Emile Zola: La Terre [Earth]

(1759 words)
  • Andrew Counter (Oxford University)

The fifteenth novel in Zola’s Les Rougon-Macquart series, La Terre [The Earth / The Land] was serialized in Le Gil Blas between 29 May and 16 September 1887, and published in volume form in November of the same year. Within the grand sociological sweep of Zola’s series (identified in its subtitle as an “histoire naturelle et sociale” [“natural and social history”]), La Terre is devoted to an exploration of the lives of the peasant class; peasant characters had featured in the 1875 novel La Faute de l’abbé Mouret [Father Mouret’s Sin], but only in the background. Compositionally one of Zola’s most ambitious novels, La Terre features a particularly large …

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Counter, Andrew. "La Terre". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 January 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11317, accessed 25 September 2016.]