The Fortune Of The Rougons- Emile 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. After a stirring opening on the eve of the coup d'état, involving an idealistic young village couple joining up with the republican militia in the middle of the night, Zola then spends the next few chapters going back in time to pre-Revolutionary Provence, and proceeds to lay the foundations for the entire Rougon-Macquart cycle, committing himself to what would become the next twenty-two years of his life's work. The fictional town of Plassans (loosely based on the real city of Aix-en-Provence, where Zola grew up) is established as the setting for the novel and described in intimate detail, and then we are introduced to the eccentric heroine Adelaide Fouque, later known as "Tante Dide", who becomes the common ancestor for both the Rougon and Macquart families. Her legitimate son from her short marriage to her late husband, a labourer named Rougon who worked on Dide's land, is forced to grow up alongside two illegitimate children — a boy and a girl — from Dide's later romance with the smuggler, poacher and alcoholic Macquart, while the ageing Dide slides further and further into a state of mental illness and borderline senile dementia. From this premise, the next nineteen novels all get their central protagonists and to a certain extent their themes. The narrative continues along double lines, following both "branches" of the family….
© Enrico Conti (E-Book)