L'Assommoir by Emile ZolaL'Assommoir by Emile Zola


byEmile ZolaTranslated byMargaret MauldonEditorRobert Lethbridge

Paperback | February 10, 2009

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The seventh novel in the Rougon-Macquart cycle, L'Assommoir (1877) is the story of a woman's struggle for happiness in working-class Paris. It was a contemporary bestseller, outraged conservative critics, and launched a passionate debate about the legitimate scope of modern literature. At the centre of the novel stands Gervaise, who starts her own laundry and for a time makes a success of it. But her husband Coupeau squanders her earnings in the Assommoir, the local drinking shop, and gradually the pair sink into poverty and squalor. L'Assommoir is the most finely crafted of Zola's novels, and this new translation captures not only the brutality but also the pathos of its characters' lives. This book is a pwerful indictment of nineteenth-century social conditions, and the introduction examines its relation to politics and artas well as its explosive effect on the literary scene.
Robert Lethbridge is Fellow and Director of Studies in Modern and Medieval Languages at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Margaret Mauldon lives in Amhurst, Massachusetts, and is working on other World's Classics translations.
Title:L'AssommoirFormat:PaperbackDimensions:528 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.03 inPublished:February 10, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199538689

ISBN - 13:9780199538683


Rated 1 out of 5 by from why so This was painful to read, the story itself isn't bad, but there's so much emphasis on useless actions, so many repetitions, and Gervaise keeps taking absurd decisions that precipitate her into misery. I felt absolutely no empathy towards her, it's just greediness that made her miserable in the end. Definitely not a book I enjoyed.
Date published: 2016-11-18

Editorial Reviews

'Margaret Mauldon begins her brief "notes on the translation" ... calling it "a notoriously difficult text to translate" ... if Mauldon moves on, as one hopes she will, to another Zola novel, she will not find herself facing again the difficulties that beset her with L'Assommoir and which shehas overcome so brilliantly.'Times Literary Supplement