Friday, August 18, 2006

My five-year plan...

I've just finished reading Emile Zola's 'The Fortune of the Rougon's'. It isn't a great book, but it's important because it explains the background to Zola's Rougon Macquart novels and introduces some of the most significant characters. I now intend to read all twenty novels in Zola's sequence and have checked to see which translations are the best.

Amazingly, over half of the novels haven't been translated into English since the Victorian age and two are currently out of print! I know that the Rougon Macquart novels are of mixed quality, but surely the sequence as a whole is important enough to merit commissioning new translations for the backlist titles?

I have given myself five years to read the whole series. That works out as one book every three months and will give me plenty of time to read other things.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh dear! As a Zola fan myself, I can't see reading these at any greater rate than one every three years! Some of the books available in English, particularly the plain white cover books, are not smoothly translated, making it a chore to read. That being said, some of my favorite books by Zola have been "Ladies' Paradise"', "Money", and "Pot Boille". hope the spelling is right on that last one, there.