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The Belly of Paris

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eBook 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
eBook
Published: May 12, 2009
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Modern Library
ISBN: 9781588368553
Other books byEmile Zola
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    Germinal
    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

    Nana

    Nana
    Born to drunken parents in the slums of Paris, Nana lives in squalor until she is discovered at the Théâtre des Variétés. She soon rises from the streets to set the city alight as the most famous high-class prostitute of her day. Rich men, Comtes and Marquises fall at her feet, great ladies try to emulate her appearance, lovers even kill themselves for her. Nana's hedonistic appetite for luxury and decadent pleasures knows no bounds - until, eventually, it consumes her. Nana provoked outrage on its publication in 1880, with its heroine damned as 'the most crude and bestial sort of whore', yes the language of the novel makes Nana almost a mythical figure: a destructive force preying on a corrupt society.

    The Downfall

    The Downfall
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    Lourdes

    Lourdes
    In this moving depiction of a pilgrimage to Lourdes, the master French realist has created a novel of vivid characters and subtle commentary on suffering and the belief in miracles as the last desperate refuge from pain. Based on his own trip to the fabled grotto, the novel follows a simple five-part structure corresponding to the five-day train trip from Paris to Lourdes and back. Zola's brilliant observational powers are at their best as he moves from character to character describing in great detail the physical effects of their illnesses, their hopes, beliefs, fears, and above all endurance. The great novelist himself makes a brief appearance in the story, disguised as a skeptical reporter whose probing questions embarrass a doctor in charge of verifying the alleged miracles. In the end, amidst the tumult of emotions whipped up by religious fervor a miracle of a sort does take place, a psychosomatic cure of a woman suffering from hysterical paralysis. To a few skeptical observers in the entourage the event is a predictable natural occurrence, but to the majority of simple believers it is proof of divine intervention. In our age of televangelists and faith healers, this story has lost none of its relevance.

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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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