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In Conversation with Agnes Callard
On Émile Zola
I recently decided to climb the great mountain that is Émile Zola’s twenty-volume magnum opus, Les Rougon-Macquart (1871-1893). I wrote a little bit about my early reaction to his work two weeks ago. Shortly after I began my ascent, I learned my friend Agnes Callard was already a good distance ahead of me. Agnes and I thought it might be interesting to get together and compare notes.
I found Agnes’s reflections on Zola quite compelling, and in consequence I find my initial reflections, linked above, somewhat unjust, or at least incomplete. I’m now looking forward to getting to the end of Balzac’s La Rabouilleuse (1842) and swinging back again to Zola — Au Bonheur des dames (1883) is next on my list (Balzac is still my fave, for the moment).
I hope this will be the first of several conversations with Agnes, among others, on topics literary and artistic, and I hope you will enjoy this first stab of mine at a video ‘stack. (I hate my voice, and I’m conflicted about my face, so I haven’t watched this myself and do not know whether there are any technical problems or glitches.)
If you do enjoy it, and especially if you are new to The Hinternet, having arrived here from Agnes’s set, I would be very happy if you would consider subscribing. —JS-R
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