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We hardly feel the rebel stand against an unjust establishment ,the hatred for the Belgian strikebreakers. The most successful moment is perhaps the pillage of Maigrat's store by the women who were given food by the obnoxious merchant in exchange for sexual relations. Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist. Visit our What to Watch page. Sign In. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends.
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Return to Book Page. Roger Pearson Translator, Introduction. Etienne Lantier, an unemployed railway worker, is a clever but uneducated young man with a dangerous temper. Forced to take a back-breaking job at Le Voreux mine when he cannot get other work, he discovers that his fellow miners are ill, hungry, in debt, and unable to feed and clothe their families.
When conditions in the mining community deteriorate even further, Lantier finds himself leading a strike that could mean starvation or salvation for all. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published January 29th by Penguin Classics first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Germinal , please sign up. See 1 question about Germinal…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Germinal. Often considered Zola's masterpiece and one of the most significant novels in the French tradition, the novel — an uncompromisingly harsh and realistic story of a coalminers' strike in northern France in the 's — has been published and translated in over one hundred countries and has additionally inspired five film adaptations and two television productions.
View all 7 comments. It describes the inhumane conditions in the mines of the French coal mining area of the 19th century. The novel sheds light on the conflicts and lines of conflict that arise between capitalists and miners, but also between workers themselves, who disagree about how the terrible conditions can be overcome.
Germinal is considered one of Emile Zola's best works, the author's style and impressive representations are in the foreground. If you read the book, there is no way to remain a mere reader. But you literally feel like you go down to the mine with the workers, work with them, and as you go up the elevator, your eyes are blinded by the daylight.
All in all, this is a timeless book that shows man's inequality, its conflicts and beastly relapses in ruthless, pessimistic openness. View all 12 comments. Jun 25, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: subterranean , books-to-read-before-you-die , so-good-it-hurts , rougon-macquart , unforgettable , favorites.
Nana, the whore's brother! Jacques, the murderer's brother! Gervaise, the alcoholic's son! I know this part of the Rougon-Macquart family tree better than any other, and each of the family members stands for a novel that sends a shiver down my spine - of reading delight and sorrowful mourning over the human condition.
In the mining society, he plunges into the life of a rising working class, bound to the mine, living under conditions that ultimately lead to strike, and more suffering.
The mine itself is a protagonist: a scary modern monster, swallowing human beings alive, but spitting out most of them again, marked for life by the Hades of profitability. I spent some childhood years in a small community close to a famous copper mine in Sweden, and one of the yearly school field trips led students down into the depth of the mine, on a guided tour around the maze of former mining activity.
I will never forget the feeling of helpless panic when I first tried to imagine the unbearable heat close to the fires, the pain in the bodies crawling into the narrow paths, the physical exhaustion, the lack of air, the poisoned atmosphere, the darkness, the hunger Around the mine, now part of UNESCO world heritage, a small town grew, with modern features such as health care and well-organised administration. But above all, it was a living hell for the poor families trying to survive on minimum wages to fill the pockets of the owners, who strove to rise on the social ladder.
Whenever I see one of the many red houses in the neighbourhood, I think of the paint that was produced as a by-product of the copper mining, and how it has become unconscious, but lasting evidence of early Swedish industrialism to this day.
So when I read "Germinal" for the first time, I had a vivid real-life experience to fall back upon, to empathise with the characters. When they went on strike, found sole pleasure in promiscuity, let anger take over their minds, I KNEW why.
I still felt the cold, dark mountain closing in on me. Hardly imaginable that a love story could have an uglier, darker setting, but it remains one of my favourite scenes in world literature.
As for the social question, despite its hopeful title, "Germinal" doesn't solve anything. Gaskell tried to find a solution in the engaging power of individuals, linking the values of North and South in her masterpiece on social tension in England during the same era. Nothing of the kind is offered the characters in Zola's novel - and in a way, that might make it a more realistic attempt at showing the life conditions in 19th century industrial communities.
Vous avez beau crier contre les riches, le courage vous manque de rendre aux pauvres l'argent que la fortune vous envoie As a description of 19th century life, "Germinal" is unsurpassed in its earthly hell - no need for a metaphysical one at all!
View all 58 comments. Mar 03, Henry Avila rated it really liked it. Emile Zola's acknowledged masterpiece written in , the politics are dated as history has shown, his overemphasis on sex, research and common sense have refuted, this is the 19th century, not the 21st, trying to sell more books? Etienne Lantier, is young, 21, a strong Frenchman, who has just lost his job as a mechanic, the intelligent man, hasn't discovered you don't curse your boss, if you want to keep a job, the too passionate, angry vagabond with a hair-trigger temper, is homeless and hungry , walking in the dark, roaming a coal mining district, near the border of Belgium, sleeping outdoors on the ground, no money , days pass he needs another job soon or starve to death, wondering how his life has come to this sad condition.
At last after many rejections for employment, he gets work in the coal mine of Le Vereaux, thanks to the help of Vincent Maheu, a veteran in the industry, the father of seven, his family has been digging deep underground for coal, over a century and losing many members as a result of numerous accidents. They live, the miners in a small company village called Two Hundred and Forty, that's right no name just a number, after spending a short time in a boarding house he moves into Monsieur Maheu tiny home, with his old, sick father, feisty, still attractive wife, seven rambunctious children, a cozy ten people inside, too cozy, they need his salary to survive, now eleven sleeping with others in an ancient bed , no privacy , can't afford that luxury, little to eat, not much heat for the cold winter months..
Etienne shortly eyes the pretty teenage daughter of Maheu, Catherine, she seems interested but a complication ensues , another admirer, the good looking brute Chaval, her first love An infinite talk about a strike, is discussed everywhere , by the miners, below in holes, shafts, a half a mile under the surface, in taverns, in their houses, and walking back home, still Etienne, at first doesn't get involved, he's a new coal miner, learning quickly, though, a natural at it, becomes one of the best.
Seeing the appalling situation in the mine, the filthy back breaking work, cramp, uneven black tunnels that go on forever, cave-ins, toxic gases, floods from underground water, the extreme high heat, a miserable low paying job, for what reason?
They die, yet no improvement for the workers His fiery Russian friend, Souvarene, who he met there, at the boarding house, is an anarchist, wanted for murderous crimes back home, fleeing Russia, says destroy, kill almost everything and everyone, begin again , a new , better world will rise.
Lantier, starts believing View all 8 comments. I don't care for the great centuries. All I care about is life, struggle, intensity. I appreciate your patience as I am going to write it as vividly as possible. The lady on the chair is well past her prime- 40 maybe- with her youthful rosiness and smooth, taut skin beginning to give away under the suffocating reality in which she and her family are haplessly ensconced.
The room in which she sits is tiny, but has a peculiar nordic cleanness about it which shows that this woman is scrupulous over cleanliness though persecuted perpetually and mercilessly by poverty, which is evident from her overused frayed dress, narrow room, rickety oak furniture and drab posters that adorned the murky walls.
The lady on the chair sits pensively at the table, with her chin propped by her scrawny hands, worn by constant toiling. Her husband and her 3 elder children-she has seven- are bound to come soon from their 10 hours-work down the mine; her other children- who have to wait several years before going under the mine- are too little to work which augments the agony of feeding five extra mouths including herself, the mother her doctor advised her not to go down the mine anymore because of her bad lung.
In her befuddled head, which is swarming with multiplicity of half-formed, incongruous thoughts, she condemned herself for not having borne the non-working kids much earlier, so that they too could have worked and earned bread for the family; she still condemned the stars for not giving her triplet-sons instead of the triplet-girls which god had bestowed on her with a sardonic grin.
Suddenly, as if she was back to her senses, she shuddered convulsively, as her mind, which has been brimming with harrowing thoughts and disturbing reminiscences, proffered her another bit of memory to chew on: she remembered when the grocer next street asked her to send her eldest daughter to collect the groceries when she asked credit. She herself was willing to go to the grocer as payment, but the years of impoverishment, drudgery and misery have drained away her youthful vigor and form, as she looked herself at the cracked mirror hung on the opposite wall.
Zola, the founder of naturalist movement, had written a score of novels in his series Les Rougon-Macquart, which tells the story of a family and its socio-economic impact in the era under Napoleon III. Germinal is not entirely a political novel or a polemic aimed at defenestrating capitalism though it gives such an impression, nor is it an exaggerated melodrama aimed at hacking away at the hearts of the readers, nor is it a protracted tale of the 19th century miners during the epoch of economic slump.
Germinal, the book, its theme, is a living soul, which has a heart that beats synchronically with the beats of the downtrodden people, which has a mouth that speaks for them, which has an arm with an uplifted index finger that guides them and admonishes them, and which showers them a benevolent gaze and a protective smile. According to Zola, the poverty and destitution of the miners are bestowed upon them by nature- they cannot do anything about it- and they are all invariably born into this slump, as their fathers and forefathers were all miners, whose impoverished life was the only inheritance they bequeath to their offspring.
Generations of subjugation and unwavering circumstance of their harrowing milieu and life, the constant persecution of the capitalist mine-owners who constantly encumber their life by chiseling off their paltry salary on petty terms, thereby filling their own coffers at the expense of the blood, sweat and tears of the miners, who toil away their inane lives inorder to satiate, partially atleast, the growling cries of hunger.
Etienne, moreover, is a symbol of nonchalance in the face of despair and defeat, finding optimism even in the darkest of hours. Now the germination of these seeds of revolution is just a matter of time: a disturbance or a unanimous outcry against an unjustifiable act can arouse the slumbering beast in the hearts of these docile, resigned creatures who have until now suppressed their innermost turmoil in the catacombs of their vacuous souls.
All they needed was a voice, firm with conviction and direction, to guide them to a path of revolution, where their debilitating lives are purged of misery, and a new realm of happiness precipitated in front of their weary,dreamy eyes.
Etienne, as if pre-ordained by the high-heavens, gives the cogwheels a push to set it moving, and the machinery of revolution slowly revved to a full life. As pages rolled by, I was immersed into the ebb and flow of the story, dissolved in the luscious prose, my breathing pace naturally attuning itself to the crest and trough of the novel, and as I turned the last page of the novel, I closed the book and slumped into my bed, as I always do, to meditate upon what I have gone through. See, what my friend said was true.
But what he said was also wrong. Zola had depicted the life of these common-place miners in an extraordinarily moving way: for instance, the eldest daughter of La Maheude, Catherine, who is 15, but her sexual maturity is getting delayed due to the burdening work at mines; the bestiality of the youths who find solace only in laying girls on their arse and making them mothers at a very early age; the harrowing account of a horse named Bataille, who was dragged down to the mine when it was still a jaunty baby colt and its irrepressible longing for basking in the radiant sunshine and taking in the scent of fresh verdure; the cattle-like promiscuity of people who were huddled together in a small room, like Catherine and her lodger Etienne who were forced to sleep side by side; the catastrophic prospects like fire-damp explosion and rock falls in mines; miners extinguishing their fury over diminishing salary, which was already paltry, through unrestrained inebriation leaving their families to starve.
I had been absent in GR for long, and it might have a taken a book like this to finally absorb me back to the place I know I cherish the most. I assert that there are some books that can shake you off torpidity and pull you again into the magical world of words and thoughts, and it is only a matter of time before you will find the book according to your taste that can impart you once again, the elixir of happiness and contentment.
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Joe South. So Long feat. And is he just a tiny bit overexcited about the idea of poor people having casual sex? There are some tedious parts as there often are in classics. Da Bulldogs When Sunday came round you were so tired that you slept all Album). Milk The Cow feat. Often considered Zola's masterpiece and one of the most significant novels in the French tradition, the novel — an uncompromisingly harsh and realistic story of a coalminers' strike in northern France in the 's — has been published and translated in over one hundred countries and has additionally inspired five Album) adaptations and two television productions. Kilo feat.
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