La bête humaine (French Edition)

La Bête Humaine (French)
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The last thing that Zola is interested in is respectability. The hard infrastructure of a Parisian station is always there in Chapter 1 — the view Roubaud looks out on from the room he is borrowing for the day overlooks roofs and lines and rolling-stock described in meticulous detail — and in Chapter 2, the line that thrusts its way relentlessly through the rolling countryside to the north is unstoppable. By the s, Zola is already insisting, it is turning people into something strange:.

The house shook, engulfed by a blast of air…. Notwithstanding the speed, by the lit-up glass of the doors one caught sight of the full compartments, of the lines of heads side by side, close together, each with its particular profile.

UC Berkeley Library

La Bête Humaine (French) (French Edition) [Emile Zola] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. En entrant dans la chambre, Roubaud posa sur. La Bête humaine (French Edition) [Zola Émile] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Unlike some other reproductions of classic texts (1) We.

They followed one another and disappeared. What a multitude! The crowd again, the crowd without end, amidst the rolling of the carriages, the whistling of the locomotives, the tinkling of the telegraph, the ringing of bells! It was like a huge body, a gigantic creature stretched across the earth, the head at Paris, the vertebrae all along the line, the limbs expanding with every branch-line, the feet and hands at Le Havre and other destinations.

And it passed, passed, mechanically, triumphant, advancing to the future with mathematical precision, determinedly oblivious to the rest of human life on either side, life unseen and yet perennial, with its eternal passions and eternal crimes. You have to blame Zola for those, I guess, or… what? A conviction he must have had, I suppose, that the male of the species living in the impossible society that was mid th Century France was bound to become the victim of undeniable drives.

Or something.

follow site But no, he will kill Grandmorin instead, by forcing her to send him a letter telling him to get the same train out of Paris that she is getting on. This is the murder that Lantier witnesses. She suspects that her husband, a cold fish of a signalman, is yet another potential murderer. Zola is totally aware of the distorted sexuality of this, making it explicit as, following a disturbingly arousing encounter with Flore, Lantier tears himself away from her and wanders off into the night.

He finds himself drawn to the mouth of the nearby railway tunnel, then away and back to the line as though by magnetic force. He decides not to report what he saw in the carriage…. The gossips take it for granted that Roubaud has got his job because of the sexual favours his young wife has been offering Grandmorin since girlhood… which appears to be the world of this novel. What more to say? Roubaud is terrified all morning, before the arrival of the telegram that confirms the discovery of the body. The carriage is examined — Zola has pulled a few plot strings to have it kept at Le Havre — and there are lurid descriptions of blood lying in a pool in an indentation of a seat cushion, and all over the carriage floor.

The cleaners will be in for it — they should have inspected the carriage when it arrived — and in fact, a lot of the conversation of these people is to do with jobs done properly, or not, and who is getting paid more than they should. The experience of being employed by a company that seems to symbolise faceless, unstoppable capitalism is almost as nasty as everything else in this universe.

And… arriving for his shift Lantier, to his own surprise, blurts out what he saw taking place in the speeding carriage. Through a combination of incompetence, misplaced self-belief and the promise of promotion if the whole case can be buried, the investigation comes to nothing. There are grimly satirical interrogations not only of the Roubauds but of a completely innocent man the investigating magistrate is convinced is the murderer… and then things develop further.

By the end, the magistrate and his boss know perfectly well who the real murderers are — but in this universe, earnest questions of conscience are quickly subsumed into the Realpolitik of life in All the participants have to keep watching their backs, painfully aware of hysterical press coverage of everything they do.

The satirical spin in his case is that he is the most innocent character in the novel so far, and the only one who tells the unvarnished truth. Only it happens not to be the truth the magistrate wants to hear. The magistrate, Denizet, is resentful that people he regards as his equals have been promoted above him for no good reason. During the course of a hectic morning a couple of weeks after the murder, Denizet has interviewed both Roubauds, Jacques Lantier, and Cabuche.

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This item is printed on demand. One morning she seizes the opportunity when Cabuche leaves his wagon and horses unattended by the railway. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. A Curve In Time. Add to Basket. Didn't find what you're looking for? It will be very important for you and other readers in the world.

Zola gleefully shows us how the magistrate keeps getting it wrong, misinterpreting every sign given off by any of them. She is an innocent too, of sorts, playing on what has become second nature to her in order to get any man on her side. She does this to perfection with the magistrate even while she is terrified of blurting out the truth. Roubaud, against an easy opponent, is able to alter his description of a mysterious murderer who supposedly boarded the train at Rouen to fit whatever the magistrate wants to hear.

Lantier — usually now, in fact, referred to as Jacques — thinks he has his own reasons to be evasive and never gives a straight answer. He finds her presence terribly unsettling and, alone with the magistrate again, he blurts out the new information that there might have been another person present at the murder. Cabuche, by contrast, presents to the bourgeois-minded Denizet the very image of savagery and violence.

As far as the magistrate is concerned, everything about this man — his physiognomy, his manner, his ignorance — declares his guilt. The reason for Cabuche becoming a suspect goes back to Chapter 2. Flore and her mother are sure that the perpetrator of this atrocity was Grandmorin himself, but there seems to have been no proper investigation of it. Messy cases tend to get buried, as we are coming to realise. When Denizet presents his suspicion to Camy-Lamotte, he is not impressed. But she has just finished subjecting Camy-Lamotte to the same treatment as Denizet before — she has gone to his house in Paris specially to plead their case, pretending that all she is worried about is that her husband thinks correctly, as it transpires that the company is going to sack him because the mud sticking to him — and, after making her come back later in the day, he tells her she has nothing to worry about.

But she knows he knows about the letter…. Despite having been close to Grandmorin, he is much more interested in getting his political masters off his back than coming to a just conclusion of the case. The newspapers would love it. The case fades away amidst ever more outlandish tales of the mysterious murderer. Everybody has a motive for doing what they do, however wrong-headed, and the web they weave becomes tangled ever more tightly. Everybody has secrets and, knowingly or not, everybody else uses these for their own ends.

He, Roubaud, knows that she can do this, slips into the role of pimp as he lets her know how important it is for both their sakes….

And it works. Roubaud asks Jacques to look after her — as ever, he is to drive the Paris express she wants to take — and, despite his fears about his own behaviour, he agrees. She looks winningly vulnerable as she runs to call up to him on the footplate before he sets off, and she makes sure that he is happy to escort her around Paris…. By the end of Chapter 5, Camy-Lamotte has told her she is safe.

Long before the end of it, Jacques has declared her love for her — he is full of wonder, believing that she has cured him of his obsessive desire to kill — and, after some weeks of chaste little trysts in dark corners of the engine-sheds, they become lovers.

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The first time is in the tool-shed behind the piles of coal, on the folded sacks. After that, in the passion of new-found love, they do it anywhere. Meanwhile Roubaud, who has previously been a domineering bully, seems almost to have lost interest in her.

The Beast Within

His shift-patterns mean that they are often in bed at different times, and she realises how much she likes this. He is lost in his own world of anxiety and throws himself into his duties at work…. Then he discovers a new outlet, the card-games that have started up among his colleagues. In the weeks and months after the murder he becomes lost in a new obsession, gambling.

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The first half of that chapter consists of the stomach-churningly well described journey Jacques has to undertake in order to reach that point. Whatever else it is, this novel is an extraordinary evocation of the railways in the 19 th Century — with a focus, in this chapter, on the working lives of the driver and fireman. I mentioned tangled webs. By the end of Chapter 9, she has been able to move into the better apartment that should always have belonged to the Roubauds by right, one in which Jacques can come and go undetected by the gossips.

Roubaud himself is there even less than he was at the old flat, so their joy should be unconfined.