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The Belly of Paris
The Belly of Paris
  • This is the first English translation of Le Ventre de Paris for fifty years. The third in Zola's great cycle of twenty novels, Les Rougon-Macquart, it is just as enthralling as GerminalThérèse Raquin and other novels in the series, and its focus on food, eating disorders, consumerism, and the city makes it especially topical.
  • The focus of the novel on the great Paris food hall, Les Halles, and Zola's famous Impressionist descriptions of food make this a particularly compelling novel. Brian Nelson's lively translation captures the spirit of Zola's world in the same way as his popular translation of Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies' Paradise).
  • The Introduction explores the use of food in the novel to represent social class, social attitudes, political conflicts and other aspect of the culture of the times, as well as the problematical relationship between art and modern life.
  • The bibliography and notes ensure that this is the most critically up-to-date edition of the novel in print.

Respectable people...What bastards!'
Unjustly deported to Devil's Island following Louis-Napoleon's coup-d'etat in December 1851, Florent Quenu escapes and returns to Paris. He finds the city changed beyond recognition. The old Marche des Innocents has been knocked down as part of Haussmann's grand programme of urban reconstruction to make way for Les Halles, the spectacular new food markets. Disgusted by a bourgeois society whose devotion to food is inseparable from its devotion to the Government, Florent attempts an insurrection. Les Halles, apocalyptic and destructive, play an active role in Zola's picture of a world in which food and the injustice of society are inextricably linked.
The Belly of Paris (Le Ventre de Paris) is the third volume in Zola's famous cycle of twenty novels, Les Rougon-Macquart. It introduces the painter Claude Lantier and in its satirical representation of the bourgeoisie and capitalism complements Zola's other great novels of social conflict and urban poverty.


Translator's Note
Select Biblioraphy
A Chrsonology of Émile Zola
Explanatory Notes

About the author: 

Brian Nelson has also translated Zola's The Ladies' Paradise, Pot Luck, and The Kill for OWC.

Product details

ISBN : 9780199555840

Emile Zola; Brian Nelson
320 Pages
128 x 196 mm
Pub date
Jun 2009
Oxford World's Classics
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The Belly of Paris

The Belly of Paris

The Belly of Paris