Napoleon in Fiction – The Belly of Paris.

Author(s) : Zola Emile
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Originally published in 1873 and, until recently, difficult to find in translation, this is Zola's sad sad tale of a schoolteacher's ill-fated life during the Second Empire. Napoleon III's Paris is painted with the kind of colour that recalls Dickens' evocations of London. Zola's prose is brutally descriptive of his setting, which are the new markets in Les Halles, the “colossal belly” of the Empire. A powerful smorgasbord whose perfumes and stench overwhelm the story's hero, but not the spirit of political opposition.

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Sun and Moon Press
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