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The Downfall

Émile Zola

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .March, march, onward ever, with no look behind, through mud, through rain, to the bitter end!


"Thunder!" Chouteau ejaculated the following morning when he awoke, chilled and with aching bones, under the tent, "I wouldn't mind having a bouillon with plenty of meat in it."

At Boult-aux-Bois, where they were now encamped, the only ration issued to the men the night before had been an extremely slender one of potatoes; the commissariat was daily more and more distracted and disorganized by the everlasting marches and countermarches, never reaching the designated points of rendezvous in time to meet the troops. As for the herds, no one had the faintest idea where they might be upon the crowded roads, and famine was staring the army in the face.

Loubet stretched himself and plaintively replied:

"Ah, fichtre, yes!—No more roast goose for us now."

The squad was out of sorts and sulky. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Emile Zola takes as his subject one of the most searing moments in French history: The defeat at Sedan in the abortive Franco-Prussian War, followed by the Paris Commune, in which the inhabitants of Paris, in effect, rose up and nullified the Versailles government under Adolphe Thiers. The action is

به نظرم فقط زولاست که میتونه شرایط سخت رو به بهترین نحو روایت کنه و به تصویر بکشه. چون فضاسازیش عالیه. کتاب روایتی از شکست فرانسه در برابر ارتش آلمان و جنگ با دولت پروس است. داستان سربازها، ستوان‌ها، سرهنگ‌ها و ... همسران و معشوقه‌های آن‌ها. روایتی از بی نظمی نظام فرانسه که مطابق با سلیقه‌های شخصی و

This Rougon-Macquart tome deals with the war, particularly the Franco-Prussian war of the 1870s, which ended the Second Empire. Zola tells in detail the lives of soldiers who lived through the humiliation of the French troops' defeat. We see in the details the arduous march of untrained soldiers aga

LA DEBACLE, de Émile Zola

"Él, nacido en 1841, educado como un señorito, hecho un abogado, capaz de realizar las mayores tonterías y de abrigar los más grandes entusiasmos, vencido en Sedán, en una catástrofe que adivinaba era inmensa, que acababa un mundo, y aquella degeneración de la raza, que expl

Better than War and Peace? Maybe. Certainly belongs on any list of great novels about the brutality of war. Some scenes felt to me akin to those in the great WW1 novels which would not come for another 30 years or so.

The end felt a little rushed - I would have liked more time in the Commune etc. One

Sinoć sam pročitala „Slom“. Nisam bila u stanju napisati adekvatnu recenziju, pa odložih za danas, verujući da će mi biti lakše, kad malo sumiram utiske. Nije mi lakše. Niti mislim da mogu sročiti sve što bih rekla o ovom neverovantom delu.

Počelo je sporo, usudiću se da kažem i dosadno...čini mi se

Note on the Translation
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Émile Zola
The Franco-Prussian War and the Commune
The Fictional Characters

--La Débâcle

Explanatory Notes

This is superb. A historical novel about the astonishing failure of the French at Sedan on Prussia's 1870 invasion. I've read it two or three times, and will read it again. What greater praise can there be than that?

شکست. در ابتدا چیزی که برایم جالب بود، نام ساده‌ کتاب بود. عادت کرده‌ بودم نام کتاب‌های زولا، کمی کوبنده یا خاص باشد، مانند گناه کشیش موره، آسوموار (شرابخانه)، نانا و کتاب ویژه او با آن اسم عجیب و غریبش: ژرمینال. اما این یکی، خیلی ساده: شکست. خب، کتاب خیلی مرتب و دست‌به‌سینه مثل شاگردهای مؤدب آن بال

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