and in debt, unable to feed and clothe their families. When conditions in the mining community deteriorate even further, Lantier finds himself leading a strike that could mean starvation or salvation for all. New translation Includes introduction, suggestions for further reading, filmography, chronology, explanatory notes, and glossary

    The Dream

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    Emile Zola's novel Le Rêve (1888) is a love idyll between a poor embroideress and the son of a wealthy aristocratic family set against the background of a sleepy cathedral town in northern France. A far cry from the seething, teeming world evoked in Zola’s best-known novels, it may at first seem a strange interlude between La Terre and La Bête Humaine in the 20-volume sequence known as the Rougon-Macquart cycle. However, belying its appearance as a simple fairytale the work reveals many of Zola’s characteristic themes, the conflict between heredity and environment, between spirituality and sensuality, between the powerful and the powerless. The dream of Angélique, the central character, is at once reality and illusion, and this interplay provides the driving force of the novel. Above all, it is, as Zola himself described it, "a poem of passion," showing the lyrical dimension of his genius. This important new translation by Michael Glencross, the first in English since that of Eliza Chase in 1893, recaptures the vigor of Zola’s original. The translator also provides a helpful introduction that situates the novel in the context of Zola’s life and work as a whole.

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  • Au milieu du grand silence, et dans le désert de l’avenue, les voitures de maraîchers montaient vers Paris, avec les cahots rythmés de leurs roues, dont les échos battaient les façades...

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  • Amidst the deep silence and solitude prevailing in the avenue several market gardeners' carts were climbing the slope which led towards Paris, and the fronts of the houses, asleep behind...

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  • – Quels gredins que les honnêtes gens !

    - Respectable people... What bastards!

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