Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Sunday, July 17, 2016

"Love Under the Roof" - A Short Story From the Parisian Sketches of Emile Zola- Plus my Ideas on the best set in Paris Zola novels

So far for July in Paris I have read

1.  The Dogs and the Wolves by Iréne Nemirovsky 

2.  Mavis Gallant -  Two Set in Paris works, a short story and a note book entry

3.  Five Nights in Paris by John Baxter.

4.  The Little Paris Book Store by Nina George

5.  "The Problem of Summer Time" by Marcel Ayme

I could not let Paris in July end with posting on Emile Zola, one of the greatest French writers.

This post Includes my suggestions as to the best set in Paris novels in the Les Rougon-Macquart Cycle.

Last year I completed a read of the twenty novels in Emile Zola's Les Rougon-Macquart Cycle.  It follows the lives of two interrelated families in France from 1855 to 1870.  Some of the works in the cycle are among the greatest of all French novels, others take a bit of will to complete.  As I read on, I found a very sentimental attitude toward virginal young women.  Zola's treatment of love before sex and marriage enters the picture is highly romantic.  I highly recommend reading the full cycle in publication order to all serious literary autodidacts.  

I could not participate in Paris in July without including a work set in Paris by Zola but  before I do That I want to list my favorite set in Paris novels in the Les Rougon-Macquart Cycle.

My Suggestions For Set in Paris Novels by Emile Zola

1.  Nana.  Centers on a Parisian prostitute.  A harshly realistic look at the demimonde world.  Considered  by all one of his very best works.

2.  The Dram Shop.  Set in the slums of Paris.  We learn about the upbringing of Nana.  This works focuses on the terrible impact of alcoholism,  in spite of how it sounds, this is a very funny novel. One of my favorites.

3.  The Big Store.  Set in a giant Paris department store.  Recently made into a movie.  Business details are very well done.

4.  The Belly  of Paris.  Centered on the food market.

"Love Upon the Roof" is very typical of Zola's stories that center on young "pure" women.  The central character is twenty and is on her own in Paris.  She works as a seamstress, as Zola tells us very common occupation for single women in Paris.  Everything is beautiful in the young woman's world, she is in love.  "Love Upon the Roof" can be read in under five minutes, great it is not but it illustrates a side of Zola's worldview.  It is part of a series of four stories known as The Parisian Sketches.

Mel u

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