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Madeleine Ferat by Émile Zola
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Madeleine Ferat (1868)

by Émile Zola

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Also published as 'Madeleine Ferat',this story focusses on a young woman who has a short-lived affair till her lover leaves her for a career abroad, telling her to move on. Madeleine subsequently meets and marries Guillaume who is damaged by his strange upbringing and years of bullying at school. Just one other person had ever shown him kindness, his old friend Jacques. It only comes out after a while that Jacques was also Madeleine's one-time lover...
There's an awful lot of anguish in this novel; what starts out as an interesting scenario ended up making me think 'stop over reacting!' Brooding journeys through the night; a lugubrious Protestant servant preaching damnation; some extraordinary co-incidences and much melodrama. Not Zola at his best. ( )
  starbox | Oct 25, 2012 |
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to Edouard Manet: 'when from sheer indignation I took up the cudgels on behalf of your gifted work, I did not know you from Adam. But there were fools about bold enough to declare that you and I had been secretly in league, to achieve notoriety. Seeing that these idiots thus introduced us personally to one another, suppose we make it a permanent friendship? The hoi polloi have thus made me your friend, but that being so, and the friendship put on a permanent basis, I would rather like to register the fact publicly by dedicating this work to you.' (Sep 1st 1868)
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Guillaume and Madeleine got out at Fontenay halt.
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Excessively angst-ridden tale of a woman whose lover leaves her. She marries, has a child, and all is blissful with her emotionally needy husband...until it comes out that the ex-lover was his former best friend.
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