Translations

Under construction

For each French title listed below there is an entry for each separate English translation with the following information: Original date of translation, Translator (if known) and Publisher. Different editions of a specific translation have only been included if there were significant differences between them.

Much of the information for the early translations is taken from Graham King’s Garden of Zola (1978) which is a great source of information for these early English translations. Many of the older translations are in the public domain and links to these English Translations Of Works Of Émile Zola can be found at Project Gutenberg. For many, especially the Rougon-Macquart novels, a modern translation is preferable if available.

Many of the public domain translations are by the Vizetelly family and are quite dated. Henry Vizetelly (1820-94) was fined and imprisoned for three months in 1889 over the publication of La Terre, which was considered offensive. Subsequent editions of all of Zola’s novels were heavily edited by his son Ernest Vizetelly (1853-1922) in order to avoid further prosecutions. Hence there are often two ‘Vizetelly’ versions; those published after 1889 are generally considered inferior to those published before 1889.

Novels

Early Novels

  • La Confession de Claude (1865)
    • Claude’s Confession (1888, Tr: George D. Cox, Temple Co.)
    • Claude’s Confession (1892, Tr: unknown, Crawford & Co.)
  • Le Voeu d’une morte (1866)
    • A Dead Woman’s Wish (1902, Tr: Count C.S. de Soissons, Greening & Co.)
  • Les Mystères de Marseille (1867)
    • The Mysteries of Marseilles (1895, Tr: Edward Vizetelly, Hutchinson & Co.)
  • Thérèse Raquin (1867)
    • Thérèse Raquin (1887, Tr: Edward Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • Therese Raquin (1902, Tr: Edward Vizetelly, Grant Richards)
    • Theresa (1952, Tr: unknown, Corgi Books)
    • Thérèse Raquin (1955, Tr: Philip G. Downs, William Heinemann)
    • Thérèse Raquin (1956, Tr: Lee Marcourt, Ace Books)
    • Thérèse Raquin (1960, Tr: William R. Trask, Bantam Books)
    • Thérèse Raquin (1962, Tr: L.W. Tancock, Penguin Books)
    • Thérèse Raquin (1992, Tr: Andrew Rothwell, Oxford Uni. Press)
    • Thérèse Raquin (2004, Tr: Robin Buss, Penguin Books)
    • Thérèse Raquin (2013, Tr: Adam Thorpe, Vintage, Random House)
  • Madeleine Férat (1868 or 1869)
    • Madeleine Férat (1888, Tr: unknown, for H. Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • Shame (1954, Tr: Lee Marcourt, Ace Books)
    • Madeleine Férat (1957, Tr: Alec Brown, Elek Books). Re-published as Fatal Intimacy in 1960.

Les Rougon-Macquart (The Rougon-Macquart Cycle)

  • La Fortune des Rougon (1871)
    • The Fortune of the Rougons (1886, Tr: unknown, for H. Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • The Fortune of the Rougons (1898, edited by E. Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
    • The Fortune of the Rougons (2012, Tr: Brian Nelson, Oxford Uni. Press)
  • La Curée (1871-2)
    • The Rush for the Spoil (1886, Tr: unknown, for H. Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • The Kill (1895, Tr: A. Teixeira de Mattos, Lutetian Society)
    • The Kill (2004, Tr: Brian Nelson, Oxford Uni. Press)
    • The Kill (2004, Tr: Arthur Goldhammer, Modern Library)
  • Le Ventre de Paris (1873/1874)
    • La Belle Lisa or The Paris Market Girls (1882, Tr: Mary Neal Sherwood, T.B. Peterson Bros.)
    • The Fat and the Thin (1888, Tr: unknown, for H. Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • The Fat and the Thin (1896, edited by E. Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
    • Savage Paris (1955, Tr: David Hughes & Marie-Jacqueline Mason, Elek Books)
    • The Belly of Paris (2007, Tr: Brian Nelson, Oxford Uni. Press)
    • The Belly of Paris (2009, Tr: Mark Kurlansky, Modern Library)
  • La Conquête de Plassans (1874)
    • The Conquest of Plassans (1887, Tr: unknown, for H. Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • A Priest in the House (1957, Tr: Brian Rhys, Elek Books)
    • The Conquest of Plassans (due in Jun 2014, Tr: Helen Constantine, Oxford Uni. Press)
  • La Faute de l’Abbé Mouret (1875)
    • Abbé Mouret’s Transgression (1886, Tr: unknown, for H. Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • Abbé Mouret’s Transgression (1900, edited by E. Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
    • The Sin of the Abbé Mouret (1904, Tr: M. Smyth, McLaren & Co.)
    • The Abbé Mouret’s Sin (1957, Tr: Alec Brown, Elek Books, republished as The Sinful Priest in 1960)
    • The Sin of Father Mouret (1969, Tr: Sandy Petrey, Prentice-Hall)
    • The Sin of Abbé Mouret (2017, Tr: Valerie Minogue, Oxford University Press)
  • Son Excellence Eugène Rougon (1876)
    • Clorinda or The Rise and Reign of His Excellency Eugène Rougon (1880, Tr: Mary Neal Sherwood, T.B. Peterson & Bros.)
    • His Excellency Eugène Rougon (1886, Tr: unknown, for H. Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • His Excellency (1958, Tr: Alec Brown, Elek Books)
    • His Excellency Eugène Rougon (2018, Tr: Brian Nelson, Oxford University Press)
  • L’assommoir (1877)
    • L’assommoir (1879, Tr: Mary Neal Sherwood, T.B. Peterson & Bros.)
    • Gervaise (1879, Tr: E. Binsse, G.W. Carleton & Co.)
    • The ‘Assommoir’ (1884, Tr: unknown, for H. Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • L’Assommoir (1895, Tr: Arthur Symons, Lutetian Society)
    • The Dram Shop (1897, edited by E. Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
    • Drink (1903, Tr: S.J.A. Fitzgerald, Greening & Co.)
    • The Dram Shop (1951, Tr: Gerard Hopkins, Hamish Hamilton)
    • The Gin Palace (1952, Tr: Buckner B. Trawick, Avon Publications)
    • L’Assommoir (1962, Tr: Atwood H. Townsend, New American Library)
    • L’Assommoir (1970, Tr: Leonard Tancock, Penguin Books)
    • L’Assommoir (1995, Tr: Margaret Mauldon, Oxford Uni. Press)
    • The Drinking Den (2000, Tr: Robin Buss, Penguin Books)
  • Une Page d’amour (1878)
    • Hélène: A Love Episode (1878, Tr: Mary Neal Sherwood, T.B. Peterson & Bros.)
    • A Love Episode (1886, Tr: unknown, for H. Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • A Love Episode (1895, edited by E.A. Vizetelly, Hutchinson & Co.)
    • A Page of Love (1897, Tr: T.F. Rogerson, Geo Barrie & Son)
    • A Love Episode (1905, Tr: C.C. Starkweather, Société des Beaux-arts)
    • A Love Affair (1957, Tr: Jean Stewart, Elek Books)
    • A Love Story (2017, Tr: Helen Constantine, Oxford University Press)
  • Nana (1880)
    • Nana (1884, Tr: unknown, for H. Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • Nana (1895, Tr: Victor Plarr, Lutetian Society)
    • Nana (1926, Tr: Joseph Keating, Cecil Palmer)
    • Nana (1953, Tr: Charles Duff, William Heinemann)
    • Nana (1964, Tr: Lowell Blair, Bantam Books)
    • Nana (1972, Tr: George Holden, Penguin Books)
    • Nana (1992, Tr: Douglas Parmée, Oxford Uni. Press)
  • Pot-Bouille (1882)
    • Piping Hot! (1885, Tr: unknown, for H. Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • Pot-Bouille (1895, Tr: Percy Pinkerton, Lutetian Society)
    • Restless House (several versions of Pinkerton’s translation)
    • Pot Luck (1999, Tr: Brian Nelson, Oxford Uni. Press)
  • Au Bonheur des Dames (1883)
    • Shop Girls of Paris (1883, Tr: Mary Neal Sherwood, T.B. Peterson & Bros.)
    • The Ladies’ Paradise (1883, Tr: Frank Belmont, Tinsley Bros.)
    • Ladies’ Delight (1957, Tr: April Fitzlyon, John Calder)
    • Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies’ Delight) (2001, Tr: Robin Buss, Penguin Books)
    • The Ladies’ Paradise (1995, Tr: Brian Nelson, Oxford Uni. Press)
  • La Joie de vivre (1884)
    • How Jolly Life Is! (1886, Tr: unknown, for H. Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • The Joy of Life (1901, edited by E. Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
    • Zest for Life (1955, Tr: Jean Stewart, Elek Books)
    • The Bright Side of Life (2018, Tr: Alan Rothwell, Oxford University Press)
  • Germinal (1885)
    • Germinal (1885, Tr: Carlynne, Belford, Clarke & Co.)
    • Germinal (1886, Tr: Albert Vandam, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • Germinal (1894, Tr: Havelock Ellis, Lutetian Society)
    • Germinal (1954, Tr: L.W. Tancock, Penguin Books)
    • Germinal (1962, Tr: Willard R. Trask, Bantam Books)
    • Germinal (1970, Tr: Stanley & Eleanor Hochman, New American Library)
    • Germinal (1993, Tr: Peter Collier, Oxford Uni. Press)
    • Germinal (2004, Tr: Roger Pearson, Penguin Books)
  • L’Œuvre (1886)
    • The Masterpiece (1886, Tr: G.D. Cox, T.B. Peterson & Bros.)
    • His Masterpiece (1886, Tr: Albert Vandam, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • His Masterpiece (1902, edited by E.A. Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
    • The Masterpiece (1946, Tr: Katherine Woods, Howell Soskin)
    • The Masterpiece (1950, Tr: Thomas Walton, Elek Books)
    • The Masterpiece (1993, R. Pearson’s revision of T. Walton’s tr, Oxford Uni. Press)
  • La Terre (1887)
    • The Soil (c1888), Tr: G.D. Cox, T.B. Peterson & Bros.)
    • The Soil (1888), Tr: unknown, for Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • La Terre (1895), Tr: Ernest Dowson, Lutetian Society)
    • Earth (1954), Tr: Ann Lindsay, Elek Books)
    • Earth (1962), Tr: Margaret Crosland, New English Library)
    • Earth (1980), Tr: Douglas Parmée, Penguin Books)
    • Earth (2016) Tr: Brian Nelson & Julie Rose, Oxford Uni Press.
  • Le Rêve (1888)
    • The Dream (1893, Tr: Eliza E. Chase, Chatto & Windus)
    • The Dream (2005, Tr: Andrew Brown, Hesperus Press)
    • The Dream (2005, Tr: Michael Glencross, Peter Owen)
  • La Bête humaine (1890)
    • The Human Beast (c1891, Tr: G.D. Cox, T.B. Peterson)
    • The Monomaniac (1901, Tr: E.A. Vizetelly, Hutchinson & Co.)
    • The Human Beast (1937, Tr: Louis Colman, Julien Press)
    • The Human Beast (1954, Tr: Frances Frenaye, Avon Publications)
    • The Beast in Man (1958, Tr: Alec Brown, Elek Books)
    • La Bête Humaine (1977, Tr: Leonard Tancock, Penguin Books)
    • La Bête Humaine (1999, Tr: Roger Pearson, Oxford Uni. Press)
    • The Beast Within (2008, Tr: Roger Whitehouse, Penguin Books)
  • L’Argent (1891)
    •  Money (1891, Tr. Benjamin R. Tucker, Benj. R. Tucker, Publisher)
    • Money (1894, Tr: E.A. Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
    • Money (2014, Tr: Valerie Minogue, Oxford Uni. Press)
    • Money (2016, Tr:André Naffis-Sahely, Alma Books)
  • La Débâcle (1892)
    • The Downfall (1892, Tr: E.A. Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
    • The Downfall or The Smash-up (1898, Tr: E.P. Robins, The Cassell Co.)
    • The Downfall (1902, Tr: W.M. Sloane, P.F. Collier & Son)
    • The Debacle (1968, Tr: John Hands, Elek Books)
    • The Debacle (1972, Tr: Leonard Tancock, Penguin Books)
    • La Débâcle (2000, Tr: Elinor Dorday, Oxford Uni. Press)
  • Le Docteur Pascal (1893)
    • Doctor Pascal (1893, Tr: Ernest Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
    • Doctor Pascal (1901, Tr: Mary J. Serrano, MacMillan Co.)
    • Doctor Pascal (1957, Tr: Vladimir Kean, Elek Books)

Les Trois Villes (The Three Cities Trilogy)

  • Lourdes (1894)
    • Lourdes (1894, Tr: Ernest Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
  • Rome (1896)
    • Rome (1896, Tr: Ernest Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
  • Paris (1898)
    • Paris (1898, Tr: Ernest Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)

Les Quatre Évangiles (The Four Gospels Tetralogy)

  • Fécondité (1899)
    • Fruitfulness (1900, Tr: Ernest Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
  • Travail (1901)
    • Labor (1901, Tr: unknown, Harper & Bros.)
    • Work (1901, Tr: E. Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
  • Vérité (1903, published posthumously)
    • Truth (1903, Tr: Ernest Vizetelly, Chatto & Windus)
  • Justice (unfinished)

Short Story Collections

Where the collections were originally published in French then the English translations are listed below that item. Where the collections are English collections from a variety of sources or the original French title is not known then these are listed as a unique item.

  • Contes à Ninon (1864)
    • Stories for Ninon (1895, Tr: Edward Vizetelly, William Heinemann Ltd)
  • Nouveaux Contes à Ninon (1874)
    • New Stories for Ninon
  • Le Capitaine Burle (1882) (A collection of six short stories from Vestnik Evropy including Le Capitaine Burle, Comment on meurt and La Fête à Coqueville
  • Naïs Micoulin (1884) (A collection of six short stories from Vestnik Evropy including Naïs Micoulin, La Mort d’Olivier Bécaille, Les Coquillages de Monsieur Chabre and Jacques Damour)
  • Parisian Sketches (A collection of four stories: The Boot-polishing Virgin, The Old Woman with Blue Eyes, The Contrasts and Love Under the Roof. Translated by Count C. de Soissons)
  • Collected Works of Emile Zola (1928, Walter J. Black Inc, N.Y.)
  • The Works of Emile Zola (1928, Black’s Readers Service Company, N.Y.) (details)
  • Three Faces of Love (1969, Sphere Books, Tr: Roland Grant) (Contains stories: For One Night of Love, Round Trip and Winkles for Monsieur Chabre)
  • The Attack on the Mill and Other Stories (1984, sixteen story collection, Tr: Douglas Parmée, Oxford University Press) (details) (Commentary)
  • For a Night of Love (2002, Hesperus Press, Tr: Andrew Brown. Contains three stories, For a Night of Love, Nantas and Fasting) (Commentary)
  • Dead Men Tell No Tales and Other Stories (2009, same as OUP collection, Attack on the Mill, but with some extra material, Oneworld Classics) (details)

Other Short Stories and Novellas

  • L’Attaque du moulin (1877) (short story included in Les Soirées de Médan, a collection of stories by six authors)
    • The Attack on the Mill (1888, Tr: Edward Vizetelly, Vizetelly & Co.)
    • The Miller’s Daughter
  • L’Inondation (1880) (novella)
    • The Flood
  • Jacques Damour (1880)
  • La Fête à Coqueville
  • Les Quatre Journees de Jean Gourdon (1874) (novella)

Non-fiction (essays & letters)

  • Mes haines (1866) (art and literary criticism)
  • Mon salon (1866) (art and literary criticism)
  • Edouard Manet: étude biographique et critique (1867)
  • La République et la Littérature (1879)
  • Le Roman Experimental (1880) The Experimental Novel
  • Les Romanciers naturalistes (1881) (essays)
  • Nos auteurs dramatiques (1881) (essays)
  • Documents Littéraires, Études et portraits (1881)
  • Le Naturalisme au théâtre (1881)
  • L’affaire Dreyfus: lettre à la jeunesse (The Dreyfus Affair) (1887)
  • J’accuse (I Accuse) (1898)
  • La Vérité en marche (1901)(collection of Zola’s essays on The Dreyfus Affair)
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46 comments on “Translations

  1. […] La Faute de l’Abbé Mouret so I shall have to make do with one of these, listed on the Translations page at The Books of Emile Zola by the indefatigable Jonathan who has contributed so much to our collaborative blog […]

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  2. […] until something better comes along, there is limited choice for this title, as you can see at the Translations page at Reading Zola. I think I’m stuck with old Vizetelly for A  Lesson in […]

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  3. […] order, so The Sin of Father Mouret  should be my next Zola  However,  I’m waiting on my preferred translation to come from a second-hand bookshop in America, so I decided to read Thérèse Raquin in the […]

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  4. Lisa Hill says:

    Oh dear, I have just started reading the 1956 Elek edition of The Beast in Man, translated by Alec Brown and it is dreadful! It is so bad that I only got to page 3 before I consulted the original French version at Gutenberg where my suspicions were confirmed. Brown has ruined the tone of the book. I’ll have to find another edition.

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  5. I was very curious to know the name of the translator who translated Émile Zola’s famous novel Nana from French into English, but of course, I’m talking about the edition that I had got from my family collection in which translator’s name was missing. Later I downloaded a digitized copy of Nana from archive.org. and the content of that copy as same as mine. It starts with the following lines;
    –CHAPTER I–
    AT nine o’clock the Variety Theatre was still almost empty. In the balcony and orchestra stalls a few persons waited, lost amidst the garnet-coloured velvet seats, in the faint light of the half extinguished gasalier.

    Although you’ve said, “Many of the older translations are in the public domain and links to these English Translations Of Works Of Émile Zola can be found at Project Gutenberg.” but I don’t see the name of Burton Rascoe among the names of the translators nor do I see any reference to the edition published by Knopf in 1922 in the list.
    Am I missing something? Please let me know.

    Here is the book detail (of the digitized copy )

    Translated from the French.
    With an Introduction
    by BURTON RASCOE

    COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY
    ALFRED A. KNOPF, INC.

    Published October, 1922
    Composition, electrotyping, printing and binding by
    The Plimpton Press, Norwood, Mass.
    Paper supplied by W. F. Etheringlon & Co., New York, N. 7.
    MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dagny says:

      Excellent! It looks like you have found another edition for our list. I have what is apparently the same translation, uncredited, in The Works of Emile Zola (1928, Black’s Readers Service Company, N.Y.) which is listed above in Short Story Collections with details at http://wp.me/p4cwAr-5L (such as they are). You’ll see from the details that the same translation of Nana is available at Project Gutenberg in the collection titled Four Short Stories at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1069

      From Burton Rascoe’s Wikipedia page it looks like he was an editor, but not a translator, so he probably only wrote the Introduction.

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  6. Lisa Hill says:

    Hello, Indro, well this sounds interesting, it looks as if you’ve got an edition that we haven’t come across before. Of course an Introduction by Rascoe, doesn’t necessarily mean translated by him … have you tried looking it up in the Library of Congress?
    I’ve seen quite a few books published in the past where the translator isn’t acknowledged anywhere. It’s rather annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much.

      Yes, I understand that Burton Ruscoe mightn’t have been the translator. That’s what I failed to notice. I simply wanted to know about the translator because it’s an excellent job done, as it was no easy task to translate a classic written in French – the language itself is musical, harmonious and melodic, into other language.

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lisa Hill says:

        Yes, it’s very frustrating when you don’t know who it is. It’s actually an insult to the translator, I’m surprised that a big company like Knopf hasn’t named him or her.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. John Daly says:

    Re the current status of more recent translations, there are, to my reckoning, 13 volumes in Oxford World Classics editions, plus translations of ‘The Dream’ and ‘The Debacle’ from other publishers. That still seems to leave 5 volumes (‘Abbe Mouret’,’His Excellency’, ‘A Love Episode’, ‘The Joy of Life’, and ‘Doctor Pascal’) where we still have to rely on the Vizetelly (or other equally inadequate) editions. Is this correct? Is anyone aware of plans to translate these five? (Oxford recently added a translation of ‘Earth’ to their lineup, when they might have done better to tackle some of the others).

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    • Lisa Hill says:

      I think you’re right, John. I am currently reading Doctor Pascal translated by Mary Jane Serrano because that’s all I could find.
      I don’t have any inside knowledge but I have been in touch with OWC marketing – they told me in advance about the new translation of Earth, (which I read and reviewed here and on my own ANZ LitLovers blog) but there seems to be no others forthcoming at this stge.

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    • Dean says:

      According to Brian Nelson’s CV (resume for Americans and Canadians), the following are being translated:

      – Son Excellence Eugène Rougon
      – Une page d’amour
      – Le Docteur Pascal

      Here’s his CV: http://profiles.arts.monash.edu.au/wp-content/arts-files/brian-nelson/Brian-Nelson-CV-2015.pdf

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      • Lisa Hill says:

        That’s great news, I really think he is such a great translator, I love his style. Thanks for letting us know:)

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        • John Daly says:

          So, with the new editions of ‘La Débâcle’ and ‘The Sin of Abbé Mouret’ now on the shelves, Brian Nelson’s ‘A Love Story’ due in October, Gibbard’s ‘The Dream’ also due this year, and with Nelson also apparently having ‘His Excellence…’ and ‘Doctor Pascal’ on his desk, that only leaves ‘La Joie de Vivre’, yes? Anyone have any update on this one? 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Dean says:

      A bit more news:

      According to Valerie Minogue (http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2016/09/literary-translation/), she has translated “La Faute de l’abbé Mouret” and it will appear in 2017.

      According to Paul Gibbard’s staff profile (http://www.web.uwa.edu.au/people/paul.gibbard), he has translated “The Dream” and it will also appear in 2017.

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    • Dean says:

      bookdepository.com now has “The Sin of Abbe Mouret” listed as ISBN 978-0-19-873663-9, available on May 11, 2017, for 13.23 Canadian dollars.

      bookdepository.com also has “La Debacle” listed as ISBN 978-0-19-880189-4, available June 22, 2017, for 17.66 Canadian dollars. This edition is translated by Elinor Dorday as was the last edition, so it’s probably just a reprint.

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  8. Dean says:

    “A Love Story” is now showing up. The ISBN is 978-0-19-872864-1, and it will be available on Oct. 27, 2017.

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  9. Lisa Hill says:

    It’s quite interesting really…. a very long period of time with nothing, and then this sudden flurry of new translations to round out the whole R-M series. I wonder if the internet has had anything to do with people wanting to read Zola because the word has got out that he’s great to read?

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    • Dean says:

      Well, there’s more: bookdepository.com is now showing “His Excellency Eugene Rougon” as ISBN 978-0-19-874825-0, to be available on April 01, 2018.

      I would imagine that the internet has made it really easy for companies to find out what people want, before they go to the trouble of printing it. How did companies manage to find out what people wanted before the internet? Focus groups? That would only cover a small portion of the population. And that doesn’t even cover the ability to generate buzz over some titles using the internet.

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  10. Dean says:

    “The Bright Side of Life” (“La Joie de vivre” in French) is now showing up as ISBN 9780198753612 from Oxford World Classics. It will be available on July 26, 2018. The translator is Andrew Rothwell.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lisa Hill says:

    Fantastic, I’ll be getting a copy of that one too, thanks for letting us know:)

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  12. Katie Taylor says:

    Thank you so much for this great resource! A friend recommended ‘Thérèse Raquin’ to me and I bolted it down in a day, unable to put it down (Penguin, Robin Buss translator), then found your site and used these notes as a guide to order all 20 books of the Rougon-Macquart cycle. I feel lucky to be starting to read this cycle at what appears to be the most perfect time possible, with all these wonderful OWC editions either completed or soon to be published! I can’t imagine an author less suited to delicate and tactful translation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa Hill says:

      You’re welcome, Katie, I look forward to hearing more about your adventures with Zola as you go along:)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dagny says:

      You’re welcome, Katie! I’m so glad you found our site helpful – that’s really why we created it, to share. Good point about your embarking on the Rougon-Macquart novels at a perfect time. My Zola odyssey began almost two decades ago. Some of the Victorian translations are so bowdlerized that when I read a modern translation of one of them, I had to check back to make sure I was actually reading the same book.

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      • Lisa Hill says:

        I can vouch for that. I’ve just got the new translation of His Excellency and I can’t wait to read it as it should be read…

        Liked by 2 people

        • Katie Taylor says:

          I’m so envious! I pre-ordered it and now trying to decide if I’ll read one of the others when I finish with ‘La Fortune des Rougon’ or take a break and read Stefan Zweig’s ‘Beware of Pity,’ which is also in my pile and seems like a good complement to this series.

          And it’s true – a good translation can really make or break a book. The same is true of performances of piano pieces. The first time I heard Ravel’s ‘Pavane for a Dead Princess,’ it was a recording by Vladimir Horowitz and it was wonderfully brittle and halting in the beginning, whereas most pianists just go ahead and lose themselves in how pretty the melody is (despite the fact that that’s not what the dynamic markings tell them to do). It’s much more poignant brittle.

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          • Lisa Hill says:

            That’s a very good analogy, Katie, and yes, I like the Horowitz interpretations best too:)
            I read the whole R-M series over a period of two years, partly because it took time to find the books (which at the beginning was when OUP were only just starting to issue their new translations) but partly because I enjoyed them more if I had a break and read other things between. Each one made more of an impact on me because I gave them time to percolate, if you like, in the brain. But I am mindful that I have the luxury of lots of reading time. I think that if I had stumbled on Zola when I was a young mother with a full-time job and study commitments too – and I’d spread them out then, it might have taken me five years to read them all!

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  13. therebelprince says:

    Thankyou so much for this truly fantastic website! My copy of the new Oxford “Bright Side of Life” just arrived today, and I am beaming to have 18 of the 20 in the cycle on my shelf. I read a couple of books in the cycle about ten years ago but was rather miffed by the ancient translations. Now I’ve started up properly with the Oxford series and excited to take the complete journey.
    With Paul Gibbard’s “The Dream” due in 148 days (by the Book Depository’s countdown reckoning) and “Doctor Pascal” apparently in the works, it seems that this is a very good time to be a Zola fan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa Hill says:

      It is indeed, and I think that it is the online book community that deserves the credit because it’s the conversations here, and on other blogs and places like Goodreads that have made publishers realise that there is a market for these books in new translations!

      Liked by 1 person

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