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The Kill
The Kill
  • The first translation into English since 1895
  • The Kill is the second volume in Zola's great cycle of twenty novels, Les Rougon-Macquart, and the first to establish Paris as the centre of Zola's narrative world
  • Regarded as Zola's finest novel before L'Assommoir and one of the most important novels about nineteenth-century Paris and its rebuilding under Baron Haussmann
  • Superb translation by Brian Nelson perfectly captures the energy of the original

'It was the time when the rush for spoils filled a corner of the forest with the yelping of hounds, the cracking of whips, the flaring of torches. The appetites let loose were satisfied at last, shamelessly, amid the sound of crumbling neighbourhoods and fortunes made in six months. The city had become an orgy of gold and women.'
The Kill (La Curée) is the second volume in Zola's great cycle of twenty novels, Les Rougon-Macquart, and the first to establish Paris - the capital of modernity - as the centre of Zola's narrative world. Conceived as a representation of the uncontrollable 'appetites' unleashed by the Second Empire (1852-70) and the transformation of the city by Baron Haussmann, the novel combines into a single, powerful vision the twin themes of lust for money and lust for pleasure. The all-pervading promiscuity of the new Paris is reflected in the dissolute and frenetic lives of an unscrupulous property speculator, Saccard, his neurotic wife Renée, and her dandified lover, Saccard's son Maxime. 


Translator's Note
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Emile Zola
Map: The Paris of The Kill
Explanatory Notes

About the author: 

Émile Zola
Translated by Brian Nelson, Professor of French Studies, Monash University, Melbourne

NSW Premier's Prize for Translation
"Nelson's translation is preceded by a highly useful and scrupulously researched introduction [with] a depth of analysis rarely found in introduction of this kind... The translation itself is sensitive and elegant...the text reads as an engaging and thoughtful close rereading of the original which is especially effective in bringing Zola's fascination with descriptive detail to the attention of the anglophone reader without syntactically overburdening the prose." - Hannah Thompson, Modern Languages Review vol 102, part1

"Émile Zola's The Kill, in Brian Nelsons thrillingly good Oxford World's Classics translation, is one of the most sensuous, sexy books that I think Ive ever read." - Illuminations

Product details

ISBN : 9780199536924

Emile Zola; Brian Nelson
320 Pages
129 x 195 mm
Pub date
Jul 2008
Oxford World's Classics
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The Kill

The Kill

The Kill