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The Fortune of the Rougons

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The Fortune of the Rougons by Emile Zola ********************************************************** We are pleased to offer thousands of books for the Kindle, including thousands of hard-to-find literature and classic fiction books. Click on our Editor Name (eBook-Ventures) next to the book title above to view all of the titles that are currently available. **************** The Fortune of the Rougons by Emile Zola ********************************************************** We are pleased to offer thousands of books for the Kindle, including thousands of hard-to-find literature and classic fiction books. Click on our Editor Name (eBook-Ventures) next to the book title above to view all of the titles that are currently available. **********************************************************


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The Fortune of the Rougons by Emile Zola ********************************************************** We are pleased to offer thousands of books for the Kindle, including thousands of hard-to-find literature and classic fiction books. Click on our Editor Name (eBook-Ventures) next to the book title above to view all of the titles that are currently available. **************** The Fortune of the Rougons by Emile Zola ********************************************************** We are pleased to offer thousands of books for the Kindle, including thousands of hard-to-find literature and classic fiction books. Click on our Editor Name (eBook-Ventures) next to the book title above to view all of the titles that are currently available. **********************************************************

30 review for The Fortune of the Rougons

  1. 4 out of 5

    El

    This work, which will comprise several episodes, is therefore, in my mind, the natural and social history of a family under the Second Empire. And the first episode, here called The Fortune of the Rougons, should scientifically be entitled The Origin. Author's Preface (1871) When I discovered that Emile Zola wrote a 20-book series about the fictional families of Rougon and Macquart, I became obsessed. I wanted to read them all. I wanted them all lined up on my shelf to look at after completing the This work, which will comprise several episodes, is therefore, in my mind, the natural and social history of a family under the Second Empire. And the first episode, here called The Fortune of the Rougons, should scientifically be entitled The Origin. Author's Preface (1871) When I discovered that Emile Zola wrote a 20-book series about the fictional families of Rougon and Macquart, I became obsessed. I wanted to read them all. I wanted them all lined up on my shelf to look at after completing the run because that's the sort of sick bastard that I am. I didn't realize, however, that there would be difficulties in this plan. Stupid difficulties. Ones that should not exist under any circumstance. Problem #1: This first book in the series was wicked hard to find. I thought I could just stroll on over to my local library, yank a copy off the shelf, and move on to the next at will. But the Carnegie Library system in Pittsburgh, for all of its other perks, failed to have the first book. None of the branches had it, so it's not like I could use the modern convenience of the ILL. I asked them to purchase a copy because, as I pointed out, they have so many of the other Rougon-Macquart books, wouldn't they want the first book for their collection? I never received a response so I'm assuming the answer was NO. So we went on a mission, my boyfriend and I. We were hell-bent on finding a used copy of this book. (Note: Boyfriend may not have actually cared that much, other than he wanted to be able to put a smile on my face and get me to shut up about this damn Zola person, but that's probably beside the point. He participated in my insanity and that's all that matters.) Our Fall 2010 holiday was spent visiting every bookstore we could find between Pittsburgh and Baltimore/DC. We did Internet searches for bookstores that were hidden away in the middle of absolutely nowhere. We met so many bookstore cats and had so much bookstore-grime covering our hands, but we barely even noticed. We I had Zola-vision, and I was going to find this book if it was the last thing I did. Okay, so I didn't find a copy. Sadly. Our holiday came and went and despite all the stores we visited, no one had a copy of this damn book. It didn't ruin our trip, but I was still pretty disappointed and I probably shook my fist at Zola's memory. Pfft, as if it's his fault his book is pretty much out-of-print. Then, magically, for Christmas, there it was. My boyfriend had done what most people in the 21st-century do when they want something - he ordered it online for me. It's what's called a Print On Demand edition. I guess when you request it online, some little monkey somewhere poops it out for you, puts it in a package, and sends it on its merry little way. Thank you, monkey! (And Boyfriend, too!) Problem #2: While doing some "research" about these books I discovered that, yes, there are 20 books in this series. But also there are opinions regarding in which order to read them. What? I was hoping to go through them all publication-order-chronologically-like because that's the kind of person I am (refer to sick bastard statement above). You have the Publication Order (1871-1893), but then you have the Recommended Reading Order, and they differ greatly. They both begin and end with the same books, and there are a couple in the middle that are in the same place, but for the most part they're way different. I spent a lot of time thinking about this, agonizing over this, talking to people who do not care about this. I made a Pro/Con list, I may have even made a pie chart and a graph. And then someone smarter than myself pointed out that the Recommended Reading Order was suggested by none other than Zola himself, but apparently not until he wrote the Introduction for the final book in the series. Why would he hold on us that long? Pshaw on Zola! Then someone else smarter than me pointed out that Zola's recommendation is also discussed in a biography written in the early 1900s, which basically has solidified my decision. (Which is sort of a shame because I have the second book by publication order, but not the second book by recommended order. I have a feeling our Fall 2011 holiday will be done almost identically as it was last year in hopes of finding Son Excellence Eugene Rougon. Sigh.) As for the actual book: It's pretty great. I can tell already that it's not going to be his best out of the whole bunch, but the excitement and anticipation I feel knowing I still have 19 more books to go is practically through the roof and totally enhanced my reading of this book. The Fortune of the Rougons was not Zola's first book in his literary career, so I can't say that it feels like a first book - but I can say that it feels a little unformed, a little dirty and raw around the edges. It could have used some pizazz in parts. But I still love it. The story begins in and ends in a similar manner, right down to the actual setting. When it began I was all giggly-schoolgirl about the foreshadowing of the scene (view spoiler)[in a cemetery (hide spoiler)] , and when it ended in basically the same place under different circumstances I gave a little squeal. This Zola guy knew how to craft a book. He did other stuff that really struck me, like the use of color symbolism. Perhaps he didn't mean for the colors to be symbolic per se, but that's how my brain works, and I'm reading symbolism all over these pages. I freaking love that. Zola has already accomplished his goal of writing a natural and social history of the Rougon-Macquart families - I can see how he would want to keep writing about these guys, and I'm just the sort of idiot he would have been writing for because I also dig that sort of thing. (Another good example if you're into that sort of story is John Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga. Juicy family drama, and a great read to boot. Go read it. Now.) My only real complaint is the translation. I can be a real sick bastard about translations too, spending more time wondering which translation to read than I do actually reading a text. But in this case, since we had so much difficulty getting the damn book in the first place, I wasn't going to be all looky in the gift horse's mouth about it. It was translated by Zola's buddy, E.A.V. Merton in 1898. In the Introduction Mr. Merton wrote: "But to convey M. Zola's meaning more accurately I have found it necessary to alter, on an average, at least one sentence out of every three. Thus, though I only claim to edit the volume, it is, to all intents and purposes, quite a new English version of M. Zola's work." Why would he tell me that!? That ruins everything! (Almost.) Knowing in advance just how much of Zola's work was changed in this "edition" makes me feel a little gypped. It's disappointing. But again, it's all I got because apparently people just don't care about Zola anymore. Maybe someone will put out a new translation and I can re-read it and see just how much they differ. Despite that, it's still a good story, and I still want to know more about these characters so you're damn certain I'll be reading all of the following 19 books. In Recommended Reading Order. Because I'm a sick bastard.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    A while ago a friend recommended Germinal, the classic French novel by Emile Zola. It was amazing! ......... a gritty, powerful and incredibly tense novel set in a mining town in northern France. Although a stand alone novel I realised that Germinal was part of a series featuring the Rougon - Macquart family. A series of 20 books written over 22 years, concerning a period of French history known as the Second Empire. A little Wikipedia-ing soon put this, the 1848 revolution, the Louis-Napoléon co A while ago a friend recommended Germinal, the classic French novel by Emile Zola. It was amazing! ......... a gritty, powerful and incredibly tense novel set in a mining town in northern France. Although a stand alone novel I realised that Germinal was part of a series featuring the Rougon - Macquart family. A series of 20 books written over 22 years, concerning a period of French history known as the Second Empire. A little Wikipedia-ing soon put this, the 1848 revolution, the Louis-Napoléon coup d’etat and the whole turbulent period into some context. At the time it seemed like a interesting project to gradually work my way through the series (several of the ebooks are free on Amazon) Hence The Fortune Of The Rougons, the first book. This novel is a little uneven (as is usual with the first book of a series) as Zola balances action, humour, politics and a love story ....... but he does successfully build the foundation of the ensuing masterwork. We are introduced to Adélaide Fouque an enigmatic and lonely woman who marries her gardener Rougon and then, after he dies, has a long term relationship with Macquart a disreputable smuggler. The offspring of both relationships, legitimate and illegitimate, over several generations, are the subject of this book cycle. Zola creates a wide cross section of French society in which the compelling storylines play out. He examines how external influences (eg poverty and politics) mould the nature of the characters and describes these books as ‘The Natural and Social History of a Family Under the Second Empire’ Like Dickens, Zola is quick to lampoon pompositity, vanity and ignorance but unlike Dickens the writing is naturalistic and the characters feel real, rather than caricatures. In a way I’m glad I started with Germinal as it showed Zola’s writing at its classic best, but I also found this book to be really engrossing - exciting, moving and surprisingly funny! Certainly not a dry or difficult read. Really looking forward to the next in the series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    La Fortune des Rougon (Les Rougon-Macquart #1) = The Fortune of the Rougons, Émile Zola The Fortune of the Rougons (French: La Fortune des Rougon), originally published in 1871, is the first novel in Émile Zola's monumental twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. The novel is partly an origin story, with a huge cast of characters swarming around - many of whom become the central figures of later novels in the series - and partly an account of the December 1851 coup d'état that created the Fren La Fortune des Rougon (Les Rougon-Macquart #1) = The Fortune of the Rougons, Émile Zola The Fortune of the Rougons (French: La Fortune des Rougon), originally published in 1871, is the first novel in Émile Zola's monumental twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. The novel is partly an origin story, with a huge cast of characters swarming around - many of whom become the central figures of later novels in the series - and partly an account of the December 1851 coup d'état that created the French Second Empire under Napoleon III as experienced in a large provincial town in southern France. The title refers not only to the "fortune" chased by protagonists Pierre and Felicité Rougon, but also to the fortunes of the various disparate family members Zola introduces, whose lives are of central importance to later books in the series. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هشتمم ماه می سال 2010 میلادی عنوان: دارایی خانوادهٔ روگن ؛ نویسنده: امیل زولا؛ مترجم: محمدتقی غیاثی؛ تهران، نیلوفر، 1388؛ در 397 ص؛ شابک: 9789644484285؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسوی قرن 19 م داستان ثروت روگُن‌ها، عنوان نخستین کتاب از مجموعهٔ بیست جلدی روگن ماکار است که امیل زولا، نویسندهٔ اهل فرانسه بنگاشته است. این کتاب یکی از آثار مشهور ادبی جهان است، از این کتاب با عنوان: «دارایی خانواده روگُن» نیز یاد می‌شود. داستان سرکوب قیام خونین مردم جنوب فرانسه در کودتای سال 1851 میلادی ست. نویسنده، دو رقیب از یک خانواده را بررسی می‌کند؛ یکی: روگُن و دیگری: ماکار، روگن به هوای مال اندوزی هوادار کودتا ست؛ و برادرش ماکار بر اثر فقر و از روی حسادت به برادر خویش، طرفدار جمهوری می‌شود. بنابراین، مسائل میهنی دستاویزی بیش نیست. نگارش این مجموعه بیست جلدی در ماه می سال 1869 میلادی آغاز، و در ماه ژوئن سال 1870 میلادی به صورت پاورقی منتشر میشود، سه چهارم مجموعه انتشار یافته بود که بین فرانسه و آلمان جنگ درگرفت و انتشار پاورقی متوقف ماند، در ماه اکتبر سال 1871 میلادی، کتاب به صورت جداگانه منتشر شد. ا. شربیانی

  4. 5 out of 5

    Το Άσχημο Ρύζι Καρολίνα

    Αυτήν την ιστορία χίλιες φορές κι αν την διαβάσω δεν πρόκειται ποτέ να τη βαρεθώ. Ανήκει στον κύκλο των Ρουγκόν - Μακάρ, τα μέλη δηλαδή μιας οικογένειας από την πόλη Πλασσάν (μια επινοημένη πόλη την γαλλικού Νότου, που παραπέμπει στο Αιξ αν Προβάνς, εκεί δηλαδή που μεγάλωσε ο συγγραφέας). Μητέρα και των Ρουγκόν και των Μακάρ της ιστορίας είναι η Αντελαΐντ (ή θεία Ντιντ) , μια γυναίκα που, μέσα από τον επίσημο γάμο της και τον κατοπινό παράνομο δεσμό της, φέρνει στον κόσμο εκείνους τους ιδιόρρυθμ Αυτήν την ιστορία χίλιες φορές κι αν την διαβάσω δεν πρόκειται ποτέ να τη βαρεθώ. Ανήκει στον κύκλο των Ρουγκόν - Μακάρ, τα μέλη δηλαδή μιας οικογένειας από την πόλη Πλασσάν (μια επινοημένη πόλη την γαλλικού Νότου, που παραπέμπει στο Αιξ αν Προβάνς, εκεί δηλαδή που μεγάλωσε ο συγγραφέας). Μητέρα και των Ρουγκόν και των Μακάρ της ιστορίας είναι η Αντελαΐντ (ή θεία Ντιντ) , μια γυναίκα που, μέσα από τον επίσημο γάμο της και τον κατοπινό παράνομο δεσμό της, φέρνει στον κόσμο εκείνους τους ιδιόρρυθμους χαρακτήρες που θα αποτελέσουν τους προγόνους της Νανάς, της Ζερβαίζ από την “Ταβέρνα”, του Ζακ από το “Ανθρώπινο Κτήνος” κι όλων των άλλων ηρώων της εικοσαλογίας που θα εκτυλιχθεί στα χρόνια της Β΄ Αυτοκρατορίας του Ναπολέοντα του 3ου. Είναι πολυπρόσωπο μυθιστόρημα αλλά δομημένο έτσι ώστε η γνωριμία με τους χαρακτήρες να γίνεται σταδιακά. Ανάμεσα σε ένα πραξικόπημα και μια εξέγερση που λαμβάνει χώρα σε αυτήν την απομακρυσμένη γαλλική επαρχία, σε μια πόλη που μοιάζει παγωμένη μέσα στο χρόνο, τα όνειρα για έναν καλύτερο κόσμο και η δίψα για χρήμα, κοινωνική ανέλιξη και εξουσία έρχονται αντιμέτωπα με την πεζή καθημερινότητα. Στην πραγματικότητα, ανάμεσα στους ονειροπόλους και τους αριβίστες υπάρχει εκείνο το πλήθος που αδιαφορεί για την εξέλιξη που θα πάρουν τα πράγματα, υπό την προϋπόθεση να μην διαταραχθεί η ησυχία της τακτοποιημένης ζωής τους. Αυτοί βρίσκονται στο περιθώριο της διήγησης, συνιστώντας τον χορό της αδιαφορίας και της μικρόνοιας. Οι πιο αξιαγάπητοι ήρωες είναι δυο νέα παιδιά. Ο εγγονός της Νιντ, ο Σιλβέρ που προσπαθεί να γνωρίσει και να κατανοήσει τον κόσμο μέσα από τα σπαράγματα γνώσης που ξετρυπώνει στα παλιατζίδικα, βιβλία που δεν καταλαβαίνει πλήρως αλλά που αρκούν για να τον κάνουν να οραματίζεται μια καλύτερη ζωή για τον ίδιο και την κοινωνία. Και η Μιέτ ένα πλάσμα όλο αισθησιασμό και δυναμισμό, μια προσωποιημένη εκδοχή της ελευθερίας και της δημοκρατίας, μια δροσερή και τρυφερή απεικόνιση της νιότης. Κάνουν νυχτερινούς περιπάτους μέσα στη φύση, στα σπαρμένα χωράφια και στους ποταμούς, κρύβονται από το φως της μέρας και μεταμορφώνονται σε πλάσματα βγαλμένα από παραμύθι. “Κάθε βράδυ σχεδίαζαν και μια νέα εξόρμηση. Η Μιέτ έφερνε το γούνινο παλτό της˙ κρύβονταν και οι δυο μέσα στο μακρύ ύφασμα, περνούσαν έξω από τους τοίχους και έφταναν ως τον κεντρικό δρόμο, τα μεγάλα λιβάδια, όπου ο αέρας φυσούσε δυνατά και τα έκανε να κυματίζουν, θυμίζοντας την ανοιχτή θάλασσα. Εκεί πέρα δεν αισθάνονταν καθόλου πνιγηρά και ξανάβρισκαν την παιδική ζωηράδα τους, μακριά από τη ζαλάδα που τους προκαλούσε η βλάστηση του Σαιν Μιτρ και που έκανε το κεφάλι τους να γυρίζει. Επί δύο ολόκληρα καλοκαίρια όργωναν την γύρω περιοχή. Σύντομα ήξεραν απέξω κάθε βράχο που προεξείχε και κάθε χλωρασιά˙ και δεν υπήρχε συστάδα δέντρων, φράχτης ή θάμνος που να μην έχει γίνει φίλος τους. Τα όνειρά τους είχαν γίνει πραγματικότητα: κυνηγιούνταν μέσα στα λιβάδια του Σαιν Κλαιρ, και η Μιετ έτρεχε τόσο καλά που ο Σιλβέρ έπρεπε να βάλει τα δυνατά του για να την πιάσει. Πήγαιναν επίσης να ψάξουν για φωλιές κίσσας˙ η Μιέτ γεμάτη πείσμα, θέλοντας να δείξει πως σκαρφάλωνε τα δέντρα στο Σαβανόζ, έδενε τη φούστα της με ένα κομμάτι σπάγκο και ανέβαινε στις ψηλότερες λεύκες˙ από κάτω ο Σιλβέρ έτρεμε, με τα χέρια τεντωμένα, έτοιμος να την πιάσει σε περίπτωση που γλιστρούσε ξαφνικά”. Η σύγκρουση αυτών των πλασμάτων των φτιαγμένων για έρωτα και ευτυχία με έναν κόσμο στον οποίο το κακό, με την μορφή της κοινωνικής παρακμής και της ηθικής αποχαλίνωσης, έχει βαθιές ρίζες, είναι αναπόφευκτη. Δεν είναι όμως όλοι φτιαγμένοι από την ίδια πάστα παρά την κοινή τους καταγωγή. Υπάρχουν δύο όψεις στον αντίποδα του λογοτεχνικού κόσμου που χτίζει ο συγγραφέας. Ο Αντουάν Μακάρ είναι φτωχός και τεμπέλης και το μόνο που θέλει είναι να παρασιτεί εις βάρος της γυναίκας και των παιδιών του. Ένας εκμεταλλευτής, ένας αργόσχολος που καταπιάνεται με την πολιτική, γιατί βλέπει στην δημοκρατία και τον σοσιαλισμό μια ευκαιρία για αρπαγή, που θα του εξασφαλίσει την καλοπέρασή του. “Έβρισκε το φαγητό απαίσιο, αποκαλούσε την Ζερβαίζ ηλίθια, έλεγε στον Ζαν πως δεν θα γίνει ποτέ άνδρας. Βουτηγμένος στις δικές του εγωιστικές απολαύσεις, έτριβε τα χέρια του κάθε φορά που είχε φάει την καλύτερη μερίδα˙ ύστερα κάπνιζε την πίπα του, φυσώντας αργά τον καπνό του, ενώ τα δύο ταλαίπωρα παιδιά του, τσακισμένα από την κούραση, αποκοιμιόνταν με το κεφάλι πάνω στο τραπέζι. Έτσι περνούσε ο Μακάρ τις μέρες του μες στην τεμπελιά και τις απολαύσεις. Θεωρούσε απόλυτα φυσιολογικό το να κάθεται όλη μέρα σαν μοσχαναθρεμμένη κόρη, να απλώνει την αρίδα του στους πάγκους κάποιας ταβέρνας, ή να σουλατσάρει με την δροσούλα στην λεωφόρο Σωβέρ η στην Μέιλ. Έφτασε ως το σημείο να διηγείται τις ερωτικές του περιπέτειες μπροστά στον γιο του, ο οποίος τον άκουγε ενώ τα μάτια του βούρκωναν από την στέρηση. Τα παιδιά δεν αντιδρούσαν, γιατί έτσι είχαν μάθει, ακολουθώντας το παράδειγμα της μητέρας τους, η οποία φερόταν σαν ταπεινή υπηρέτρια του άνδρα της’. Από την άλλη ο ετεροθαλής αδελφός του, ο Πιερ Ρουγκόν, που ανήκει στο συντηρητικό κομμάτι της κοινωνίας κινειτοποιείται από την ίδια ακριβώς επιθυμία, αλλά έχει στο πλευρό του ένα ατού, την παμπόνηρη γυναίκα του, την Φελισιτέ, η οποία πάνω από όλα θέλει το χρήμα, για να αγοράσει με αυτό εξουσία και κοινωνική αναγνώριση. “Μια νέα δυναστεία για να εδραιωθεί χρειάζεται κάποια σύγκρουση. Το αίμα είναι καλό λίπασμα. Θα είναι πολύ ωραίο να συμπέσει η άνοδος του ονόματος των Ρουγκόν με μια αιματοχυσία, όπως έχει ξανασυμβεί και με πολλές άλλες επιφανείς οικογένειες”. Από την γενιά του Αντουάν θα βγει η Ζερβαίζ της “Ταβέρνας” και η Νανά ενώ από τη γενιά του Πιερ, εκτός των άλλων, ο Σακάρ, ο κεντρικός ήρωας που συναντάμε στο “Χρήμα”. Στην πολιτική σκέψη που εκφράζει ο Ζολά μέσα από αυτό το έργο, κυριαρχεί το εξής: Κάποιες φορές όσα δεν πετυχαίνει η απευθείας σύγκρουση με μια κατάσταση ή ένα ιδεολογικό σύστημα, τα πετυχαίνει η υπόγεια και παρασκηνιακή υπονόμευση. Όσα δεν φαίνονται και όσα δεν ακούγονται, όσα εκτελούνται με χειρουργική ακρίβεια στο περιθώριο και στις υποσημειώσεις της ιστορίας. Κι εκεί έγκειται η μεγαλύτερη αξία του έγχειρήματος του Ζολά. Σηκώνει τα βαριά παραπετάσματα και επιτρέπει στον αναγνώστη να κατανοήσει καλύτερα τα στρώματα που συνιστούν τις κοινωνίες όπως τις γνωρίζουμε στον λεγόμενο “δυτικό κόσμο”. Είναι κρίμα που δεν έχει κυκλοφορήσει ποτέ σε ελληνική μετάφραση αυτό το έργο. Θα είχε πολλά να πει σε έναν άνθρωπο της σύγχρονης εποχής.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This is the first in Zola's 20-novel series on Les Rougon Macquart: a series which depicts L'Histoire naturelle et sociale d'une famille sous le Second Empire. Inspired by Honoré de Balzac, and borrowing (very loosely) on Balzac's theme of painting the human tableaux in his Comédie Humaine, Zola wrote in La Différence entre Balzac et moi: Balzac's ... work wants to be the mirror of contemporary society. My work ... will be something else entirely. The scope will be narrower. I don't want to descr This is the first in Zola's 20-novel series on Les Rougon Macquart: a series which depicts L'Histoire naturelle et sociale d'une famille sous le Second Empire. Inspired by Honoré de Balzac, and borrowing (very loosely) on Balzac's theme of painting the human tableaux in his Comédie Humaine, Zola wrote in La Différence entre Balzac et moi: Balzac's ... work wants to be the mirror of contemporary society. My work ... will be something else entirely. The scope will be narrower. I don't want to describe a contemporary society, but a single family, showing how the race is modified by the environment. My big task is to be strictly naturalist. Naturalism being a term which, in effect, he coined, and by starting this series, he gave eloquent voice to it. Influenced as much by Balzac as he was by Charles Darwin, Zola wished to write stories which showed the natural progression of heredity; and to depict socio-cultural evolution as he understood it by applying "scientific method" to his writing. Those are the broad strokes for the painting of this series. In more detail, he draws a family (thus far) so vile and repugnant; so disagreeable in every way; so intrinsically nasty, odious and objectionable; so loathsome and contemptible, that one is astounded that there are enough adjectives to describe them. But what a masterful painter he is! ... for he seems to have summoned up every odious characteristic, placed it into the milieu of this family, and set the fuse to blaze, without once leaving the reader feeling that it is over-the-top melodrama, or worse, caricatures of them. These people really do exist. We've all met them, in various guises, in sad and sorry situations in life. The construction of this novel is what astounds me even more than the message, for it is deftly composed, sensitively rendered, and as precise as any scientist in observing the vagaries of human nature. While this novel has engendered a lot of interesting thoughts, I seem to have neither the inclination nor the ability to translate them all into a full review at this time. It probably needs a few more novels into the series to elicit a more considered analysis. This seems to have been a very filling appetizer course ... but an appetizer no less. Prediction: it is a series I will enjoy tremendously. NB. Do yourself a favour, and find a good translation, or read it in French, with a dictionary if you have to. I did read it in French because the only copy available to me in translation was by E. Merton. If I can offer any help at all it is to say: avoid Merton like the plague. Left to Merton, I would have come away thinking Zola was a melodramatic old dolt who should be relegated to the burn pile as wasted paper. I'm glad I made the effort to dig up an old French edition on gutenberg.org. -- though I will admit to taking forever to read this because I am not a great fan of e-readers, kindles, ... what have you. And for some strange reason, it was even more difficult reading Zola electronically than it is reading contemporary fiction. Maybe the medium really *is* the message! [I was affected, deeply, by this storyline, and it continues to simmer, days after I finished reading it. If, in depicting [true, genetic] heredity as a defining force in a person's evolution, Zola also depicts how people become products of their environment -- albeit, paradoxically, all the while that they are shaping their environment. While there is much to be said of the forces that impact people's lives, from the pressures of society, there is an equally balanced argument that man has shaped society by which he is impacted: as the serpent swallows its tail, this story will play itself out into infinity. It will be interesting to follow Zola down this path to see if he ever arrives at a conclusion. Certainly, it seems the family is doomed by its own greed and innate need for self-aggrandizement, just as it is defined from the bloodline of a simpleton, from which the family sprang. Again, paradoxically, it is the simpleton who offers the only bit of wisdom by the end of the novel, and who is redeemable from this lost "basket of deplorables". The innocents in the story die early deaths and it is the immoral, corrupt line that seemingly prospers.]

  6. 5 out of 5

    Greg Brozeit

    A brilliant book, a masterful translation and a compelling story that will make you want to read more of Zola and the Rougon-Macquart cycle. What more can a reader ask for? Brian Nelson's translation and essay puts the entire cycle of novels into context. Zola's narrative gives life to de Toqueville's observations about the differences between aristocracy—being born into social rank and status—and democracy/social equality with rank earned through economic, political or military power, in the sec A brilliant book, a masterful translation and a compelling story that will make you want to read more of Zola and the Rougon-Macquart cycle. What more can a reader ask for? Brian Nelson's translation and essay puts the entire cycle of novels into context. Zola's narrative gives life to de Toqueville's observations about the differences between aristocracy—being born into social rank and status—and democracy/social equality with rank earned through economic, political or military power, in the second volume of Democracy in America. In this story, the reader can observe how the tensions between both created hybrids—aristocracy attained or lost through intrigue and manipulation—of each in middle 19th century France. Seeing how one part of the family rises and other stagnates and falls is also a compelling metaphor for today's ever-widening income and class gaps. Zola's observations are as much at home today as they were when he wrote this novel. Be patient with the dream-like, poetic beginning. Zola brings it all together in a stunning, fast-paced conclusion. An excellent novel by a passionate writer treated with grace by a skilled translator. Let's hope that the other gaps in translation of some of the other novels of the cycle get a new breath of life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rowena

    My first Zola book and an introduction to the Rougon and Macquart families. Such horrible people, for the most part. So much greed, sloth and ignorance. This should be a fun series!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    I love Zola’s writing, I have meant to read more of his Rougon-Macquart series, but I hadn’t read anything for such a long time because I was wondering just how to set about it: •I could carry on picking random books from the series as they could catch my eye. •I could read them in the order they were written. •I could read them in the author’s recommended reading order. I inclined towards the latter, but I hesitated to pick up this first book; because I feared that it would be a complicated setting I love Zola’s writing, I have meant to read more of his Rougon-Macquart series, but I hadn’t read anything for such a long time because I was wondering just how to set about it: •I could carry on picking random books from the series as they could catch my eye. •I could read them in the order they were written. •I could read them in the author’s recommended reading order. I inclined towards the latter, but I hesitated to pick up this first book; because I feared that it would be a complicated setting a lot of things up but not so interesting for its own sake kind of book. When I found a group that was beginning to read the whole series, I knew that it was time for me to begin. I found that my fears weren’t entirely unfounded: there were a lot of characters, there were many stories opening up, and I would have been lost quite early on had my book not had a family tree I could consult; and I’m still not entirely sure about the political history or all of the implications of the story I read. That said though, I loved this book, I’m very glad that I read it. Zola’s writing about his characters and the world around them is so very vivid, and as I began to the roots and branches of this fictitious family tree I was intrigued by the possibilities it presented; for future stories and for what those stories might say. The scene is set, and then this story begins with a pair of young lovers who will be caught up in republican protests. Silvère had planned to join the ranks, and he had brought the gun that had always hung on the wall in his grandmother’s home; Miette had thought that she would be left behind, but she was caught up too and found herself carrying the flag. Then the story went back in time, recounting the recent history of Silvère’s family. Adelaide Fouque was the descended from a family of a market gardeners. She was a simple soul, and after the death of her parents during the French Revolution she was wealthy and completely alone in the world. She was courted by a farm worker named Rougon, she married him, and she gave birth to a son, Pierre. Rougon died not long after the birth of his son, and his wife fell in love with a smuggler and heavy drinker named Macquart. They had two children together: a boy named Antoine and a girl named Ursula. The three children grew up in a haphazard wild manner, and it wasn’t long before Pierre soon began to resent his illegitimate half-siblings and his weak minded mother. Fortune seemed to favour him: Antoine was conscripted into the army, Ursula married and moved away, and when Macquart was killed and Adelaide retired to his cottage to mourn he saw a wonderful opportunity . Pierre tricked his mother into signing over the family home to him, he sold it off, and he used the proceeds to set himself up in the world. He married Felicité, the daughter of a merchant, and a young woman who was every bit as socially ambitious as he was. They rose very little, but they managed to send their sons to good schools and then university, and they hoped and prayed that they would be successful and elevate their family.. The three boys are educated, but with no capital behind them, their options are limited. Pascal, the middle child, becomes a doctor, he does good work but the other two … well, they are rather too like their parents … It seems that the ambitions of Pierre and Felicité will always be thwarted, but finally they have a piece of luck. Their son Eugène had moved to Paris, he was mixing with important people, and he passed information to his parents that would allow them to chose the right associates, express the correct views, and rise to the very top of society in Plassans. Silvère came to Passans after the death of his mother, Ursula, and her husband, Mouret. He lived with his grandmother, Adelaide, now known to all as Aunt Dide; he was apprenticed as a wheelwright and he was introduced to Republican politics by his uncle, Antoine. Antoine had returned from the army and he was the bitterest opponent of his half brother Pierre, who he claimed had cheated him of his inheritance. When the clash of the republicans with the government came to its climax, the Rougons’ yellow drawing room had become the centre of political activity in Plassan as the great and good of the town rallied to support the status quo. Could Pierre and Felicité achive their greatest ambition? What would happen to Silvère and Miette? How would the fallout affect Aunt Dide, Antoine, the three sons of the Rougons? Those are the bare bones of the plot; a plot driven by character, by family relationships and by history. I was so impressed by the portrayal of those family relationships and of how, together with circumstance, they affect the formation of character and the making of decisions; sometimes for good but often, it seems, for bad. I was impressed by the writing. The characters lived and breathed, and everything feel utterly real. I caught the author’s cynicism; I caught his passion for his subject; and sometimes I caught his anger. One thing that particularly impressed me was the way he could take a small incident and use it to say so much. I was particularly taken with the story of the young lovers, and the writing about the natural world that ran through their story. That was something that I hadn’t found in Zola’s books before, and it balance the writing about the Rougons and the town beautifully. There were times when I thought he spent too long with one side of the story; and there were characters I saw too much and others not enough. But maybe as I read on I will see the bigger picture better. I found much to admire, I felt many emotions as I read; and, most of all, I was struck by how very well Zola laid the foundations for so many more books in this one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    Introduction Translator's Note Select Bibliography A Chronology of Émile Zola Family Tree of the Rougon-Macquart --The Fortune of the Rougons Explanatory Notes

  10. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    The Fortune of the Rougons is my first full length novel by Emile Zola. I chose to start with this one because it is the first in the 20 volume Rougon-Macquart series. This series will follow the lives of two branches of the same family and this novel introduces many of the characters that appear later in the series. This novel is not as highly regarded as many of his others, but I liked it very much and I didn't think I would going in. I am interested in French history, especially 18th and 19th The Fortune of the Rougons is my first full length novel by Emile Zola. I chose to start with this one because it is the first in the 20 volume Rougon-Macquart series. This series will follow the lives of two branches of the same family and this novel introduces many of the characters that appear later in the series. This novel is not as highly regarded as many of his others, but I liked it very much and I didn't think I would going in. I am interested in French history, especially 18th and 19th century, and this novels backdrop was the coup d'etat of 1851, the beginning of the Second Empire, and the reign of Napoleon III. This version of The Fortune of the Rougons was an 1898 translation by Vizetelly and by his own admission was highly edited from the original, and there was no other translation until Brian Nelson's in 2012. I find that almost unbeliveable. I will read this new translation just to compare. Nelson has also translated a few of Zola's other novels. 3.5 stars, read and reviewed Dec. 2013, revised Nov. 2015.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ilana

    Zola, basing himself on the works of thinkers of his time, including Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution, believed that heredity and environment were the two most important factors in determining the course of a person's life. He set out to demonstrate this theory in the 20-novel Rougon-Macquart series subtitled The Natural and social history of a family during the Second Empire, which examines the lives of five generations of the respectable (and legitimate) Rougon branch and of the diss Zola, basing himself on the works of thinkers of his time, including Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution, believed that heredity and environment were the two most important factors in determining the course of a person's life. He set out to demonstrate this theory in the 20-novel Rougon-Macquart series subtitled The Natural and social history of a family during the Second Empire, which examines the lives of five generations of the respectable (and legitimate) Rougon branch and of the dissolute (and illegitimate) Macquarts. As preparation for this huge undertaking, he first charted out an elaborate family tree as depicted below. La Fortune des Rougons , the first novel, establishes the origins of the two clans and presents a vast cast of characters, of which several will figure as leading protagonists in consecutive novels. The story opens on the clandestine meeting of two virginal young lovers, Miette and Silvère, just outside the fictional Provençal town of Plassans. Relating their love story leading up to this night—the eve of the 1851 coup d'état—during which Napoleon III came into power, the events of the day forming the central motif of the novel. The two idealistic adolescents are about to join a vast gathering of republicans to storm Plassans and nearby towns along the way to Paris, on a doomed journey to oppose the coup. Plassans is also the hometown of Silvère's grandmother Adelaide Fouque, commonly known as Tante Dide, the matriarch of the Rougon-Macquart dynasty. She is an eccentric and a pariah who, after losing her husband, the late Rougon, who fathered her only legitimate child Pierre, then takes up with the notorious alcoholic and trafficker Macquart, a union from which two more illegitimate children are born. We follow the progress of Pierre Rougon, while he takes his first steps as a young man to secure the family fortune by conning his mother out of her ancestral home and property and taking away his siblings' inheritance. Pierre Rougon and his wife Felicité see their limited fortune spent away on their children and floundering business, and all the while, Pierre's half-brother, Antoine Macquart continually harangues the Rougons for money as compensation for being cheated out of his legacy. Much like his father, Antoine is a profoundly lazy man who contrives to marry a hard-working woman and sponge off her and his children while claiming to have republican ideals. The Rougons, after decades of vain struggles, finally seize their opportunity on this night in 1851, putting in place a series of Machiavellian schemes involving Antoine, and putting the lives of men on the line to finally come into wealth and power, all the while playing power games among themselves to determine who will have the upper hand in this old feud. A fascinating read and a very promising start to a great literary saga. 4.5 stars

  12. 5 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    Comme il avait relevé la fortune des Bonaparte, le coup d'État fondait la fortune des Rougon. Having dipped into the Rougon-Macquart series via some of the 'big' books (Nana, La Bête humaine), I'd like to read the full series in order. This one, the first, is very much an origin or foundation story that traces the complicated Rougon-Macquart family and establishes many of the characters to be followed in the subsequent novels. Set against the coup-d'état of Napoleon III in 1851, we have an inno Comme il avait relevé la fortune des Bonaparte, le coup d'État fondait la fortune des Rougon. Having dipped into the Rougon-Macquart series via some of the 'big' books (Nana, La Bête humaine), I'd like to read the full series in order. This one, the first, is very much an origin or foundation story that traces the complicated Rougon-Macquart family and establishes many of the characters to be followed in the subsequent novels. Set against the coup-d'état of Napoleon III in 1851, we have an innocent love-story between the Republicans Silvere and Miette, contrasted with the greed, political manipulations and bourgeoise hypocrisy of the Rougons. This isn't, I must concede, the best of Zola though already we are witness to his psycho-geography (the L'aire Saint Mittre, for example, where the lush vegetation flourishes because it is fed by decaying bodies in soil from the old cemetery), and the establishment of the Rougon branch of the extended family is correlated to both the ushering in of the Second Empire, and the plants that are rooted in dead bodies. There is some savage social comedy based around the yellow drawing-room of Pierre Rougon, and the tragedy as the defenders of the Republic are massacred. And Zola's prose is always absorbing and fluent, drawing us further. It's noticeable here that much of the story is 'told' rather than 'shown'. So a solid start to the 20-book series and it's fun to have met already characters who we will get to know more deeply later such as Gervaise (L'Assommoir). I would say, though, that if you're new to Zola, it's best to go straight to one of the more famous books rather than starting here.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    At first, I didn't care much for The Fortune of the Rougons: I felt that Émile Zola was trying too hard to establish the back-story of the Rougon-Macquart series of novels that was to come. Only in the last three chapters does The Fortune of the Rougons rise above all this authorial bookkeeping. It all starts with Chapter 5, in which we have the touching love story of Silvere and Miette, a flashback to the two of them joining a mob of insurgents to take an adjoining village. It is probably the cl At first, I didn't care much for The Fortune of the Rougons: I felt that Émile Zola was trying too hard to establish the back-story of the Rougon-Macquart series of novels that was to come. Only in the last three chapters does The Fortune of the Rougons rise above all this authorial bookkeeping. It all starts with Chapter 5, in which we have the touching love story of Silvere and Miette, a flashback to the two of them joining a mob of insurgents to take an adjoining village. It is probably the closest that Zola ever comes to the romantic. But then, in the two remaining chapters, we are in the sleazy world of village politics, which Pierre Rougon and his wife Felicite are navigating in an attempt to win fame and fortune. At the at times tragic, at times bathetic denouement, we have the now demented matriarch of the Rougon-Macquart, Aunt Dide, suddenly come to life:"You're the ones who fired!" she cried. "I heard the gold ... What a wretched woman I am! I brought nothing but wolves into the world ... a whole family ... a whole litter of wolves... There was just one poor lad [Silvere], and they've eaten him up; they each had a bite at him, and their lips are covered with blood ... Damn them! They are thieves and murderers. And they live like gentlemen. Damn them! Damn them!"So I would rate the first four chapters as a three, but the last three a five. The ending is so good that it prevails.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Starting to read the first book of this series made of 20 books. Publication order: La Fortune des Rougon (1871) La Curée (1871-2) Le Ventre de Paris (1873) La Conquête de Plassans (1874) La Faute de l'Abbé Mouret (1875) Son Excellence Eugène Rougon (1876) L'Assommoir (1877)* Une Page d'amour (1878) Nana (1880)* Pot-Bouille (1882) Au Bonheur des Dames (1883) La Joie de vivre (1884) Germinal (1885)* L'Œuvre (1886) La Terre (1887) Le Rêve (1888) La Bête humaine (1890)* L'Argent (1891) La Débâcle (1892) Le Docteur Pasc Starting to read the first book of this series made of 20 books. Publication order: La Fortune des Rougon (1871) La Curée (1871-2) Le Ventre de Paris (1873) La Conquête de Plassans (1874) La Faute de l'Abbé Mouret (1875) Son Excellence Eugène Rougon (1876) L'Assommoir (1877)* Une Page d'amour (1878) Nana (1880)* Pot-Bouille (1882) Au Bonheur des Dames (1883) La Joie de vivre (1884) Germinal (1885)* L'Œuvre (1886) La Terre (1887) Le Rêve (1888) La Bête humaine (1890)* L'Argent (1891) La Débâcle (1892) Le Docteur Pascal (1893) Author's Preface: This work, which will comprise several episodes, is therefore, in my mind, the natural and social history of a family under the Second Empire. And the first episode, here called "The Fortune of the Rougons," should scientifically be entitled "The Origin." In this book, Zola describes the consequences of The 2 December 1851 coup d'état in a small and imaginary village of Plassans. The author also shows the beginning of two different families, the Rougon and the Macquart and how their members face this first period of the Second Empire under Napoleon III also know as "authoritarian empire".

  15. 5 out of 5

    Josh Caporale

    I read this as a buddy read with Ely from the blog Tea & Titles and the Booktube channel Ely Jayne and felt that this was a great experience! Both of us have been looking to explore French author Emile Zola and while I read a short story written by Zola, I did not read any of his novels, especially those in the Rougon-Macquart series. I thought it would be ideal to begin with the very first book in the series and learned a lot about the two families connected by Pierre Rougon and his step-si I read this as a buddy read with Ely from the blog Tea & Titles and the Booktube channel Ely Jayne and felt that this was a great experience! Both of us have been looking to explore French author Emile Zola and while I read a short story written by Zola, I did not read any of his novels, especially those in the Rougon-Macquart series. I thought it would be ideal to begin with the very first book in the series and learned a lot about the two families connected by Pierre Rougon and his step-siblings (aka. "wolf cubs"), Antoine and Ursule Macquart, by a relationship that took place out of wedlock between Pierre's mother, Adelaide, and Macquart. The Fortune of the Rougons shows the ruthlessness that comes with humanity and their many flaws in their desire for money and domination. Pierre, feeling that he deserved the fortune because of his legitimate status, screwed his siblings and mother in the process, and the story shows the result to how his siblings reacted and how this continued to run into the family. While this novel serves as a great introduction to this family, especially that of Pierre and his wife, the straight-forward Felicite, we are given background of Pierre's children and a bit from Antoine and Ursule's children. Since there is a greater concentration on Pierre and Antoine's relationship, we do not get so much background on Antoine's children, who do not play a huge role in his life (nor are they interested in doing so). Aside from these brothers, there is a great amount of attention paid to Ursule's son, Silvere, and his romantic relationship with Miette and family relationship with his grandmother, Adelaide. Silvere and Miette are revolutionaries that are fighting for what is deemed to be a lost cause, but they are still passionate as those their age happen to be in how they want to make a great difference. The fact that they are fighting directly in battle creates a great divide between the likes of Pierre and Antoine and Pierre's sons, Eugene and Aristide, though Pascal (who I was most interested in out of all of the characters) had a bit more of an interaction with those that were fighting as he was a doctor and not a lawyer like his brothers. Zola's greatest strength is his ability to outline the entire situation at hand and tell it the way it is. While this particular novel has the tendency to tell and not show, I feel that it was effective in telling us about the characters. There is a family tree at the beginning of the book which provides readers with the details regarding who is related to who, who was born when, and who dies when in the event that these details were relevant. While this tells us about "what" takes place, we are still curious in finding out "why" and "how" it happened. I also like how Zola points out the flaws of humanity and how their actions are disconnected to the situation at hand, especially when they are the ones controlling the situation. I saw a lot of these expanded thoughts from his short story, "The Attack on the Mill," when it comes to the truth behind war and fighting. His imagery and eye for detail are incredible as well. Zola's writing format is a lot like John Steinbeck's in how he will spend a chapter (or in Zola's case several pages) in talking about the setting and the background of where the story is taking place. I can definitely see where it can be helpful, but can also see where it is a bit tedious. I see it as being a little bit tedious at times, but the strong story makes up for it. What probably causes it to drag to some degree is the amount of chapters. In 293 pages, there were only seven chapters, with one chapter totaling 70 pages! I prefer chapters that are either short or spaced, so that I have a bit more authority over making a clean pause to my reading if need be. This is not a novel of that nature. There is, however, a glossary in the back filled with explanatory notes of some of the historical references or specific details featured in the text. Nevertheless, I feel that Zola's strengths help establish this novel and mold it into what is bound to give us a view of two interesting families, dysfunctional, but perfectly human. From what I am seeing, the novels in this series concentrate on particular family members in each, while giving us details of the entire family as a whole, which is probably why the suggested reading order remains intact, despite the fact one can read most of these in any given order. Here is an individual review of this novel from Literary Gladiators: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQrVk...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    A thoroughly engaging and lyrical novel at the same time. A beautiful exposé of corrupt morals and dirty ambitions. Zola has swept me away. Now, onto the next part.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Barry Pierce

    Throughout The Yellow House, Gayford comments on Van Gogh’s penchant for the novels of Émile Zola, especially the Rougon-Macquart series. This reminded me of an aborted project that I planned some while back in which I was going to read the Rougon-Macquart novels but I never began. I did however buy the first two and, encouraged by Van Gogh himself, I read The Fortune of the Rougons (1871). Vincent Van Gogh gives some brilliant book recommendations. The novel follows the story of Silvère and Mie Throughout The Yellow House, Gayford comments on Van Gogh’s penchant for the novels of Émile Zola, especially the Rougon-Macquart series. This reminded me of an aborted project that I planned some while back in which I was going to read the Rougon-Macquart novels but I never began. I did however buy the first two and, encouraged by Van Gogh himself, I read The Fortune of the Rougons (1871). Vincent Van Gogh gives some brilliant book recommendations. The novel follows the story of Silvère and Miette – young lovers who are caught in the midst of violent coup d’état. However, this being Zola and the beginning of a twenty book cycle, the plot takes the back seat about fifty pages in and you must very slowly and meticulously read on as Zola attempts to explain the family tree of the Rougon-Macquart family. I know that sounds horrible but… it isn’t. Zola somehow makes genealogy interesting. It is a joy to learn about the origins of the Rougons and the dastardly Pierre and his siblings. Whilst the lineage actually takes up most of this novel, the plot is really wonderful despite its brevity. There are some passages that make you want to just die with their utter beauty. Instead of thinking, “oh no there are nineteen more of these books”, I’m thinking of the wonderful time I am going to have travelling through these reticulate novels.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Avec ce premier roman de la saga des Rougon-Macquart, Zola introduit chacun des personnages que l'on suivra par la suite dans les autres romans, avec un style toujours descriptif, et dans un contexte historique bien ancré. J'ai particulièrement aimé suivre les personnages au fil du temps, mais la description des faits historiques m'a parfois lassée, j'ai survolé le dernier tiers du roman. Tips : avoir l'arbre généalogique a proximité est indispensable si l'on ne veut pas se perdre au fil de la le Avec ce premier roman de la saga des Rougon-Macquart, Zola introduit chacun des personnages que l'on suivra par la suite dans les autres romans, avec un style toujours descriptif, et dans un contexte historique bien ancré. J'ai particulièrement aimé suivre les personnages au fil du temps, mais la description des faits historiques m'a parfois lassée, j'ai survolé le dernier tiers du roman. Tips : avoir l'arbre généalogique a proximité est indispensable si l'on ne veut pas se perdre au fil de la lecture.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hiba Arrame

    Je voulais en premier lire quelques livres de la saga des Rougon-Macquart, mais je n'ai pas pu tout simplement ignorer le reste, et c'est comme ça que j'ai commencé à lire le premier roman dans la série. Ce roman est alors un genre d'introduction des caractères qu'on va croiser tout au long des dix-neuf livres restants. Il y a plein de description, plein de détails, ce que j'ai trouvé captif mais des fois commence à devenir ennuyeux et difficile à suivre puisqu'on a plusieurs caractères. L'histo Je voulais en premier lire quelques livres de la saga des Rougon-Macquart, mais je n'ai pas pu tout simplement ignorer le reste, et c'est comme ça que j'ai commencé à lire le premier roman dans la série. Ce roman est alors un genre d'introduction des caractères qu'on va croiser tout au long des dix-neuf livres restants. Il y a plein de description, plein de détails, ce que j'ai trouvé captif mais des fois commence à devenir ennuyeux et difficile à suivre puisqu'on a plusieurs caractères. L'histoire tourne autour des familles Rougon et Macquart, où on trouve plein d'avarie, d'avidité, et d'ambitions sales, et tout ça prend lieu durant une période très importante dans l'histoire de la République Française. J'ai trop aimé le langage de Zola, mais j'ai trouvé qu'à des fois, une arbre généalogique aide plus à suivre ce qui se passe. Et puis, il y avait des fois où l'auteur passait d'une période à l'autre sans avertir le lecteur, et ça je pense être un peu difficile de suivre pour le lecteur contemporain en particulier. J'ai hâte de lire le reste de la série et voir comment ça va finir pour tous.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Scarlett

    "Uspon Rugon-Makarovih" ostaje za mene najbolja Zolina knjiga, bez obzira na neverovatnu težinu "Žerminala" i popularnost "Kaljuge" i "Nane". Ovo je preporuka za sve koji vole porodične sage i koji troše vreme razmišljajući o uticaju genetskog nasleđa na karaktere članova porodice. Ciklus nazvan po ovoj porodici sadrži 20 knjiga koje se mogu čitati i preko reda, ali ako krenete od ovog, prvog dela, mnogo će vam jasnije izgledati slika koju je Zola imao kada se odlučio na stvaranje ovog ogromnog "Uspon Rugon-Makarovih" ostaje za mene najbolja Zolina knjiga, bez obzira na neverovatnu težinu "Žerminala" i popularnost "Kaljuge" i "Nane". Ovo je preporuka za sve koji vole porodične sage i koji troše vreme razmišljajući o uticaju genetskog nasleđa na karaktere članova porodice. Ciklus nazvan po ovoj porodici sadrži 20 knjiga koje se mogu čitati i preko reda, ali ako krenete od ovog, prvog dela, mnogo će vam jasnije izgledati slika koju je Zola imao kada se odlučio na stvaranje ovog ogromnog projekta. Takođe, ako volite istoriju Francuske, pogotovo turbulentnu prvu polovinu 19. veka, u ovom serijalu možete naći prikaz svih društvenih slojeva i njihove uspone i padove tokom godina. Ova knjiga nema glavnog lika. Osnivač porodice je Adelaida, žena slabe volje, bez moralnih okosnica i nezainteresovana za bilo šta sem za zadovoljavanje svojih želja. Udata za Rugona, dobija zakonito dete, čiju granu pratimo baš u tom svetlu, jedinih zakonitih naslednika koji će u narednim knjigama biti predstavnici političke sfere, ekonomske i akademske. Nakon Rugonove smrti, Adelaida dobija dvoje nezakonite dece sa Makarom i taj pečat ostaje na svim njihovim potomcima, oni će predstavljati nemoral, alkoholizam, pohotu i bes. Knjiga je napeta do samog kraja, ima i lepu ljubavnu priču sa neočekivanim raspletom, posle nje ne preostaje ništa nego da se odmah nastavi sa analizom porodice u narednim delovima.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alik

    As is usual with French classics, I felt somewhat put off at first by the sociopolitical data one should be familiar with to fully understand what's happening, but then it becomes a bit clearer, one gets through the symbolic nature descriptions which go on for miles of paper, cleans off the burrs and starts actually enjoying watching Zola creating characters, profiling them meticulously and then throwing them on the board to see how they run. And it does work: they fall awkwardly and get up and s As is usual with French classics, I felt somewhat put off at first by the sociopolitical data one should be familiar with to fully understand what's happening, but then it becomes a bit clearer, one gets through the symbolic nature descriptions which go on for miles of paper, cleans off the burrs and starts actually enjoying watching Zola creating characters, profiling them meticulously and then throwing them on the board to see how they run. And it does work: they fall awkwardly and get up and start acting and turning Zola into the author he became 20 novels later. And Zola seems to have this sly grin of having known and warned you that that's what was going to happen. Some passages, particularly the obviously signifying details, the topography (one feels it could be easier to just put a map on the frontispiece and be done with it, fantasy style) and the melodrama are painfully extensive, but not to the point of dehydration, just mild thirst for action, and it does not fail to arrive. And now I do look forward to a sequel. Go, Zola!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hortenselit

    Après plus de 6 mois, je l'ai (enfin !) terminé ! J'aimerais lire tous les Rougon-Maquart et surtout les lire dans l'ordre pour mieux les comprendre. J'aime toujours autant Zola, ici, les descriptions politiques étaient complexes et j'ai eu du mal à m'y retrouver mais l'histoire d'amour entre Miette et Silvère est tellement belle et innocente... Quelle tristesse que cette histoire dans son ensemble. Une belle critique de la société de "province" qui est prête à tout sacrifier pour plus de reconn Après plus de 6 mois, je l'ai (enfin !) terminé ! J'aimerais lire tous les Rougon-Maquart et surtout les lire dans l'ordre pour mieux les comprendre. J'aime toujours autant Zola, ici, les descriptions politiques étaient complexes et j'ai eu du mal à m'y retrouver mais l'histoire d'amour entre Miette et Silvère est tellement belle et innocente... Quelle tristesse que cette histoire dans son ensemble. Une belle critique de la société de "province" qui est prête à tout sacrifier pour plus de reconnaissance... (comme quoi, rien ne change...)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    “Io voglio spiegare come una famiglia, un piccolo gruppo di persone, si comporta in una società, sviluppandosi per dar vita a dieci, a venti individui che, a prima vista, sembrano profondamente diversi, ma che, analizzati, si rivelano intimamente connessi gli uni agli altri. Come in fisica la gravità, così l’eredità ha le sue leggi.” Così nasce la discendenza Rougon-Macquart, individui caratterizzati da appetiti insaziabili, da ambizioni prepotenti, e da tare ereditarie che si tramandano e si m “Io voglio spiegare come una famiglia, un piccolo gruppo di persone, si comporta in una società, sviluppandosi per dar vita a dieci, a venti individui che, a prima vista, sembrano profondamente diversi, ma che, analizzati, si rivelano intimamente connessi gli uni agli altri. Come in fisica la gravità, così l’eredità ha le sue leggi.” Così nasce la discendenza Rougon-Macquart, individui caratterizzati da appetiti insaziabili, da ambizioni prepotenti, e da tare ereditarie che si tramandano e si modificano in base all’ambiente e alle esperienze. Zola lavora tre anni per dare il via al ciclo dei Rougon-Macquart. Studia le teorie di Darwin e del dottor Lucas, si documenta sull’alcolismo consultando gli scritti del dottor Magnan, sul linguaggio e il comportamento degli operai studiando Poulot. Per raccontare la miseria della classe operaia, ricorre a trattati sociologici di autori come Simenon, Leroy-Beaulieu, Manuel. Tutto questo gli servirà per caratterizzare i personaggi, figure memorabili di grande impatto emotivo.   Ambientato in Francia, nell’immaginaria città di Plassans, durante il Secondo Impero, ci si trova di fronte una famiglia che si fa società e perciò Storia. Alcune pagine sono di una bellezza disarmante.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Markus

    Ce tome étant le premier de la série des Rougon- Macquart, qui traite ses modestes et troubles origines, il faut d'abord essayer de retenir l'arbre généalogique, qui commence avec trois générations. J'avais lu et apprécié L’assommoir, il y a longtemps. Je retrouve avec plaisir le riche style d’écriture du célèbre auteur. Dans ce tome j'ai trouvé un peu lourd et longs des parties consacrés aux amoureux. Par contre le descriptif du soulèvement des Républicains et sa brutale répression et la création Ce tome étant le premier de la série des Rougon- Macquart, qui traite ses modestes et troubles origines, il faut d'abord essayer de retenir l'arbre généalogique, qui commence avec trois générations. J'avais lu et apprécié L’assommoir, il y a longtemps. Je retrouve avec plaisir le riche style d’écriture du célèbre auteur. Dans ce tome j'ai trouvé un peu lourd et longs des parties consacrés aux amoureux. Par contre le descriptif du soulèvement des Républicains et sa brutale répression et la création de la mythique jeune fille, porte drapeau de la révolution est émouvant. Nous lisons ici aussi le début d'une tranche très troublé et véridique de l'histoire de France.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dagny

    The first of Emile Zola's twenty Rougon-Macquart novels introduces readers to the common ancestress, Adelaide Fouque, her children and some of her grandchildren. The story is set around the the coup d'etat of 1851 and Adelaide's history is told via flashbacks, which are at times confusing, but invaluable for the rich family history they contain.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    This is the second Zola novel I've read, and the first in his 20 volume Rougon-Macquart cycle. It's a dark tale about despicable people getting ahead in times of crisis by exploiting people's fears. Zola doesn't have a particularly generous attitude toward people in general I think it's safe to say. After reading this, one is led to ask of people in power -- who did you step on to get there? The story begins with a vivid description of an overcrowded graveyard in the fictional French village of P This is the second Zola novel I've read, and the first in his 20 volume Rougon-Macquart cycle. It's a dark tale about despicable people getting ahead in times of crisis by exploiting people's fears. Zola doesn't have a particularly generous attitude toward people in general I think it's safe to say. After reading this, one is led to ask of people in power -- who did you step on to get there? The story begins with a vivid description of an overcrowded graveyard in the fictional French village of Plassans which was moved, and became a place where children played and gypsies camped. Two young lovers meet there, Silvere and Miette on the cold night that Silvere plans to go off and join an insurgency to defend the Rupublic. Next we get a flashback -- the neurotic Adelaide marries a peasant named Pierre Rougon and has a son by him they name Pierre. After her husband dies, she takes a lover, a rough drunk with wanderlust named Macquart. She has two children by him -- Antoine and Ursule (later the mother of Silvere). Adelaide allows the children to run wild, and soon Pierre sets about getting rid of his two bastard siblings, and selling off his mother's land to steal the family fortune. Pierre marries the avaricious Felicite and has three sons -- Eugene, Aristide and Pascal, along with two daughters (who don't figure into this novel). Eugene and Aristide inherit their mothers avaricious temperament. Pierre and Felicite operate an olive oil business and manage to get by and send their sons to school, but when they retire, they're embittered that they were unable to build a fortune, nor do their sons seem to be likely to do it for them. Meanwhile Pierre's half-brother Antoine returns from a life in the military and wants his share of the family fortune, which Pierre refuses him. Antoine becomes a layabout who complains about the Rougons, and marries so he can live off of his wife and children (none of them will figure into this novel, but will later in the cycle). As lazy as he is, Antoine still resents his poverty and becomes a staunch republican, while his brother Pierre is on the side of the aristocrats who want a monarchy. All of this builds up to a number of battles within the Rougon-Macquart family. A big theme here is freewill and the power of genetics and environment over the individual -- here we're specifically talking about greed, neuroticism and alcoholism. You can see how the characters genetic dispositions, along with their environment makes them who they are. Zola doesn't seem to be the type to agree that we have freewill. In the Preface Zola states, "Heredity, like gravity, has its laws." At the very least we do not get to choose what we "like" or are disposed towards. In this novel Zola introduces us to the main characters of the Rougon-Macquart cycle, and they're almost exclusively greedy, backstabbing cowards. Zola states, "There are some situations that benefit only corrupt individuals. These people lay the foundations of their fortune where more sober and more influential men would never dare to risk theirs." In times of crisis it seems the worst have a way of rising to the top by exploiting people's insecurities. Here we find a cynical, ruthless couple who are willing to step on anyone to get ahead, even stage massacres to do so. The allure of power and wealth corrupts them to the core. The few wholesome characters here meet bad ends, while the cowardly and cunning get ahead. One young dreamer is motivated by genuine, if naive love for his country, yet he meets a bad end compared with others who are merely trying to exploit the situation for their own ends. The character of Felicite is interesting as a sort of Lady Macbeth figure -- she's the real brains behind her husband, without him knowing it. She regrets her evil actions at times, but only briefly, as necessary evils in her attempt to create a "family dynasty." Almost everyone in this book is a total coward. Take the character of Aristide who normally writes a pro-Republican column in his newspaper, but when things come to a crisis he puts his arm in a sling and pretends to be injured so he cannot write and pick a side. He too is just after money and waits to see which side will win out. This novel is is well-written, admittedly I wasn't as involved in this story as I was in "The Drinking Den" for example which I absolutely loved, but it builds up to some pretty good scenes, and some downright heart-wrenching ones as well. There's a lot of switching back and forth in time as Zola tells us of the various characters which will be seen in later books of the series. The attitude here is so cynical, it's hard to imagine something like this being written in America for example, although there are American novels written in the naturalist vein, which I hope to explore.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tristram

    « Toute une famille, toute une portée de loups » Quand j’étais jeune, il y a quelques décennies, j’adorais les livres d’Emile Zola à cause de la vigueur de leurs images, du réalisme que je croyais y apercevoir et des convictions justes de l’auteur. C’est pour renouveler une expérience exquise alors que j’ai recommencé à lire les Rougon-Macquart, son chef-d’œuvre, avec le premier tome La Fortune des Rougon, mais, franchement, la lecture m’a désenchanté dans une certaine mesure. Certes, la poésie de « Toute une famille, toute une portée de loups » Quand j’étais jeune, il y a quelques décennies, j’adorais les livres d’Emile Zola à cause de la vigueur de leurs images, du réalisme que je croyais y apercevoir et des convictions justes de l’auteur. C’est pour renouveler une expérience exquise alors que j’ai recommencé à lire les Rougon-Macquart, son chef-d’œuvre, avec le premier tome La Fortune des Rougon, mais, franchement, la lecture m’a désenchanté dans une certaine mesure. Certes, la poésie de Zola sait toujours m’envahir, surtout au début du livre où le narrateur donne une description impressionnante de l’ancien cimetière et où il établit le thème principale du roman, la croissance de la fortune des Rougon sur la mort : « La terre, que l'on gorgeait de cadavres depuis plus d'un siècle, suait la mort, et l'on avait dû ouvrir un nouveau champ de sépultures, à l'autre bout de la ville. Abandonné, l'ancien cimetière s'était épuré à chaque printemps, en se couvrant d'une végétation noire et drue. » En outre, Zola utilise des métaphores compactes et claires comme, par exemple, le talon couvert de sang de Pierre Rougon qu’il ne peut pas facilement nettoyer et qui reste dans une salle sombre pendant que lui et sa femme célèbrent leur victoire dans le salon jaune, entourés par les autres caricatures bourgeoises. En même temps, il y avait beaucoup de choses qui me gênaient et que je considère assez maladroites maintenant. Premièrement, la haine et le mépris que Zola sent pour les bourgeois comme Rougon finissent à embêter le lecteur quand la satire devient de plus en plus âcre et pénible. Pourquoi, par example, faut-il répéter mille fois que le salon des Rougon est jaune ? Nous savons très bien ce que la couleur jaune veut dire sans que l’auteur en fasse trop. Un autre aspect qui est difficile à goûter pour le lecteur moderne est la théorie génétique embrassée par Zola. Il y a des pages et des pages pendant lesquelles l’auteur nous explique les caractères de ses personnages en utilisant des théories mécanistes qui ont un arrière-goût assez biologiste. En fin de compte, de telles excursions génétiques et l’inclinaison du narrateur de revenir aux mêmes métaphores tous le temps ralentissent l’action du roman à tel point que l’on souhaite que le livre aurait eu une rédaction plus sévère. En résumé, il me faut dire que bien que la langue poétique du narrateur m’ait beaucoup plu, pour le moment je ne vais pas toucher aux autres tomes des Rougon-Macquart.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cirtnecce

    Set during the eve of the 1851 coup, that created the Second Empire under Napoleon III, the novel explores the rise of the Rougan family from Plassans. The novel opens with the description of Plassans and the secret meeting of 17 year old Silvere and his 13 year old sweetheart, Mitte. They meet in old graveyard, before Silvere sets off to join the Republican forces, but inspired by the Republican’s march, Miette also sets off with them. The novel then moves back in time to introduce the reader t Set during the eve of the 1851 coup, that created the Second Empire under Napoleon III, the novel explores the rise of the Rougan family from Plassans. The novel opens with the description of Plassans and the secret meeting of 17 year old Silvere and his 13 year old sweetheart, Mitte. They meet in old graveyard, before Silvere sets off to join the Republican forces, but inspired by the Republican’s march, Miette also sets off with them. The novel then moves back in time to introduce the reader to Adelaide Fouque, a rich, scatterbrained and simple hearted woman, who is left orphaned after the death of her parents during the French Revolution. She marries a common peasant Rougon and has a son through him, Pierre Rougon. Soon after the birth of the son Rougon dies and Adelaide takes up with a lowly smuggler and an alcoholic Macquart. She has two more illegitimate children – a boy Antoine and a girl, Ursula. As the three children grow up in a haphazard wild manner, Pierre soon begins to resent his step brother and sister as well as his weak minded mother. By connivance and contrivance, he gets rid of all three, Antoine Macquart is forced into army conscription, Ursula marries and moves away, and finally poor Adelaide starts living alone in Macquart’s cottage after the smuggler is killed. Pierre then gets complete hold of his mother’s property and sells it off and marries the daughter of an down and out oil merchant, Felicité Puech in an effort to rise beyond his peasant background and become the bourgeois. Despite initial success, Pierre and Felicite, who is an equally socially ambitious woman, never really rise much and struggle to make their livelihood. However, they send their sons to expensive schools and university, in the hope that they would make great success of their lives. Eugène the eldest becomes a lawyer but does not set himself up as a success, Pascal, the second son becomes a kind scholarly doctor and naturalist who is happy to treat the poor and explore nature and study it and the youngest and Felicite’s favorite son Aristide also becomes a lawyer but only dreams of success and does no constructive work. As Pierre and Felicite retire and move into a small apartment, their disappointment in failing to make it big is palpable but there is no relief in near sight, until Eugène leaves for Paris, two years before the Coup and from there on directs the actions of his father and mother in Plassans that should set them up for success. In the meanwhile, the novel comes back to the present with Miette and Silvere continuing their march with the Republicans. By now the readers are aware, that Silvere is actually the youngest son of Ursula and her husband Mouret. After the death of his parents, Silvere is brought by Adelaide, now called Aunt Dide and is apprenticed as a wheelwright and was introduced to Republican politics by his uncle, Antoine, the latter now back from Army and bitter against his half brother Pierre who he claims has cheated Antoine of his inheritance. As the the clash of the Republicans with the government comes to its, climax, the yellow drawing room of Pierre and Felicite becomes the center of politics in Plassan as the chief patrons of the the town rally behind President Napoleon. Guided by the directions of their son Eugene, Pierre and Felicite plan one of the biggest gambles of their lives for the riches they had always dreamt off and as they near their goal, no sacrifice and no price to high t for the final triumph! All my fellow readers had assured me that I would love the book. When I read the blurp, I was not sure, I generally like happy things and this book did not seem happy! As I reached the end, I realized that my initial assessment was correct, this was not a happy book, in fact there were some moments of downright heart break, but I loved the book! Absolutely and completely! There are hardly any likeable characters in the book, except Dr. Pascal and Silvere and Meitte, but you cannot take your attention away from them. Exceptionally well drawn and distinctively different, you can see all them in your mind, down to their stoop and dirty waistcoat. The protagonists are all selfish social climbers, but somehow they are all distinct from one another – Pierre has some native shrewdness, while Antonie is just stupid. Felicite is cunning and shows some streaks of conscience and honesty, but they are drowned in her need to make a material success of her life. You feel sad for poor, foolish Aunt Dide and then are uplifted by the strong convictions of Silvere. The characters are as real as they can get and set up one of the best cases of art imitating life! Zola follows a dual narrative style, starting from the present and taking you back to past and then bringing you back in the present. There are vivid descriptions of the Provinces, the land as well its people and while you do meander somewhat aimlessly at times, it all comes together beautifully in the end! There is much romanticism as well as a strong streak of condemnation of everything that is narrow-minded, provincial and bourgeois. There are several interesting themes in the book including, the effect of nerves that leads to weak minded, lascivious behavior; the effect of haphazard reading in impairing the complete development of mind and good understanding as well need for good moral conduct being the cornerstone of a good character, rather than material success. The language is beautiful and Zola wrote with sensitivity and deep insights into the human heart, that leaves you awe struck. The ending paragraph displays all of this, the quintessential Zola brilliance, that makes you feel, that you have just undergone an emotional catharsis – “But the strip of pink satin fastened to Pierre’s button-hole was not the only red spot in that triumph of the Rougons. A shoe, with a blood-stained heel, still lay forgotten under the bedstead in the adjoining room. The taper burning at Monsieur Peirotte’s bedside, over the way, gleamed too with the lurid redness of a gaping wound amidst the dark night. And yonder, far away, in the depths of the Aire Saint-Mittre, a pool of blood was congealing upon a tombstone” Profound, moving and I cannot help but keep saying heart breaking! One of my best reads of not only the year, but like forever!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mohsen Rajabi

    روایت داستان همان روایت همیشگی جذاب و خاص زولا است. کتاب دارایی خانواده روگن-ماکار شروع شاهکاری بیست جلدی است که زولا آفرینندهی آن است. من پیش از این ژرمینال، شکست و آسوموار را از این مجموعه خوانده بودم ولی تصمیم گرفتم که به سراغ اولین جلد از این شاهکار بروم و باید بگویم که انصافا بسیار راضی بودم در این کتاب عشق هست، سیاست هست، مسائل خانوادگی و اجتماعی و فردی هست و زولا نشان میدهد که در نوشتن یک ناتورالیست تمام عیار است. توجه زولا به مسألهی وراثت بسیار جالب و شدید است، و با اینحال همیشه محیط نیز روایت داستان همان روایت همیشگی جذاب و خاص زولا است. کتاب دارایی خانواده روگن-ماکار شروع شاهکاری بیست جلدی است که زولا آفریننده‌ی آن است. من پیش از این ژرمینال، شکست و آسوموار را از این مجموعه خوانده بودم ولی تصمیم گرفتم که به سراغ اولین جلد از این شاهکار بروم و باید بگویم که انصافا بسیار راضی بودم در این کتاب عشق هست، سیاست هست، مسائل خانوادگی و اجتماعی و فردی هست و زولا نشان می‌دهد که در نوشتن یک ناتورالیست تمام عیار است. توجه زولا به مسأله‌ی وراثت بسیار جالب و شدید است، و با اینحال همیشه محیط نیز به عنوان عامل مهمی در شکل‌گیری شخصیت افراد خود را نشان می‌دهد. در این کتاب هم نباید انتظار داستانی با پایان خوش را انتظار داشته باشید و اگر کتاب‌های دیگر زولا مثل ژرمینال را خوانده باشید می‌دانید که زولا آنقدر در روایتش بی‌رحم است که تا اشکتان را درنیاورد راضی نمی‌شود.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Big Al

    Brilliant start to the Rougon-Macquart series! Plus now I have lots of handy tips for how to exploit the aftermath of a political crisis for my own personal gain, so that's pretty sweet.

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