Literary Classics

L'Argent by Émile Zola

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By Émile Zola

Pénétrer l. a. Bourse, cette " caverne mystérieuse et béante, où se passent des choses auxquelles personne ne comprend rien " : tel est l'un des buts que se donne Zola en écrivant L'Argent (1891). Spéculation, fraude, liquidation, krach: l'épopée de los angeles Banque universelle fondée par Saccard pourrait être l'histoire d'une grosse computer lente a s'ébranler puis ambitious dans sa destruction, conduite par un poète du million qui los angeles chauffe jusqu'à l. a. faire éclater. Mais ici, l'argent ne se résume pas à los angeles folie du achieve. Du jeune Sigismond, disciple de Marx, à los angeles princesse d'Orviedo, determine de los angeles charité, le romancier esquisse une multitude de rapports à l'argent. lit fait apparaître celui-ci, au bout du compte, comme une incroyable strength de vie: "Je ne suis pas de ceux qui déblatèrent contre l'argent, écrivait Zola. Je pars du principe que l'argent bien employé est ecocnomic à l'humanité tout entière.

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Example text

I am the most slavish of students, with here a dictionary, there a note-book in which I enter curious uses of the past participle. But one cannot go on for ever cutting these ancient inscriptions clearer with a knife. Shall I always draw the red-serge curtain close and see my book, laid like a block of marble, pale under the lamp? That would be a glorious life, to addict oneself to perfection; to follow the curve of the sentence wherever it might lead, into deserts, under drifts of sand, regardless of lures, of seductions; to be poor always and unkempt; to be ridiculous in Piccadilly.

Then I shall drop you. ‘I am one person – myself. I do not impersonate Catullus, whom I adore. I am the most slavish of students, with here a dictionary, there a note-book in which I enter curious uses of the past participle. But one cannot go on for ever cutting these ancient inscriptions clearer with a knife. Shall I always draw the red-serge curtain close and see my book, laid like a block of marble, pale under the lamp? That would be a glorious life, to addict oneself to perfection; to follow the curve of the sentence wherever it might lead, into deserts, under drifts of sand, regardless of lures, of seductions; to be poor always and unkempt; to be ridiculous in Piccadilly.

But now we have regained our territory after that brief brush with the bicycles and the lime scent and the vanishing figures in the distracted street. Here we are masters of tranquillity and order; inheritors of proud tradition. The lights are beginning to make yellow slits across the square. Mists from the river are filling these ancient spaces. They cling, gently, to the hoary stone. The leaves now are thick in country lanes, sheep cough in the damp fields; but here in your room we are dry. We talk privately.

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