La Bête humaine

La Bête humaine[PDF / Epub] ✅ La Bête humaine ⚣ Émile Zola – 'The train ran on without a driver on and on like some mindless unseeing beast'One of Zola's darkest and most violent works a tense thriller of political corruption and a graphic exploration of the cr 'The train ran on without a driver on and on like some mindless unseeing beast'One La Bête ePUB ✓ of Zola's darkest and most violent works a tense thriller of political corruption and a graphic exploration of the criminal mind as a murder is committed on the new railways of the Second EmpireA new series of twenty distinctive unforgettable Penguin Classics in a beautiful new design and pocket sized format with coloured jackets echoing Penguin's original covers. She was a virgin and a warrior disdainful of the male which was what eventually convinced people that she really must be off her head So that trace of sanity is what made the public consider her mad You can open Zola at a random page and find deep knowledge of the human machinery Since I finished Crime and Punishment I have been meditating on La Bête Humaine over and over I used to consider Jacues Lantier the most evil character imaginable the incarnation of Death After all his emotions are guided by brutal pleasure and his sexuality is linked to destruction He is a murderer long before he has a victim Sociology could possibly find some valid explanations for his psychopathic tendencies being the son of an alcoholic mother Gervaise in L'Assommoir The Dram Shop and an absent father growing up in poverty and misery After all his sensitive siblings struggle to find a place in life as well His brother Claude is a failed and suicidal painter as portrayed in The Masterpiece his other brother Étienne a rebellious miner in Germinal and his younger half sister Nana probably one of the most famous prositutes in world literature But even though the reader knows all that it is difficult to feel pity for the rage inside the head of Jacues Can he control his urges? Or will he be weak thus turning into the monster he senses inside his body?Zola the realist painter of 19th century life won't give his murderer a pass And that is why he keeps coming back to me after I encountered Raskolnikov and lived through the horror of his crime and my uite unexpected feverish wish for him to get away with it With what exactly? As opposed to Jacues Raskolnikov kills with his mind not his confused desire Raskolnikov deliberately chooses a victim he considers worthless and useless and kills her for his own benefit Does the fact that his crime catches up with him excuse that his act shows even bestiality than Jacues' fight with his inner demons? Why do I feel manipulated into siding with Raskolnikov while I stay cold and horrified confronting Jacues?I can't stop pondering on that and the solution I can offer myself is that Dostoyevsky was much of a missionary writer trying to convince readers of his message while Zola was a surgeon cutting his literary patients open to look at their insidesWhat do I prefer? In literature I enjoy a good mix of both and range those two authors next to each other in my eternal hall of fame In reality I dread ideological manipulation and greater universal messages so I would go for Zola's socialist realism any time shunning Dostoyevsky's appeal to male Christian sufferingMurder must advertise? Well this one is worth its money and time After well over a century Emile Zola still retains the power to absorb readers with his 'Les Rougon Macuart' series of novels This regarded as one of his finest achievements is a tale full of rage that studies the dark haunting impressionistic nature of man's slow corruption by jealousy Set against the backdrop of the industrial revolution the story is set in the world of the railways A lot of the main action takes place either on trains or close by to the tracks there is murder passion and obsession fused with a compassionate look at individuals derailed by atavistic forces beyond their control I found Zola’s use of imagery evocative and atmospheric and uite shocking he fills pages with dread metal and flesh blood and rust where at any one moment somebody could turn criminal with hell bent discontent There are three central characters Roubaud the deputy station master at Le Havre his fragile wife Séverine and Jacues Lantier an engine driver on the Parisian line As a result of a chance remark Roubaud suspects that Séverine has had an affair some years earlier with Grandmorin one of the directors of the railway company who had acted as her patron and who had helped Roubaud get his job He forces a confession out of her and makes her write a letter to Grandmorin telling him to take a particular train that evening the same train Roubaud and Séverine are taking back to Le Havre From here on the tension is upped with a chilling bite a murder is committed and thus an investigation follows where than one person is suspected of the attack The relationship between Roubaud and his wife is now fractured he believes she is carrying on with Lantier whilst she realizes that he has been stealing the last of some hidden money Both now with almost frenzy start dark plans of their ownThe last third contained some really tense scenes leaving me holding the book with clammy hands as it hurtled along the tracks to it's conclusion The Human Beast is never far away but the novel is about far than vicious homicide; Zola's targets include the French judicial system which is looked at in great detail and the world he creates is brilliant with it's realization of railways and railwaymen similar to what he did looking at the coal miners lives in Germinal I did find 'Germinal' richer and a complex experience than 'The Beast Within' hence the four stars but lets not kid ourselves this novel compared to most other books written at the time simply stands out from the crowd He dared to write about what no one else would and pulls it off with such high standards Fail After spending 3 hours trying to decipher if the story was meant to be that misogynic or if it was only the sad expression of the 19th Century I decided that I did not care whatsoever My diminished reading time is way too precious to be spent hating every male character in there while being annoyed by the way women are portrayed DNF as soon as I felt like I was supposed to feel sorry for that abusive jerk Not happening Zola relies way too much on telling rather than showing to pull this off no matter how revered his books are Not to mention that his multiple POV is confusing and awkwardI stand by what I thought there are plenty of amazing books in classic French Literature but Zola's aren't part of them as far as I'm concerned Could you kill someone? Shush now That's a rhetorical uestion Think the answer to yourself in your head We don't want to hand over compromising evidence to the prosecution in your inevitable criminal trial Now I'm not asking you if you could kill in self defense or to protect your loved ones from harm—because those cases are ethically cut and dried and very boring; I'm asking if you think you are capable of ending someone's life for pettier reasons jealousy revenge or just good old fashioned unclassified hatred Before you don your barrister's wig and get all indignant about it I want you to remember that the uestion is whether you could not whether you would We don't even need to consider all or any of the deterrents that would stay your machete wielding hand—such as moral conscience or the threat of punishment I am only wondering if you think that in a moment of emotional heat or psychological abandon your mind and body would allow you to say pull the trigger thrust the blade or hold down the pillow Assume for the sake of this discussion that you are mechanically capable or strong enough to kill your victim This is a uestion about will not about the precision of your aimÉmile Zola's La Bête Humaine is predicated on the assumption I think that most humans have murderous inclinations stowed away in their psychological hope chests and that it's only a matter of how difficult it is to pick the lock The first chapter introduces us to a railway station employee named Roubaud and his wife Séverine—a seemingly contented and loving couple who are spending an afternoon in Paris They're having a pleasant enough lunch—when one thing leads to another which leads to another which leads to another and—long story short Séverine admits that she was repeatedly molested as a child by her guardian the prestigious and powerful Grandmorin I know Talk about losing your appetite In response to the revelation Roubaud does what any reasonable and compassionate husband would do under the circumstances he beats the living shit out of Séverine and threatens her life A regular Renaissance man He's not upset at the crime of molestation and the victimhood of his wife—he's enraged because in the used car lot of brides he bought himself a lemon a used and abused woman whose odometer had been rolled back Too bad he can't trade her in for a showroom new model—but trust me here Showroom new models are pretty hard to come by in France Most kids have their first torrid love affairs when they're eight I think Being a 'sensible' man Roubaud decides not to kill Séverine He may beat her a while longer to work out his frustrations but then he'll move on to Plan B Kill Grandmorin Always crazy like a fox Roubaud figures he'll implicate Séverine in the crime so she won't ever spill the beans And—hey—since she's the lemon in this transaction she should do some of the dirty work Am I right or am I right? You may think you've been spoiled upon but the preceding events all occur within the first chapter This is actually only the gentle prelude to the madness which will follow And by madness I'm referring particularly to the events in Chapter Ten—which by the standards of 19th century literature are pretty shocking and over the top Make no mistake this is a violent and cynical book Although the major characters are differently bad none of them is perceptibly good even in the most degraded sense of the term We may understand them—to varying degrees—but the elaboration of their universal impulses into grisly action makes me think that Zola needed a good SSRIOh And to answer my own uestion I think that I could in fact summon the will if I desired which I don't to kill someone merely out of spite I recently watched the film God Bless America directed and written by Bobcat Goldthwait in which a middle aged schlub played by the guy who plays Freddy Rumsen on Mad Men and a teenage girl go on a killing spree Their targets are all the most loathsome people in our culture in my humble opinion and theirs too such as pandering political pundits reality TV stars people who won't shut up in movie theaters and so on Even though the film isn't terribly well made on the whole I was vicariously thrilled by it Apparently Bobcat Goldthwait and I have the same things stowed away in our hope chests I am convinced that if Émile Zola had been alive and at work in the second half of the 20th Century he would be known today as one of the greatest modern screenwriters France ever produced Zola's novel La Bête Humaine along with being a piercing analysis of violent proclivities and their influence on malefemale sexual dynamics has a rocket speed plot leaving you tight shouldered gasping and bug eyed from its very first chapter Despite a lull near the middle of the book which is necessary for both character development and the strategic planting of later plot points the motor on this beast of a novel deceptively yet appropriately framed by the inner workings of French train lines in the latter 19th Century continues to throttle up until its crashing finale In case you hadn't noticed yet I thought it was as fantastic intelligent frightening and engrossing a thriller as Hollywood manages to produce on a really good dayHaving written much before cinema's time Zola is argued to be one of if not the greatest contributor to literary naturalism a movement which sought through blunt shocking prose to depict the external uncontrollable forces resulting from living within a complex society as having an almost puppet master effect on the thoughts and deeds of its anonymous infinite citizenry You are what you eat breathe see suffer; environment is everything Further the seedier sides of life have bigger talons gripping greater numbers and leading to a prevalence of evil over good Life is hard but the ones living it are even harder and so on the wretched violence snowballs right along with the evil in men's hearts I am not saying that I totally agree with this assessment I would like to think that the forces of evolution technologicalscientific advancement and the resulting widespread awareness of social ills and ability to address them would have the opposite effect and would serve to move us toward a Utopian societal state though of course all the while racking up its own casualties across the world due to its specific pitfalls The troubles of the modern world aside I am not some shoeless sort running around banging a homemade bongo talking about how much nicer it would be to live in a mud hut in the middle of nowhere surviving off of suirrel carcasses I appreciate doctorsmedicine heating and air conditioning units moving pictures the world wide web and electrically powered transportation And let's face it even bicycles were cutting edge technology at one point I love my bike but please shut up about 'em already But I digress Zola mostly finds me naïve though he does see the roots of the beast in man in what he refers to repeatedly in the text as the thirst to avenge ancient wrongs specifically in this story's main villain's case as that resentment that had grown as it had come down from male to male ever since the first one had been betrayed in some cavern The forward march of modernity is simply the outward manifestation of masculine ego pummeling back the gentler sex god I hate that phrase one which feeds and further infests carnal urges to possess and destroy purity to own all that is femininity and docility through murderous force The metaphor Zola embraces is apt for its time the train is depicted repeatedly in the text as the ultimate symbol of power a blade cutting across the previously unsoiled landscape and racing forward intent on domination and eventual destruction It is the setting for cause of andor soundtrack to every violent deed committed in the novel It is the tarnished masculine ego the once wronged caveman the Adam that Eve has manipulated and had cast from paradise using its overwhelming force to once and for all win the battle of the sexes It is rape torture and abuse loneliness rejection and isolation It is the sleek handsome charming serial killer In short it is all together one giant interconnected verification of the beast within man At the same time the train's engine is depicted as the long sought submissive female lover He who operates this powerful force is guiding her hand and she obeys subserviently at long last This leads to the rare moments of dark humor in the novel which I will give you a little taste of now I know that this is a long uote but trust me when I say it is worth it Zola didn't seem the sort to laugh much but either he or his translator ironically named Leonard TANCOCK surely couldn't help but snicker at this gem of a passage where Zola is explaining the feelings that one male characters has for the train engine he is in charge of So he loved Lison with masculine gratitude for she got away or stopped promptly like a vigorous and docile mare; he loved her because over and above his regular wages she earned him money thanks to fuel bonuses She steamed so well that he saved a great deal of coal He had only one thing against her and that was that she needed too much oiling the cylinders in particular consumed uite unreasonable amounts of oil an insatiable thirst a real debauch He had tried to keep her within bounds but in vain She at once got short of breath she had to have it it was part of her character He had resigned himself to overlook this gluttonous passion of hersAs the fire was roaring and Lison was gradually getting up pressure Jacues gave her the once over inspecting each one of her parts trying to find out why that morning she had gobbled down oil than usual He could find nothing amiss she was shining and clean with the sparkling cleanliness telling of a driver's tender care He could constantly be seen wiping her polishing her particularly at the journey's end and he rubbed her hard just as they rub down horses steaming after a long gallop taking advantage of the fact that she was hot so as to clean off stains and splashes easily He never pushed her too hard either but kept at a regular speed avoiding delays which necessitate unpleasant spurts to catch upNow THAT my friends IS WHAT HE SAIDIn short this book rules Adieu Update this book is about a crime of passion the ensuing bumbled police investigation gubberment cover ups misplaced blame false imprisonment sexual affairs borderline molestations gossip spousal abuse jealousy rage the deterioration of love violent death heaped upon violent death and the causes behind and internal justification of the urge to kill either for revenge or due to serial compulsion Basically there's a lot going on than just trains being powerful I guess I should've mentioned all that earlier IntroductionNote on the TranslationSelect BibliographyChronology La Bête Humaine Explanatory Notes Nice to be back in the Zolan bosom multiple histrionic murderers meticulous locomotive nous and a splash of hopeless determinism The seventeenth novel in the Rougon Macuart series features some of Zola’s most breathtaking descriptions of bleak rural backwaters trains in their brutal firebreathing phallic infancy hopeless provincials devising schemes to escape their predetermined lives of hate and misery implausible gruesome murders committed by almost every character and humorous courtroom antics As usual Zola delivers the point with the subtle wallop of a heavyweight boxer but with his usual scalpel sharp prose translated here with aplomb by Mr Roger Whitehouse Okay folks my first 5 star rating in 2009 I'm stingy with 5 stars but Emile Zola delivered again after about 25 other books this year When I enjoy classic writers like Thoreau Dickens Hawthorne or playwrights like Shakespeare or Whitman I sometimes overlook nuances or miss the unexpected metaphor or misinterpret the character flaw that destroys the protagonist Not so with Zola No way His themes and messages come at you like an over steamed locomotive Zola's characters wield their Shakespearian flaws with brute force There's no time or space for nuance for subtleties for guesswork Instead Zola bangs the reader over the head with attributes that can only be described as beastly The actors in The Beast in Man are absolutely spring loaded from the first 2 chapters Jealousy rage spousal abuse murder poisoning and a perverse australopithecine compulsion to kill women Zola's greatest gift as a writer is dredging up the most repugnant atavistic urges in man— urges about which your own superego may have had unintentional fleeting nightmarish thoughts but never told anyone and then hid safely away from your id— and carrying them out to their mesmerizing conclusion I was drawn to the story like a lurid onlooker at a street fight before the cops arrive afraid to intervene but overcome by an unexplainable need to watch the beating punch for punch busted nose for broken rib and shaking afterward with an overload of adrenalinZola is a naturalist Wikipedia defines Naturalism as a literary movement that began in mid nineteenth century France and in the introductory paragraph specifically affirms Zola's contributions later declaring that the word 'naturalism' actually came from Zola himself describing the departure his writing took from the overused literature of Realism Wikipedia states that Naturalistic works “often include uncouth or sordid subject matter a frankness about sexuality along with a pervasive pessimismexposed the dark harshness of life including poverty racism sex prejudice disease prostitution and filthas a result naturalistic writers were freuently criticized for being too bluntanother characteristic of naturalism is determinismbasically the opposite of the notion of free willa character's fate has been pre determined usually by environmental factors and that heshe can do nothing about itthere tends to be in naturalist novels a strong sense that nature is indifferent to human struggle” The Beast in Man takes place on near and around trains The movement of these heavy belching transports is an awesome milieu as it seems each character is inexorably moved eually without the power of immediate brakes toward their final destination And the destination for these characters is adultery homicide suicide and prison The actors challenge their fates but are relentlessly tormented to act on impulse to act as if they were scripted to do this and only this from birth In the case of XX his compulsions are so overwhelming and his tendencies written so convincingly that readers want him to kill—need him to kill—to comprehend the universal uestion can man live after satisfying such beastly urges? How does society deal with such a creature? The naturalist's answer by accusing the wrong man thus ascribing a fate 'by environmental factorsthat the accused can do nothing about” The Beast in Man is not a mass market paperback so don't expect a story like the current page turners on sale at your large grocery store book aisle Zola takes his time to build characters but his delivery is outstanding His writing is beautiful powerful mellifluous Some scenes are shocking and graphic all the testament to his break from Realistic literature Two examples of his writing that I especially likedWhile beating his wife ”There was no abating YY's fury The moment it did seem to have begun to wane it would flare up again like a sort of intoxication wave on wave of it increasing and carrying him away in fits of dizziness He was no longer master of himself fighting empty space tossed by every gust of the hurricane of violence which lashed him till he was reduced to the utter depths of all absorbing need to assuage the howling beast deep within him It was an immediate physical need a starvation of a body which hungered for vengeance a force contorting him and giving him no respite till he should satisfy his need Still striding up and down he began to thump his temples with his fists crying in agonized tones 'Oh whatever shall I do whatever shall I do?' Since he had not killed this woman at once now he could not kill her at all His poltroonery in letting her live made him itch with rageWhile fighting on the small engine platform of a speeding train ”He had managed to catch hold of the side of the tender They both slithered on their constricted deck the steel plates dancing dangerously under their feet as they wrestled silently their teeth grinding each trying to heave the other through the narrow cab doorway which as only protection had a single bar across It was no easy task Fed to the full the locomotive rushed on and on They swept through Barentin and plunged into Malaunay tunnel still at death grips backs straining against the coals heads banging against the water cistern trying to avoid the red hot firebox door which scorched their legs every time they stretched out For a moment XX thought he might be able to raise himself up enough to shut off steam to bring help and get free from this lunatic out of his mind through drink and jealousy For being the smaller man he was beginning to lose strength knew there was already no hope of throwing ZZ off He was already beaten He felt his hair rise on his head as the fear of falling swept through him But as he made a supreme effort and felt out with one hand the other guessed what he was at and with iron grip on XX's haunches suddenly lifted him off the ground as if he had been a little child The locomotive rushed on and on The train burst noisily out of the tunnel and swept through the grim bleak countryside They dashed through Malaunay station at such speed that the ASM on the platform there did not even see the two men destroying each other on the moving thunderbolt Then with a final effort ZZ flung XX out but just as XX felt space round him in his desperation he succeeded in clutching at ZZ's neck so convulsively that he dragged his murderer down with him A double wild cry voices of murderer and murdered confused in one broke against the wind and was dispersed into nothingness They fell together and as these two men who so long had been like two brothers went down the draught of the train drew them in under the wheels to be cut up chopped to pieces still laced together in a terrible embrace Their bodies were afterwards found headless legless two bleeding trunks with arms still enlaced one about the other in suffocating grasp” A friend says that Zola's writing is a bit overwrought I disagree That's why I read Zola to be shocked To see a side of humanity that you know exists but rarely see How many movies have you seen in the last couple years where there was a discharge of gunfire? uite a few How many times in your real life have you seen a discharge of gunfire in public? Probably none The comparison works for Zola I know man can be a beast but I don't see it that often so I read Zola for an up close view The Beast in Man La Bête Humaine is set in the late 1860s the end of the Second French Empire concluding at the start of the Franco Prussian War The title makes clear the message and the focus of the book It is a book depicting a cast of characters brimming over with bestial passion Not one not two but many such characters In fact every single one of the characters are of this temperament What is in our heredity will come forth This is Zola’s message There is an additional character a non human one La Lison a steam locomotive in use on the Paris Rouen Le Havre railway line It is Jacues Lantier the son of Gervaise who drives the steam engine The power of the engine is as a beast too Who holds the reins? Is it man under the thumb of heredity? Is it our brains our intellect or our emotions? How is the behavior of those holding high positions in society and the government? Who is in control and ultimately is justice attained? These are the topics around which the characters circle Zola has a message to deliver It is through the characters that message is deliveredI find the characters excessively passionate and evil I am into realism Zola priorities the relaying of a message over realism Of course there exist evil people Of course there exist passionate people but Zola draws here in this story only such people and he ties passion and evil together He goes too far for my taste The characters are not credible They have become stick figures Zola’s puppets pressing upon readers Zola’s messageI am giving the book three stars because there are sections I do like Zola draws magnificently the rail industry and the many who work there What Zola has written of the industry is based on an in depth study He weaves in that which is important into the telling of the tale He does not heap on unnecessary details His studies enable him to speak naturally and accurately at the same time To this is added Zola’s talent at drawing exciting episodes He has a knack for this Momentum mounts and you cannot look away There is something in the writing that pulls the reader in There are a number of fantastically well written episodes involving the train My favorite is one where the train is caught in a blizzard Peter Newcombe Joyce narrates the audiobook His French pronunciation is off but his words are spoken clearly and he is easy to understand Although he does dramatize something I don’t usually like he does it well Three stars for the narration I like this but I have liked others by Zola This is too exaggerated The characters have lost credibilityFamily TreeThérèse Rauin 4 starsLes Rougon Macuart Books#13Germinal 4 stars#14The Masterpiece L’Oeuvre 4 stars#12The Bright Side of Life La Joie de vivre 3 stars#17The Beast in Man La Bête Humaine 3 stars#7The Drinking Den L'Assommoir 3 stars#9Nana 1 star#11The Ladies' Paradise Au Bonheur des Dames TBR#2The Kill La Curée TBR#18Money L’Argent TBR#3The Belly of Paris Le Ventre de Paris TBR#1The Fortune of the Rougons La Fortune des Rougon TBR My first Emile Zola and I am impressedEmile Zola 1840 1902 was a French novelist who attempted to do an Honore de Balzac 1799 1850 another French novelist The young Zola read Balzac's La Comedie Humaine The Human Comedy that consists of 91 finished and 46 unfinished works stories novels essays and for some of the unfinished ones just titles Definitely inspired to have his own Zola wrote interrelated 20 novels and collectively called them Les Rougon Macuart The series follows a fictional family living during the Second French Empire 1852 1870 and is said to be an example of French naturalismI found the novel very engaging It deals about the frailty of human beings and the fact that a dark side ie the human beast lurks somewhere in the recesses of our minds While reading I was choosing the character that the title refers to and my pick was Jacues Lantier seemingly the most evil of them all However upon closing the book I felt that almost all the characters contributed to the what happened in their lives and all of those characters had that beast in them This proved for me that not only we decide for our lives but also some of our decisions are influenced by our emotions that can be traced from past events I am planning to read five or six novels from this series so for my own record I'd like to put here where is Jacues Lantier in the scheme of things Wiki says Lantier is an engine driver on the line and the family link with the rest of Les Rougon Macuart series He is the son of Gervaise L'Assommoir the brother of Étienne Lantier Germinal and Claude Lantier L'Œuvre and the half brother of the eponymous Nana I will have this as a uick reference when I read those other 1001 booksAnd I am raring to find copies of them I am sure they are as engaging as this one

La Bête humaine MOBI ✓ La Bête  ePUB ✓
  • Paperback
  • 480 pages
  • La Bête humaine
  • Émile Zola
  • English
  • 22 October 2015
  • 9780241261736