The Sin of Abbé Mouret

ISBN : 9780198736639

Zola, Emile; Minogue, Valerie Pearson
336 Pages
129 x 196 mm
Pub date
May 2017
Oxford World's Classics
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  • A compelling new translation of one of Zola's most powerful novels, the fifth work in his famous Rougon-Macquart series that traces the fortunes of a family over five generations.
  • Excellent new translation by Valerie Minogue, well known as the President of the Emile Zola Society in London and for her translation of Zola's L'Argent (Money) for Oxford World's Classics.
  • Includes a full contextualizing introduction and helpful historical notes.
  • The text used for the translation is the admirably accurate and thoroughly researched text of the Pléiade edition, scrupulously annotated by Henri Mitterand.
  • Includes an up-to-date bibliography and chronology of the author.

'I really don't understand how people can blame a priest so much, when he strays from the path.'
The Sin of Abbé Mouret tells the compelling story of the young priest Serge Mouret. Striving after spiritual purity and sanctity, he lives a life of constant prayer, but his neglect of all physical needs leads to serious illness, followed by amnesia. No longer knowing he is a priest, he falls in love with his nurse Albine. Together, like a latter-day Adam and Eve, they roam through an Eden-like garden called the 'Paradou', seeking a forbidden tree in whose shade they will make love. Zola memorably shows their gradual awakening to sexuality, and his poetic descriptions of the luxuriant and beautiful Paradou create a lyrical celebration of Nature. When Serge regains his memory and recalls his priestly vows, anguish inevitably follows.
The whole story, with its numerous biblical parallels, becomes a poetic reworking of the Fall of Man and a questioning of the very meaning of innocence and sin. Zola explores the conflict between Church and Nature, the sterility of the Church and the fertility of Nature. This new translation includes a wide-ranging and helpful introduction and explanatory notes.


Translator's Note
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Emile Zola
Family Tree of the Rougon-Macquart
Explanatory Notes

About the author: 

Émile Zola
Translated by Valerie Minogue, Emeritus Professor of the University of Wales
Valerie Minogue has taught at the universities of Cardiff, Queen Mary, London, and Swansea. She is co-founder of Romance Studies and has been President of the Émile Zola Society, London, since 2005. She was made an Officier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques in 2012.

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