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Featured boxing book:
Émile ZOLA, Germinal.

"Germinal" ois the name for spring and summer months adopted during the French Revolution. Germinal is one of 20 novels Zola wrote about industrialization and its effect on French life. This novel concerns the coal mining industry of northern France and recounts, in harrowing detail, the conditions under which men, women, and children worked their whole lives. Their squalid homes were within walking distance of the mansions inhabited by owners and investors, who, despite their proximity to poverty and degradation, are portrayed as maintaining a positive view of the industry's effects on those who operated it.
In this book, as in others, including Gervaise, a novel about the working poor of Paris, alcohol plays a large role, not only providing escape from ghastly working and living conditions but also undercutting the social and economic advancement hard work might have been expected to bring.
The novel includes many scenes that take place in bars and drinking establishments, and in one of them a fight develops between two men who have been keeping company with the same woman. One of them is Chaval, a tall, uneducated miner. The other is Étienne Lantier, one of the novel's chief characters, an idealistic socialist--literate, of cours--who serves as Zola's test case (none too successful) for social reform.
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Winter 2018-2019