In a dingy apartment on the Passage du Pont-Neuf in Paris, ThA(c)rA]se 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 husbandas earthy friend Laurent, but their animal passion for each other soon compels the lovers to commit a crime that will haunt them forever. "ThA(c)rA]se Raquin" caused a scandal when it appeared in 1867 and brought its twenty-seven-year-old author a notoriety that followed him throughout his life. Zolaas 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.
Set in the claustrophobic atmosphere of a dingy haberdasher's shop in the passage du Pont-Neuf in Paris, this powerful novel tells how the heroine and her lover, Laurent, kill her husband, Camille, but are subsequently haunted by visions of the dead man and prevented from enjoying the fruits of their crime. Published in 1867, this is Zola's most important work before the Rougon-Macquart series and introduces many of the themes that can be traced through the later novel cycle.
Emile Zola (1840-1902) was the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. His principal work, Les Rougon-Macquart, is a panorama of mid-19th century French life, in a cycle of 20 novels which Zola wrote over a period of 22 years.
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