His Excellency Eugene Rougon

ISBN : 9780198748250

Emile Zola; Brian Nelson
384 Pages
129 x 196 mm
Pub date
Apr 2018
Oxford World's Classics
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  • The first modern translation for more than fifty years and the first critical edition of His Excellency Eugène Rougon, the sixth novel in Zola's Rougon-Macquart series.
  • The novel follows the career of a powerful politician, Eugäne Rougon. A key player in Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte's coup d'etat of 1851, Rougon is the very embodiment of the corrupt and autocratic Second Empire.
  • Only the second new translation since the nineteenth century.
  • Brian Nelson is the established translator of five other Zola novels in Oxford World's Classics.
  • Includes chronology, bibliography, and explanatory notes.

'He loved power for power's sake . . . He was without question the greatest of the Rougons.' 

His Excellency Eugène Rougon (1876) is the sixth novel in Zola's twenty-volume Rougon-Macquart cycle. A political novel set in the corridors of power and in the upper échelons of French Second Empire society, including the Imperial court, it focuses on the fluctuating fortunes of the authoritarian Eugène Rougon, the 'vice-Emperor'. But it is more than just a chronicle. It plunges the reader into the essential dynamics of the political: the rivalries, the scheming, the jockeying for position, the ups and downs, the play of interests, the lobbying and gossip, the patronage and string-pulling, the bribery and blackmail, and, especially, the manipulation of language for political purposes. The novel's themes-especially its treatment of political discourse-have remarkable contemporary resonance. His Excellency Eugène Rougon is about politics everywhere.


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

About the author: 

Émile Zola
Brian Nelson, Emeritus Professor, Monash University
Brian Nelson is Emeritus Professor (French Studies and Translation Studies) at Monash University, Melbourne, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He has been editor of the Australian Journal of French Studies since 2002. His publications include The Cambridge Companion to Zola (CUP, 20017), Zola and the Bourgeoisie (Palgrave Macmillan, 1983), and translations of EarthThe Fortune of the RougonsThe Belly of ParisThe KillPot Luck, and The Ladies' Paradise for Oxford World's Classics. He was awarded the New South Wales Premier's Prize for Translation in 2015. His most recent critical work is The Cambridge Introduction to French Literature (CUP, 2015).

"Im going to celebrate the 21st century with a re-read of His Excellency Eugène Rougon." - Swiftly Tilting Planet

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