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e-Book The Masterpiece (Oxford World's Classics) download

e-Book The Masterpiece (Oxford World's Classics) download

by Émile Zola,Roger Pearson,Thomas Walton

ISBN: 0192839632
ISBN13: 978-0192839633
Language: English
Publisher: Oxford University Press; New Ed edition (July 22, 1999)
Pages: 464
Category: History and Criticism
Subategory: Literature

ePub size: 1553 kb
Fb2 size: 1900 kb
DJVU size: 1642 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 267
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Series: Oxford World's Classics. Paperback: 400 pages.

Series: Oxford World's Classics. The Masterpiece" is itself a masterpiece from Emile Zola about the utter anguish of an artist over the gap between life and art. Claude is a French artist living in Paris when naturalism was just beginning to give way to Impressionism. By a naturalist we mean "one who studies nature" itself in the same way in which Seamus Heaney wrote in "The Death of a Naturalist" and the depiction of nature in a strictly natural way: that is, the quest of the artist was to show life within nature through a photographic verisimilitude or realism. Paperback: 464 pages. It's a wordy book, but artists are wordy people. There are chapter-long conversations that do not advance the plot, but rather serve as manifestos of Zola's literary aspirations, and of the aesthetics of the Impressionist painters who were his contemporaries. If not, you may be bored. Me, I find that there are more boring readers in the world than boring books.

mile Zola Translated by Thomas Walton and Translation revised and introduced by Roger Pearson. Oxford World's Classics. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Oxford worlds classics, . 4 The world of high finance and the stock exchange is described by Zola in Money (Oxford World’s Classics, 2014). Zola, Émile, The Masterpiece, trans. Oxford World’s Classics, . 5 Property speculation is a major theme of the second novel of the Rougon-Macquart series, The Kill. 6 Theodore Zeldin, The Political System of Napoleon III (London: Macmillan; New York: St Martin’s Press, 1958) and Émile Ollivier and the Liberal Empire of Napoleon III (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963). Thomas Walton, rev. Roger Pearson. Zola, Émile, Money, trans.

Mitterand, Henri, Émile Zola: Fiction and Modernity, trans. and ed. Monica Lebron and David Baguley (London: The Émile Zola Society, 2000). - The Masterpiece, trans. Thomas Walton, revised by Roger Pearson. - (e., Naturalism in the European Novel: New Critical Perspectives (New York and Oxford: Berg, 1992)., The Cambridge Companion to Émile Zola (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Roger Pearson was born in 1927.

Items related to The Masterpiece (Oxford World's Classics). mile Zola, Roger Pearson, Thomas Walton (Translator). Published by Oxford University Press, USA (1999). mile Zola; Roger Pearson The Masterpiece (Oxford World's Classics). ISBN 13: 9780192839633. The Masterpiece is the tragic story of Claude Lantier, an ambitious and talented young artist who has come from the provinces to conquer Paris but is conquered instead by the flaws of his own genius. Set in the 1860s and 1870s, it is the most autobiographical of the twenty novels in Zola's Rougon-Macquart series. ISBN 10: 0192839632 ISBN 13: 9780192839633.

The Masterpiece - Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)

The Masterpiece - Oxford World's Classics (Paperback). The Masterpiece is the tragic story of Claude Lantier, an ambitious and talented young artist from the provinces who has come to conquer Paris and is conquered by the flaws in his own genius. While his boyhood friend Pierre Sandoz becomes a successful novelist, Claude's originality is mocked at the Salon and turns gradually into a doomed obsession with one great canvas. Life - in the form of his model and wife Christine and their deformed child Jacques - is sacrificed on the altar of Art.

Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 464 pages.

The Masterpiece is the tragic story of Claude Lantier, an ambitious and talented young artist who has come from the provinces to conquer Paris but is conquered instead by the flaws of his own genius. Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 464 pages. Published July 22nd 1999 by Oxford University Press (first published 1886).

Oxford world’s classics. His excellency eugène rougon Oxford World’s Classics. His Excellency Eugène Rougon. Translated with an Introduction and Notes by. mile Zola was born in Paris in 1840, the son of a Venetian engineer and his French wife. He grew up in Aix-en-Provence, where he made friends with Paul Cézanne. After an undistinguished school career and a brief period of dire poverty in Paris, Zola joined the newly founded publishing firm of Hachette, which he left in 1866 to live by his pen. He had already published a novel and his first collection of short stories. Oxford World’s Classics.

The Masterpiece is the tragic story of Claude Lantier, an ambitious and talented young artist who has come from the provinces to conquer Paris but is conquered instead by the flaws of his own genius. Set in the 1860s and 1870s, it is the most autobiographical of the twenty novels in Zola's Rougon-Macquart series. It provides a unique insight into Zola's career as a writer and his relationship with Cezanne, a friend since their schooldays in Aix-en-Provence. It also presents a well-documented account of the turbulent Bohemian world in which the Impressionists came to prominence despite the conservatism of the Academy and the ridicule of the general public.
Comments:
Gribandis
This novel, I mean, despite all the 'faint praise' four-star reviews. I had the advantage, I confess, of reading it in French, but my wife read this translation and thought it was adequate.

The English title, however, isn't entirely adequate. The original - L'Oeuvre/ The Work - could refer to a single painting or just as well to the Works of a painter or to the Vocation/Work of being an artist. There are two characters in this novel who are consumed by their Work, the writer Pierre Sandoz and the painter Claude Lantier. The narrative focuses on the painter, Claude, whose genius is recognized only by his few closest friends, whose paintings are rejected and ridiculed by the public, and who in fact is pathologically unable to finish work, to express that genius to his own satisfaction. Claude's "Work" is a tragic failure in the end. But beyond the story of poor Claude, this novel is a profound depiction of the Artist -- any artist on any art -- and his/her agonistic consummation in The Work. Reading this novel with empathy will offer you two life-choices: 1) to be double-darn grateful NOT to be an artist, or 2) to be unable to imagine that Life is worth living if you are NOT an artist.

It's a wordy book, but artists are wordy people. There are chapter-long conversations that do not advance the plot, but rather serve as manifestos of Zola's literary aspirations, and of the aesthetics of the Impressionist painters who were his contemporaries. If those Impressionists are among your own artistic favorites, you will be thrilled by Zola's animation of them. If not, you may be bored. Me, I find that there are more boring readers in the world than boring books. One of those conversations, outdoors, between Claude and Pierre, amounts to Zola's 'prospectus' for his life work, the twenty novels of the "Rougon-Macquart" series. Pierre says:
"I know now exactly what I'm going to do in all this. Oh, nothing colossal, something quite modest, just enough for one lifetime even when you have some pretty exaggerated ambitions! I'm going to take a family and study each member of it, one by one, where they come from, what becomes of them, how they react to one another. Humanity in miniature, therefor, the way humanity evolves, the way it behaves... I shall place my characters in some definite period that will provide the milieu and the prevailing circumstances and make the thing a sort of slice of history... I shall make it a series of novels, say fifteen or twenty, each complete in itself and with its own particular setting, but all connected, a cycle of books...."
The character Pierre was just beginning his first novel, which would start him on a career of success, but foxy old Emile Zola was back-filling here. L'Oeuvre was the fourteenth of the Rougon-Macquart cycle, published in 1886. The twentieth -- Le Docteur Pascal -- would appear in 1893, four years before William Faulkner (America's great family-cycle novelist) was born.

Claude, Pierre, and their friends in the novel are "Bohemians" and The Masterpiece is a tangy, slangy, slightly lurid portrayal of the Bohemian lifestyle, that social and sexual freedom which lured artists and writers to the Paris of the mid-19th Century. Zola's books were shocking to his contemporaries, even in France but especially in Victorian England and America. Not only did he describe sexual relations explicitly but he removed them from questions of morality. Worse yet, he blatantly asserted the 'truth' of that horrid man Darwin! Zola was the first novelist of note to treat humanity as subject to evolutionary constraints, the first novelist of modern sociology. To my mind, Zola still seems a radically 'modern' writer.

That 'Bohemian' Paris, don't you know, is the Paris we all want to visit! The Paris we hope to see as tourists! That's another glory of Zola's Work; it's the closest we can come to a time machine. The descriptions of Paris -- of its streets, parks, crowds, passions in the 1800s -- are superbly evocative, even in the English translation. The hapless Claude, in the novel, is obsessed with the image of Paris that he aspires to paint on a canvas "as big as the Louvre". Claude's brief 'happiness', with his adoring wife and without the need to paint, takes place in the countryside, but Claude can't escape his obsession with Paris and its life of The Work. Eventually, Paris and L'Oeuvre consume him. His wife, for whom both the fictional author Pierre and the actual author Emile feel enormous affection and comprehension, falls victim to L'Oeuvre as tragically as Claude. Zola's portrayal of women in this novel and others, by the way, has been denounced by some as disparaging to women. I absolutely disagree. His women are flesh-and-blood real, complete in themselves, plausible, and every bit as admirable and/or despicable as his men.

I'd love to do an experiment in 'perception' with this novel, using two groups of readers. One group would read it "cold", with no prefaces or critiques telling them what to expect. The other group would be aware of the common critical assumptions that The Masterpiece is autobiographical and that Claude was intended as a partial portrayal of the painter Paul Cezanne. It's true that Zola and Cezanne were boyhood and lifetime friends, coming from the same city of southern France. It's very likely that Zola drew details of his novel from real-life experiences, including experiences borrowed from the life of Cezanne. And it seems to be true that Cezanne was somewhat offended by L'Oeuvre when he read it. But Claude Lantier is NOT Cezanne! And if Zola intended him to be Cezanne, he flagrantly misunderstood and misrepresented his friend. The paintings that Claude in the novel hopes to exhibit -- paintings of monstrous scope -- are nothing like Cezanne's. In fact, the one painting that Claude exhibits in the Gallery of the Rejected (an actual historical exhibit) is far closer to Manet than Cezanne, by its description. Cezanne's recognition was slow coming, but it came in full measure; Cezanne was NOT a frustrated failure, not at any time even in his own mind. The portrayal of Claude's self-destructive obsessive-compulsive personality could be taken as prophetic; the next generation of painters did include Vincent van Gogh, after all. In general, Zola understood writers and the aesthetic aspirations of writers far more clearly than he understood visual artists and their aesthetic preoccupations. That, I think, is the only weakness of this novel; Zola presumes to speak for painters too freely. One might also carp at Zola's depiction of the writer Pierre Sandoz; he "goes easy" on himself, if indeed Pierre is a self-portrait. Pierre is modest, brave, and above all loyal throughout. I can hardly believe Zola himself was so lovable.

One more 'pleasure' plucked from this English translation. Here's the description of the feast Pierre and his charming wife prepare, for the last uncomfortable reunion of their Bohemian circle of artist-friends:
"They were both fond of exotic dishes, and on this occasion decided on oxtail soup, grilled red mullet, fillet of beef with mushrooms, ravioli a l'italienne, hazel-hens from Russia and a truffle salad, as well as caviar and kilkis for hors d'oeuvre, a praline ice cream, a little Hungarian cheese green as an emerald, some fruit and pastries. To drink, simply some decanters of vintage claret, Chambertin with the roast and sparkling Moselle as a change from the same old champagne with the dessert."

A thousand devils, my friends! I was born in the wrong century!

Dynen
"The Masterpiece" is itself a masterpiece from Emile Zola about the utter anguish of an artist over the gap between life and art. Claude is a French artist living in Paris when naturalism was just beginning to give way to Impressionism. By a naturalist we mean "one who studies nature" itself in the same way in which Seamus Heaney wrote in "The Death of a Naturalist" and the depiction of nature in a strictly natural way: that is, the quest of the artist was to show life within nature through a photographic verisimilitude or realism. Imagine being Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Edouard Manet at the outset of the Impressionist Movement, which at the time of this novel, was widely considered as laughable. In this novel the protagonist, Claude, has devoted his entire life to the creation of a masterpiece of art accepted by the Salon, patrons, art dealers, art critics and general public of Parisian society. Claude meets with artistic rejection at every turn as portrayed by his friend, Sandoz, an up and coming novelist, who is thinly veiled as Zola himself. Novels like the painting of the day were judged by standards of realism: the work was of the highest quality only if it captured life itself in a realistic and natural setting. For example, Henry James wrote his works at the same time as Zola and the literary styles seek to capture the nuances of setting and characters and action in realistic ways. Sentences flow in traditional style with subjects and predicates nicely arranged and without stylistic breakthroughs which would follow from James Joyce. Claude is obsessed with perfection in his art and is willing to go to any artistic length to seek to achieve it. He and his family endure the most dire poverty in pursuit of his aim and his wife suffers more than he does in support of his artistic ambitions. But poor Claude is rejected everywhere by most who fail to recognize the real artistic genius which his fellow artists and Sandoz clearly see as luminous within him. He wonders if it is better to live and die unknown than to suffer the sacrifices he has made for his art. "Immortality at present depends entirely on the average middle-class mind and is reserved only for the names that have been most forcefully impressed upon us while we were still unable to defend ourselves," Zola writes. A painting that he has produced for exhibition by Salon society in Paris causes howls of laughter by those observing it. He has little faith that posterity will judge his art more kindly: "Suppose the artist's paradise turned out to be non-existent and future generations proved just as misguided as the present one and persisted in liking pretty-pretty dabbling better than honest-to-goodness painting! What a cheat for us all, to have lived like slaves, noses to the grindstone all to no purpose." What about those whom the public deem to be great artists? Will their work survive them? "There is only one way of working and being happy at the same time, and that is never to rely on either good faith or justice. And if you want to prove you're right, you've got to die first." The critics are always throwing brickbats, not only at Claude, but also at Sandoz who after a terrible review by a close friend who is an editor responds by telling him: "Since my enemies are beginning to sing my praises, there are only my friends to run me down." At one point toward the end of his life Claude laments the pointlessness and futility of his artistic genius: "It's so pointless, isn't it? And that's what is so revolting about it. If you can't be a good painter, we still have life! Ah, life, life!" But there is little Claude can do except to continue to paint: "Art is the master, my master, to dispose of me as it pleases. If I stopped painting it would kill me all the same, so I prefer to die painting. My own will doesn't really enter into it." He has a vision of a style of art which is to come and dominate the art world but which no one else of his era can see and so he is compelled to suffer for it: "Will people understand that anyone who produces something new, and that's an honor that doesn't come to everybody, anyone who produces something new is bound to depart from received wisdom." Zola's dim and dire tale based upon his own suffering but ultimate success of his novels during his own lifetime seem to affirm: "Nothing is ever completely wasted, and there's simply got to be light!...We are not an end: we are a transition, the beginning only of something new." "The Masterpiece" is an imperfect work but so is all art, as Sandoz (Zola) writes as the narrator of the entire story: " You have to make do with half-measures in this life... My books, for example: I can polish and revise them as much as I like, but in the end I always despise myself for their being, in spite of my efforts, so incomplete, so untrue to life." This is the story of a painter whose paintings remain un-hung, whose life becomes unhinged and whose whole being ultimately is a crucifixion. In the natural world this is the way of life and a realistic portrait of the artist in Paris according to Zola who did not live long enough to see the glorious realm of French Impressionism come into full bloom.

Windworker
My husband loved it

Jusari
You have to have another choice for narration, easy to read, not in first or second...easy to understand.

Armin
A good story of the artistic struggle against the historical background of the impressionist era.

Lli
Not my favorite among Zola's amazing series, but among the best. But five stars for this (and other) Oxford edition, with its scholarly introductory notes and unobtrusive text notes.

Lonesome Orange Kid
I had a love/hate relationship with this book. I hated all the characters, but if treated as a Greek tragedy, it all made perfect sense. It is a wonderful narrative on the age of the Impressionists, written during their lives.

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