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Oxford World's Classics
'It was the time when the rush for spoils filled a corner of the forest with the yelping of hounds, the cracking of whips, the flaring of torches. The appetites let loose were satisfied at last, shamelessly, amid the sound of crumbling neighbourhoods and fortunes made in six months. The city had become an orgy of gold and women.'
The Kill (La Curee) is the second volume in Zola's great cycle of twenty novels, Les Rougon-Macquart, and the first to establish Paris - the capital of modernity - as the centre of Zola's narrative world. Conceived as a representation of the uncontrollable 'appetites' unleashed by the Second Empire (1852-70) and the transformation of the city by Baron Haussmann, the novel combines into a single, powerful vision the twin themes of lust for money and lust
for pleasure. The all-pervading promiscuity of the new Paris is reflected in the dissolute and frenetic lives of an unscrupulous property speculator, Saccard, his neurotic wife Renee, and her dandified lover, Saccard's son Maxime.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Emile Zola's The Kill, in Brian Nelsons thrillingly good Oxford World's Classics translation, is one of the most sensuous, sexy books that I think Ive ever read. * Illuminations * Nelson's translation is preceded by a highly useful and scrupulously researched introduction [with] a depth of analysis rarely found in introduction of this kind... The translation itself is sensitive and elegant...the text reads as an engaging and thoughtful close rereading of the original which is especially effective in bringing Zola's fascination with descriptive detail to the attention of the anglophone reader without syntactically overburdening the prose. * Hannah Thompson, Modern Languages Review vol 102, part1 *