Read Germinal by Émile Zola Online


Etienne Lantier, from the illegitimate Macquart branch of the family, arrives in the mining settlement of Montsou, and witnesses at first hand the appalling conditions in which miners live and work. Gradually becoming embroiled in a bitter dispute between the miners and their employers, he eventually leads the strike....

Title : Germinal
Author :
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ISBN : 9781840226188
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 478 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Germinal Reviews

  • Lisa
    2019-05-05 17:36

    Étienne Lantier - Claude, the painter's brother! 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. "Germinal" is a masterpiece in its own right, but one can't help thinking of the social background of the young man wandering up the street in a French mining town in the beginning of the novel. The tragic life experience he's already gathered, being the son of Gervaise Lantier/Coupeau, - who drinks herself into delirium in the poor parts of Paris, in L'Assommoir (The Dram Shop), whose daughter Nana ends up a prostitute, whose other son Claude commits suicide when failing to deliver The Masterpiece he strives for, whose third son is driven by murderous madness to commit unspeakable crimes. Despite the family history, Étienne Lantier is a decent man, and a socially progressive thinker. 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. Child labour is a crucial part of the story of Falu Rödfärg, a product deriving directly from the mining business which eventually resulted in a strong national identification with the Swedish red, wooden houses. 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. I have been to the copper mine several times as a grown-up, taking students and my own children down into the underworld, and now Zola's Étienne accompanies me every time, and I relive the dramatic scenes over and over - when he is trapped in the mine with Catherine. 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. The split between working masses and ownership is as wide as before when Étienne finally takes the road out of the small town again, after a dramatic showdown. 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. A true working class revolution, according to Zola, would fail because of the revolutionaries' inevitable transformation into oppressors, should they happen to be successful:"Oui, c'est votre idée, à vous tous, les ouvriers français, déterrer un trésor, pour le manger seul ensuite, dans un coin d'égoïsme et de fainéantise. Vous avez beau crier contre les riches, le courage vous manque de rendre aux pauvres l'argent que la fortune vous envoie... Jamais vous ne serez dignes du bonheur, tant que vous aurez quelque chose à vous, et que votre haine des bourgeois viendra uniquement de votre besoin enragé d'être des bourgeois à leur place."This mirrors Albert Camus' reflections on rebellion and revolution in human history, L'homme révolté forever striving to take the role of his jailers, thus producing new cries for justice which will end up dethroning him in an eternal violent movement. As a description of 19th century life, "Germinal" is unsurpassed in its earthly hell - no need for a metaphysical one at all!

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-05-01 11:30

    824. Germinal, Émile Zolaژرمینال - امیل زولا (نیلوفر) ادبیات فرانسه؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه ژوئن سال 1977 میلادیعنوان: ژرمینال؛ نویسنده: امیل زولا؛ مترجم: سروش حبیبی؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، کتابهای جیبی، چاپ اول 1356، چاپ دوم 1357؛ در 537 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، نیلوفر، چاپ سوم 1384؛ در 552 ص؛ چاپ چهارم 1386؛ شابک: 9644482611؛ چاپ چنجم 1388؛ شابک: 9789644482648؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسوی - قرن 19 معنوان: ژرمینال؛ نویسنده: امیل زولا؛ مترجم: نونا هجری؛ ویراستار: م. آزاده؛ تهران، فرزان، چاپ اول 1363، در 555 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، گوتنبرگ، 1386؛ عنوان: ژرمینال؛ نویسنده: امیل زولا؛ مترجم: ابوالفتوح امام؛ تهران، گلشائی، چاپ اول 1364، چاپ سوم 1369؛ در 515 ص؛ داستان اعتصاب کارگران است. قیام حقوق بگیران، و جامعه ای که در چشم برهم زدنی از هم میپاشد، مبارزه ی سرمایه و کار است. اهمیت ژرمینال در این است که مهم‌ترین چالش قرن بیستم را به میدان اوراق داستان می‌کشد. ماجرا در معدن زغال‌ سنگ، در شمال فرانسه، روی می‌دهد. اِتیِن لانتیه، به جرم سیلی‌ زدن به رئیس خود از کار اخراج، سپس در معدن وورو، استخدام می‌شود. اتین در کار و زندگی دشوار معدنچیان سهیم می‌شود. معدنجیانی که نسل به نسل همچون برده‌ زندگی کرده اند. اتین به سبب خوی عصیانگرش با شرایط کار خویش به مخالفت برمی‌خیزد. با رهبران سوسیالیست ارتباط می‌گیرد، و مبارزه با شرکت معادن را سازمان می‌دهد، و اعتصاب را برمی‌انگیزد. معدنچیان پس از دو ماه و نیم مبارزه، از روی اجبار، دوباره کار خویش از سر می‌گیرند، ولی باور دارند که مبارزه باز هم امکان‌پذیر است. مبارزه معدنچیان به مراحل بحرانی می‌رسد، سپاهیان به روی اعتصاب‌ کنندگان تیراندازی می‌کنند، و کشته‌ ها را بر جای می‌گذارند. در پایان کار هرچند پیروزی از آن سرمایه‌ داران است، اما آن پیروزی ظاهری ست. اتین در یک صبح بهاری، که یادآور دورانی نو است به پاریس می‌رود؛ تا مبارزه ی تازه ای در پیش گیرد. ا. شربیانی

  • Henry Avila
    2019-04-21 17:53

    Emile Zola's acknowledged masterpiece written in 1885, 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 ? "Nana," made the same error) his characters are more symbols than real human beings, with a quite melodramatic plot even, yet Germinal, is a superb novel, which will capture your total interest, the reader will learn much about little known aspects, the dangers , of coal mining in France, ( and the world) ... ironically all have closed now, because of cheap foreign competition...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.. the poor, uneducated workers are exploited by the mining company. 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... something must be done. 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 ... he speaks, a great stir of excitement he brings to the miners ... it is called hope, a paradise on Earth soon , no more poverty... a real future, that promises the opressed, prosperity...what can they lose...the workers will follow him..

  • Gautam
    2019-05-05 17:33

    “I am little concerned with beauty or perfection. I don't care for the great centuries. All I care about is life, struggle, intensity.”- Emile ZolaLet me draw a scene for you. 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. Minutes before, she had turned all the drawers longingly inside-out in half-fury half-despair but couldn’t find a crumb of bread or a handful of vermicelli, not even a farthing. 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. She envied her neighbor who has all her six sons working, “how lucky she is!” .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. “That abominable vile old man, who might as well be her grandpa’s age”, she lamented. 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. As the woman sat in limp despair-unable to cry or beat her breasts- stunned by her immense agony, and as the dastardly thoughts about tomorrow and future revolved around her buzzing head like a vulture hovering over a carcass, Emile Zola kept writing… “Wage earning is a new form of slavery. The mine should belong to the miner,as the sea does to the fisherman,and as the land does to the farmer… Make no mistake!The mine is your property, it belongs to all of you,for you have paidfor it for over a century with blood and starvation”While the family of this symbolic lady on the chair drudged in the bowels of earth, hacking away at coal seam, choked by coal dust and unbearable heat, coughing up black phlegm and plagued by hunger and poverty; and while the bourgeois pit owners luxuriously enjoyed their idle life off miners’ sweat and blood, stuffing up their bellies with everything the earth has to offer and ostentatiously traveling in beautiful carriages, Emile Zola kept writing..“The miners are waking from their slumbers in the depths of theearth and starting to germinate like seeds sown in the soil; and onemorning you would how they would spring up from the earthin the middle of the fields in broad daylight; yes, they would grow up to be real men, an army of men fighting to restore justice.”When Emile Zola passed away in 1902, a throng of several thousand workers lined the streets, chanting “Germinal, Germinal”, with their heads held high up, eyes brimming with emotion, bidding farewell to their great hero- the defender of justice and equality. 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, in my opinion, is life as close as it gets; it is a book that proffers the vision of poverty, hunger, despair, life & soul through the magnifying lens of Zola’s writing. But germinal isn’t entirely apolitical as well; it has all the revolutionary reverberations that are bound to cascade in a community where ‘Justice’ isn’t served, and where persecuted people raise their voice against the depredations of the iniquitous system in which they are inextricably enmeshed. For the miners, ’Justice’, which is the sperm of the whole theme of this novel, is the word or epiphany, as it seems, that cracks open the dark vaults of subjugation and oppression, to reveal the dazzling, blinding vision of an angelic land, where everyone earns equal and are treated equal, where everything belongs to everyone, and where there are no poverty or hunger or misery. 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.”Why should some people be so wretched and others so rich?Why should the former be trampled underfoot by the latter,with no hope of ever taking their places?” A painting of the colliers by De Neuville:Emile Zola had taken 10 months to finish this seminal work of naturalism, taking a trip down the working mine at Denain in Valenciennes, and when the novel was finally published under the title ‘Germinal’, which was the seventh month in the revolutionary calendar that France followed from 1793 to 1805, it was immensely received and eventually became a towering work in the realm of literature and naturalism. Zola’s prose has a deep, sensational tone immured in it, and each word and each sentence has an aroma of living warmth, the psyche of the miners and the pathos of their harrowing milieu are nestled snuggly in the lulling clasps of the prose, but when their psyche is agitated by injustice, it quickly changes, without a forewarning, into a threatening serpent ready to spew venom with unrelenting vehemence at the first start.“There’s only one thing that warms my heart,and that is the thought that we are going to sweep away these bourgeois.” Etienne Lantier- the symbolic protagonist of the novel- reaches Montsou after weeks of aimless wandering and unyielding hunger, and takes up the work as a collier, not out of choice but due to the exigency of the hunger pang. In his initial days as a miner, Etienne’s mind and conscience began to ache seeing his fellow wretched miners, who all invariably became resigned to their fate of living & dying like cattle, and his indignation accrued gradually upon witnessing the grave injustice and inhumane ignorance the rich cast on them; and, Etienne, who considers himself learned, begins to feel an upper-hand over these miners, and gradually find in himself the pre-ordained power to fight for Justice. Energized by the journals on Socialism and other political books, Etienne, in whose psyche the first seeds of revolution were sown, convinces the crowd to rise above the traditional resignation of miners, and goads them to the flower-strewn world of ‘justice and equality’.( 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.“Since they had been shown the promised land of justice, they were ready to suffer on the road to universal happiness.Hunger went to their heads, and, in their wretched hallucinating eyes, the flat, dull horizon had never seemed to open up to such a vast and infinite perspective. When their eyes blurred with fatigue, they could see their ideal cityof their dreams beyond the horizon, but now somehow close and real; there all men were brothers, in a golden age where meals and labors were shared equal” A picture of the 1906 miners’ strike which came in a magazine:One of my well-read friends had once said that though this Novel is a powerful one, the characterization fell flat, and this notion was embedded in my mind as I started reading. 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. The characters-Etienne Lantier, Souvarine, Rassenneur, Maheu, La Maheude, the pit owners, Catherine, Chaval etc- they were all symbolic instruments used by Zola as a means to write this story of miners and the inhumane conditions they were in, and concomitantly, he was not telling the story of these people, he was telling the tale of everyone who hacked away their lives in the suffocating mines, which according to Zola is a’ ravenous monster’ who engulfs the poor miners as they go inside. So while you read this novel, the characters may appear like silhouettes against the blinding, dazzling light of the storyline, but that doesn’t mean the novel is short of emotions: there is love, bestial sex, betrayal, snobbery, egoism, optimism, adrenalin-surge and what not. 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.“Ofcourse, you got your daily bread, you did eat,but so little that it was only just enough to keep youalive so you could enjoy being half starved, piling updebts and hounded remorselessly as if you had stolen every mouthful you ate. When Sunday came round you were so tired that you slept all day. Life’s only pleasureswere getting drunk or giving your wife a baby; and even then the booze gave you a beer belly and the baby wouldgrow up and wouldn’t give a damn for you.No, too true, life was not a bowl of cherries.”“Blow the candle out, I don't need to see what my thoughts look like.”- GerminalI never knew why I read Zola; maybe its because the book had drawn me to it by some force which my humble mind cannot comprehend. 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. “Nothing is ever final, you only need a bit of happinessto be able to start all over again”- Emile Zola, Germinal.I’m glad I’m back.5 stars on 5!-gautam

  • MJ Nicholls
    2019-05-15 16:37

    This novel is about as grim and horrendous as literature gets. Instead of ranting about the history of human suffering at various pitches of bowel-plopping rage, let me take a more facetious route. Let me instead discuss various mining experiences lived out on the Sega Mega Drive. Remember Mega Bomberman? Those who do will remember the mine level.This level was pivotal in the game, since here a remote-controlled power-up was available which was crucial for facing down the final boss, whose beardy metamorphoses proved impossible without both a back-up life and a self-detonator. The problem was using the detonator hastily, as an ill-timed whack of the C button would invariably blow up the hero, who had a hard enough time dodging bombs. The mining level itself involved negotiating the terrain on a little blue cart and threats from crazed red baddies, stumbling around the scorching hellhole with startled eyes, running into bombs like kamikaze hearts.[image error]Then there was Lava Reef Zone, on Sonic & Knuckles. The presence of fire and darkness usually indicated the impending doom of Robotnik and his enormous egg-shaped earth-conquering moustachiopod. Since the introduction of fire-proof TVs, leaping onto scorching lava wasn’t a great concern for Sonic. This level involved spinning down into an underground mine, where giant crushers and ledges threatened his pretty blue head.And there was Scrap Brain Zone. A factory filled with trap-flaps, flame pipes and crushers, its backdrop a bleak brown silhouette of chimneys and skyscrapers. The foes being caterpillars who died by careful bops to the head and little bomb-men in metal helmets who blew up when you ran past. The challenges were all mechanical—spinning ledges, squishing ledges, vanishing ledges. A holy wine cup with black grapes shooting electricity from both sides, razors looming over sluggish conveyor belts. Some of the most terrifying moments of my childhood happened on this level. Fact.But about Germinal? Imagine the amount of times Sonic gets crushed by gamers the world over, then transfer that to human lives, and you have the sorry state of 1800s French mining. For more info read my forthcoming book Zola the Hedgehog: When Rocks Fall On Top of People.

  • StevenGodin
    2019-05-02 13:57

    Within the first few pages of Zola's striking masterpiece I was completely sucked into his vision of the poverty suffering and slave driven folk of the mining world, first published in 1885 it holds the power and importance for today. As we start with young unemployed railway worker Etienne Lantier wondering the cold and punishing landscape of northern France in search of work, and without a penny to his name is desperate to land just about anything that pays. After stumbling into a small mining community during the night he is pointed towards the Le Voreux mine who may have an opportunity for him, and after befriending the Maheu family where most of them are employees he soon discovers just what a hard life they truly live. The way Zola goes into detail of the daily routine for the miners is both powerfully compelling and squalidly heart wrenching, with shifts starting long before the break of dawn, men, women, and children march off into the dark depths of the pits where the air is thick and stuffy and work exhausting, in a matter of minutes most are black from head to toe with coal and sweating so much some of the weaker few can barely stand up, in the eyes of Etienne they are all buried like moles under the crushing weight of the earth with burning lungs and little pay for their efforts while owners and bosses reap the rewards with a fine and wealthy standard of living and no interest in those who help line their pockets. Over time Etienne sees this has got to stop, things just can not continue in this way, struggling to buy even the most basic food for survival, and things only get worse when the company offers a new pay system that will see them less off. Slowly Etienne starts to gather support from the workers for a strike, a strike that would see the numbers go from the few to the hundreds to the thousands and cause massive repercussions for the chaos and mindless actions that are about to unfold...At well over five hundred pages this was nothing short of epic!, and although the main theme running throughout is the lead up to the strike and beyond there is so much more going on, with many others in the community studied in just as much of a way that you really feel for the whole village. Another thing to note that I couldn't quite believe is the amount of sexual tension between residents, as even in times of complete despair and hunger they seem to be at it like rabbits!, in the bushes, behind buildings and abandoned barns it felt almost worthy of a chuckle!, but generally the women are treated appallingly, and there are those who lost their innocence without wanting it. I guess from their viewpoint they may be poor, starving and on the verge of death but sex is at least some joyful respite from their misery if only short lived. After Etienne eventually moves in with the Mateu family I knew this would be a problem as he always had feeling for the pale and hard working daughter Catherine, but she already had a brute and nasty man in Chavel, the two would come to blows over her. The pity for workers is only escalated when you see the sort of meals the rich fat cat bosses indulge in while the miners try to to beg, steel, cheat and sell household items just for a loaf of bread, in the case of the Mateu's their home is almost striped bare in the end, with not even a candle for warmth, old grandfather Bonnemort is left staring at the walls coughing up black phlegm from years in the pits while the rest of the family who's minds are shattered just see death as their escape clause. But it's the actions of the strike that I will never forget, things get out of hand pretty quickly as the marching horde of hellbent miners go from mine to mine and cause utter carnage and maximum damage to the pits in a show of savagery, all control is lost and a blood lust of frenzy takes hold, even the women turn into crazed wild animals, this is no longer a strike but a violent wave of terror, the poor many against the wealthy few, and when the owner of a local shop meets a gruesome end they now realize that a boundary has been crossed and there is no going back, for this the middle third of reading was just about as engrossing as I have come across and compared to the earlier stages was unputdownable (reading with one eye closed due to tiredness was the sign of something special!). Then there is some calm after the storm before a tense and claustrophobic finale left me reeling!. I am not one who really bothers with "best-of lists", but if I did this would not be far from the top simply because it just about covers every emotion one could go through from reading a book.

  • Edward
    2019-05-08 12:30

    IntroductionNote on the TranslationSelect BibliographyChronology of Émile ZolaPlan of Montsou and surrounding areas--GerminalExplanatory Notes

  • Graham
    2019-05-01 19:40

    GERMINAL - what can I say? I studied this book at university and my whole degree course was worth the time and effort just for introducing me to the author. GERMINAL now stands as my favourite book of all time, an intense masterpiece of fiction.The basic storyline is a miner's strike. It doesn't sound too good or too detailed, but it's all here: politics, chaos, social realism, a love story, an action story, heroes and villains, the good and the bad. Yes, it is melodramatic, but I guess I like melodrama. I laughed, I cried, I couldn't believe the stuff that was unfolding.Although the story is undoubtedly tragic and depressing, I felt lifted after I read it. It's one of the few novels that have left me with a different perception of the world after reading. It made me realise that literature can be fun, damn it, without being dry and boring!

  • Carmo
    2019-05-20 15:34

    Tivesse Gustave Doré criado gravuras para Germinal, como criou para o Inferno de Dante, e não haveria grande diferença entre os dois casos. Tê-las-ia feito nos mesmos tons lúgubres, cinzentos e tristes, mas em vez dos demónios, das serpentes e das chamas, seria a cobiça humana, a fome e a miséria a ilustrá-las. Aqui as almas ainda habitam os corpos e descem ao inferno das minas, com fome, a tiritar de frio ou a suar de calor, exaustos, doentes, sem esperança, tratados como bichos e que só como bichos são capazes de responder.Diz-se que Zolá, antes de escrever este livro, terá trabalhado numa mina, convivido de perto com os mineiros e sentido na pele o trabalho árduo e as condições de miséria em que estes viviam. Faz todo o sentido, a maneira implacável como descreveu o inferno de Voreux, vai para lá de toda a imaginação. O relato das condições de vida nas habitações onde viviam, (ou sobreviviam) como gado, chafurdando na lama e na porcaria, comendo restos nojentos, praticando uma promiscuidade assumida, a parir e criar filhos como animais para futura fonte de trabalho, é de um realismo brutal.Germinal é um grito de revolta dos necessitados e explorados trabalhadores das minas, contra um patronato impiedoso. Uma luta de classes que seria o preludio das grandes revoluções do séc. XX. Lamentavelmente, tantos anos se passaram e tanto continua por fazer.Germinal lê- se num sufoco da primeira à última página, e, não foi a primeira vez que um livro me deixou de coração pequenininho com um relato que envolve animais. Não me levem a mal, sofri com a lástima de todas as personagens, mas este excerto em particular partiu-me o coração.Os cavalos utilizados nas minas, uma vez que desciam às profundezas, só saiam de lá quando morriam.«Era o Trombeta, com efeito. Desde que para ali fora, nunca se pudera aclimatar. Andava triste, sem gosto ao trabalho, como que torturado palas saudades da luz. Em vão o Batalha, o decano da mina, o esfregava amigavelmente com as costelas, lhe mordia o pescoço para lhe incutir um pouco de resignação dos seus dez anos de vala. Aqueles afagos redobravam a sua melancolia, todo o seu pêlo tremia sob as confidências do camarada envelhecido nas trevas; e, ambos, de cada vez que se encontravam juntos, pareciam lamentar-se, o velho de já nem sequer se lembrar, o novo de se não poder esquecer. Na cavalariça, vizinhos de manjedoura, viviam de cabeça baixa, assoprando-se às narinas um do outro, trocando o contínuo sonho de luz do dia, visões de ervas verdes, de estradas brancas de claridades amarelas, ao infinito. Depois, quando o Trombeta, alagado em suor, agonizava na sua cama de palha, o Batalha pusera-se a farejá-lo desesperadamente, fungando como se soluçasse. Sentia-o arrefecer; a mina arrebatava-lhe a sua derradeira alegria, aquele amigo caído lá de cima, fresco de bons aromas, que lhe recordavam a sua mocidade ao ar livre. E tinha quebrado a arreata relinchando de medo, ao ver que o outro já se não mexia.»

  • Jonathan
    2019-04-23 12:33

    Three things: 1. Zola's writing of abuse and domestic violence is breathtakingly modern; 2. Poor old horse; and 3. This novel contains a scene in which someone tears a dead man's dick off and parades it around on a stick.

  • Jason
    2019-05-12 14:36

    Felt like reading a Naturlist, and I remembered Zola. Germinal was the only Zola novel on the library shelf, and I chose it merely in deferrence to the author. Little did I know that many critics believe Germinal is one of the 10 best French novels ever written. I like stories where people are ground down by nature--poverty, weather, work conditions, hunger--and the lower economic demographic is forced to suffer and survive. The Industrial Revolution offered so many ways to catalogue the suffering of humanity at the hands of the machine, in this case the coal industry in northern France, 1866.The writing is wonderful, and you can tell Zola was on a mission to pit capital versus labor. The language he uses to describe the coal shaft is graphic, visceral, and unrelenting. The labor, the people of Montsou, live in startling poverty and are subjected to health and safety dangers, rendering a man in his 50's an ancient relic. I can't imagine poverty so overwhelming that you sell articles of clothing for bread, nor a market willing to take those rags and be able to turn a profit. Capital, the mine shareholders and finaciers, are represented by mine management, and Zola uses allusions to the owners of the mine as some far-off, untouchable class of humans that feed off labor's blood, sweat and tears.Some of the more interesting characters are drawn a bit thin, but the main players are well developed. For me, Zola's best writing occurs during intense crisis. It flows so naturally and powerfully, that my reading speeds up, yet my comprehension is increased. I'm now increasingly interested in Zola's 20-part series documenting the hale and harrows of one French family.

  • Jorge
    2019-04-22 18:37

    ¡Proletarios de todos los países, uníos!Me pregunto si esta obra literaria, que nos abraza y nos abrasa, habrá sido leída alguna vez por algún minero. ¿Germinal es una novela de tintes políticos y sociales o es un relato humanista o es, tal vez, solamente una novela sin mayores pretensiones producto del naturalismo? Aunque el epígrafe de esta reseña abriga un sueño de unión de los oprimidos y un velado llamado a una revuelta social, considero que esta obra aborda ambas temáticas, tanto la política y la social, como la humanista, utilizando para ello la corriente del naturalismo cuyo iniciador fue precisamente Emile Zola (1840-1902), autor de esta obra maestra. La narración nos expone, a veces con crudeza, el abuso y la explotación de los dueños de los medios de producción que se enriquecen a costa del esfuerzo, el dolor y la perpetua miseria de unos obreros de una mina de carbón. Además del sufrimiento y la desgracia que padecen los mineros, también nos es relatado el asombroso heroísmo de estos mineros cuando deciden irse a la huelga y el fervor casi religioso e incendiario con el que la enfrentan. Todo esto contado con el estilo de Zola que recurre a la crudeza y al realismo lo que proporciona un tinte aún más emotivo a la novela. Históricamente los voraces capitalistas no han estado dispuestos a perder rendimientos de su capital y de esta manera acribillan de penas y limitaciones a los obreros para seguir ganando cada vez más dinero. El progreso ha ampliado las brechas entre pobres y ricos, a lo cual indudablemente contribuyó la Revolución Industrial. La novela fue concebida durante el último cuarto del siglo XIX en que el socialismo inflamaba de esperanza las conciencias de todos los desheredados. Esta casta parecía encontrarse a las puertas de un mundo nuevo, la ilusión los arrebataba en la creencia de una existencia más llevadera. Pero también es cierto que esta doctrina causaba inquietud y resquemor entre los sectores más favorecidos.En ese entonces Marx, Bakunin y Proudhon acababan de morir y sus ideas flotaban hirvientes y feroces, principalmente en Europa que entonces incubaba nuevas sociedades. La primera Internacional se acababa de fundar en Londres en el año de 1866 y el avance del socialismo parecía inexorable. Sin embargo, por una causa u otra, a la vuelta de los años, la doctrina socialista se desplomó, las teorías no se materializaron en beneficio de los más desprotegidos, el ideal se difuminó en una burocracia egoísta, abusiva y poderosa. Ahí quedó el sueño de una sociedad más igualitaria. A pesar de todo, el descontento sigue vivo y acechante; las luchas sociales, de alguna manera, no se han extinguido, el ansia de revancha y de una vida un poco más digna para los desarraigados continuará latiendo por siempre. Todo esto se trasluce en la mirada de Zola que cae sobre estas páginas que constituyen una novela muy emotiva, en donde se desarrolla una acción vibrante y continua, con personajes entrañables; el escenario raya en lo épico, los temas principales además de ser interesantes contienen un gran fondo y que han estado en la palestra por cientos de años y siguen y seguirán ahí: la fiera y desigual lucha de los oprimidos contra los opresores. ¿Qué más le podemos pedir a una novela? El personaje principal llamado Etienne, es un obrero rebelde teñido de las teorías socialistas de Marx, del anarquismo de Bakunin y del mutualismo o cooperativismo de Proudhon, todo esto mezclado en su cabeza con su propio ideal de igualdad y justicia lo lleva a convertirse en el líder de los mineros levantiscos. Esta obra de Zola es uno de esos textos inspiradores y tal vez podríamos decir un texto invadido de un bello terror que hace que nuestro corazón se haga pequeñito por el penoso, ancestral e irresoluble debate de la población expoliada, constituida por todas esas personas que viven en la miseria, una miseria que pasa de generación en generación y que son mayoría en el mundo. La narrativa del autor es vibrante y sus descripciones de personajes y situaciones son inmejorables.Zola nos hace conmovernos con su descripción sobre la profunda humillación intergeneracional de los proletarios y, al mismo tiempo, nos inspira esa lucha heroica de los mineros que el autor describe de manera tan emotiva, esa contienda altiva y tenaz de la gente que muy en el fondo, y que a pesar de todas sus carencias y sufrimientos, posee un orgullo especial y único sabiendo que sobre la piedra angular honesta y sufriente de su humanidad, se construye un mundo aparte al de ellos, un mundo en el cual no están incluidos: el mundo del lujo de los ricos, el de las comodidades que ellos nunca tendrán; el de la abundancia y las excentricidades de los poderosos, el de la prepotencia y los abusos esgrimidos contra ellos mismos. Gracias a los pobres, los privilegiados pueden dar rienda suelta a una vida llena de ocio y abundancia, a una vida plácida y a veces fútil. Tal vez esto redima para siempre a los desgraciados.La narración refleja vivamente la frustración y la desesperanza de saber que nada ha evolucionado a pesar de tantas revueltas, de tantos intentos de cambio, de tanta sangre derramada para aminorar las injusticias, de tantas inconformidades, leyes y revoluciones. El mundo sigue vomitando a diario a seres condenados a vivir penurias, seres condenados no a morir, sino a vivir. Y ante esto sólo cerramos los ojos penosamente. En el libro hay episodios que nos arrebatan el aliento cuando el autor pone el dedo en la llaga y nos muestra fehacientemente que la mayor parte de la humanidad es una fábrica de criaturas concebidas para el trabajo duro, para las fatigas excesivas y para la miseria eterna. Diariamente se siguen engendrando muertos de hambre nacidos para el sufrimiento.Emile Zolá, ha construido una novela inolvidable, emotiva, realista y por momentos desgarradora.Para redondear la construcción de este libro, esta edición (Valdemar/Letras Clásicas) ha contado con la traducción del muy avezado Mauro Armiño, quien además de lograr una excelente traducción nos ha regalado unas notas introductorias que contribuyen a una entera comprensión de esta obra.

  • Nelson Zagalo
    2019-05-20 17:35

    Zola é considerado o pai do naturalismo literário, mas é um naturalismo muito particular que vem carregado de simbolismo e melodrama. Zola parte de uma abordagem panfletária assente em intensidade retórica, mas não deixa de lado toda a maquinaria da narrativa e persuasão dramática para nos envolver e ao mesmo tempo instigar à reflexão. O resultado é uma obra muito forte que nunca se verga porque não procura dar respostas, exatamente por fugir ao panfleto e porque está mais interessada em questionar o fundo da tragédia.[imagem]"Germinal" acontece numa região mineira francesa focando-se numa greve desencadeada por uma crise internacional que pressiona a baixa de salários. O conflito serve para descrever as condições de trabalho, a criação de uma organização sindical de operários e as reações da burguesia e do capital. Pelo meio ficamos conhecer as condições em que trabalham e vivem os mineiros que servirão para nos interrogar sobre a natureza do humano.O naturalismo literário apesar de se definir como imanente das grandes teorias científico-naturais da época (nomeadamente a teoria da evolução de Darwin), e apesar de considerar o humano na sua envolvente natural e biológica, afastado das problemáticas religioso-superticiosas, serve-se da força da tragédia dramática para acentuar a emoção narrativa. Ou seja, tendo ideias fundeadas na natureza para relatar, não procura formas expressivas, ditas naturais, para o fazer. Isto é tanto mais evidente quando comparado, por exemplo, com o chamado neo-realismo italiano (movimento artístico cinematográfico dos anos 1940-50), em que para dar conta de forma naturalista das realidades vividas, se empregavam atores não-profissionais, filmava-se nos locais reais, e usava-se uma cinematografia o mais sóbria possível. É verdade que em termos narrativos também se apontava o foco às tragédias e aos dilemas, contudo notava-se uma tentativa de refrear os mecanismos do cinema para não impactar de modo visceral os espectadores.Zola pelo seu lado não olha a meios. Vai ao fundo da investigação sobre o que está a relatar. Passou meses numa comunidade de mineiros e desceu ao fundo de várias minas para compreender a brutalidade da experiência, trazendo tudo para o centro do livro. Mas não se limita a descrever ou sequer demonstrar, tudo é envolvido por um teia de personagens ainda que naturalistas, colocados em situações de conflito geometricamente definidas para produzir impacto dramático nos leitores. Isto é tanto mais evidente pela quantidade de situações simbólicas que vão surgindo ao longo do texto (ex. título da obra, os nomes das minas e de vários personagens; a descida e subida dos cavalos; os corpos que bóiam; ou os excisados das partes), quanto pelo melodrama representado na figura do romanceado do trio de personagens centrais; ou do administrador da mina e da sua infiel mulher.[imagem]Imagem do filme de Claude Berri:"Germinal "(1993)Lê-se que Zola terá optado por uma componente romanceada, com tragédia amorosa, com o objetivo de poder fazer chegar a obra a um público mais vasto, nomeadamente às pessoas com quem conviveu e que lhe serviram de modelo nas minas que visitou. Acredito que sim, tal como acredito que isso é também responsável pela popularidade do livro. Ou seja, questões complexas e muito pouco digeríveis — como a formação de um sindicato, os excessos do capitalismo, as alternativas do comunismo e da anarquia, ou os direitos e os deveres de trabalhadores — não teriam sido capazes per se de catapultar esta obra. Mas de certo modo, esse romancear, ou melhor a nossa necessidade desse romancear, acaba por ir de encontro ao naturalismo. Se desejamos apresentar uma realidade da forma mais natural possível, não deverá essa mesma apresentação realizar-se seguindo a forma mais natural de o recetor/leitor a compreender? É muito provável que Zola tenha conseguido com esta obra algo que tão raramente se consegue, juntar a necessidade de expor factos e a necessidade de experienciar esses factos.“Esses operários chapeleiros de Marselha que ganharam a sorte grande de cem mil francos e, imediatamente, foram comprar títulos, dizendo que de agora em diante iam viver sem fazer nada! Essa é a intenção de todos vocês, operários franceses: encontrar um tesouro e em seguida comê-lo sozinhos, refestelados no egoísmo e na vagabundagem. Gostam de gritar contra os ricos, mas não têm coragem de dar aos pobres o dinheiro que a sorte lhes envia... Vocês nunca serão dignos da felicidade enquanto possuírem alguma coisa, enquanto esse ódio aos burgueses for apenas o desejo desesperado de serem burgueses também.”Apesar desta minha aparente crítica, “Germinal” é brutalmente naturalista no que à psicologia e fisiologia se refere. Não é por acaso que muitos se distanciam da obra, pela sua fealdade, pelo retrato grotesco que do humano dá. Zola opera como investigador de microscópio em punho, olhando ao detalhe e relatando ainda mais detalhadamente, o que sentem as pessoas e como sentem. Não há pejo, as palavras são ditas, os atos selvagens representados sem dó, e ao leitor resta esconder-se no cantinho da sua humanidade, e esperar não ser contagiado por tanta barbaridade. Da promiscuidade ilimitada ao assassinato sem motivação, tudo surge por força da natureza humana, da impossibilidade de fugir às malhas naturais não domadas ainda pela civilização.[imagens]Imagens reais de mineiros e mineiras da épocaAliás, isso é aquilo que mais ressalta para mim de toda esta obra, mais até do que o fortíssimo ataque ao capitalismo, a animalidade humana. Uma comunidade que durante uma centena de anos trabalhou de sol a sol para ter um tecto e pão na mesa, a quem todos abandonaram. Atirados para um bairro, reduzidos à condição de irrelevantes, sem acesso a escolas, a quem nem sequer a Igreja ligava. Submetidos ao mínimo das necessidades fisiológicas — a fome, a sede, o sono, o sexo, a excreção e o abrigo (Maslow)—, não restando tempo nem espaço para as restantes necessidades — a segurança, a família, a auto-estima, impossibilitando qualquer almejo de realização pessoal. Zola tendo sentido isto mesmo, dá-o a sentir de forma absolutamente detestável, é difícil ler porque é difícil aceitar que assim se possa viver.“Germinal” é leitura obrigatória nas escolas francesas, mas não faria mal nenhum se também o fosse nas escolas portuguesas. As primeiras páginas não cativam, mas chegando ao fim da primeira centena torna-se impossível parar o virar de páginas. O desenho da narrativa, a suspensão ante o que vai acontecer a seguir, e o ritmo intenso traduzido em frases curtas e muito diretas, fazem desta obra tão profundamente sócio-política um autêntico thriller. Poder aprender sobre um tema que passados 100 anos continua atual por meio de toda uma experiência de leitura altamente envolvente, tem um valor inestimável.Nota sobre a tradução. É uma pena que a única tradução portuguesa de Eduardo de Barros Lobo date já de 1885. Apesar de não lhe apontar propriamente erros formais, a fluidez e ritmo tão caros a Zola, perdem-se completamente. Acabei por preferir a leitura na tradução em Português do Brasil, de Francisco Bittencourt para Abril de 1981.Publicado no VI (

  • Jan-Maat
    2019-05-11 14:50

    Zola had a very structured technique for the industrial production of novels, he would decide on where the action would take place and who the principal characters would be Les Rougon-Macquart gave him a family tree and a glorious mess of hereditary tendencies and illnesses to work within, the setting would be interrogated thoroughly and mined out. In researching Germinal Zola visited a coal mine and was intrigued by the big strong horses working underground - how, he asked, did the mine company get the big horse down the narrow lift shaft? The answer, inevitably, is the cruel one, little foals go in, but don't come out. That reality is the undercoat to the novel that Zola stamps into being - to mix metaphors horribly in a tragic mining accident of writing (view spoiler)[ I'll observe a minute's silence at some point for butchering my own sentences (hide spoiler)]. A man arrives and finds work in a mining village in Northern France during the time of the French 2nd Empire. The existence of the miners is hard, they sleep in the beds in shifts, youngsters make love where they can, families struggle with every penny to keep body and soul together. Even the countryside comes across as bare and bleak.The mine manager observes the youngsters having sex where-ever they can in the countryside with a certain jealousy. Despite their lack of sexual inhibitions the mining families are desperate and envious of the comforts and security they imagine the professional class above them enjoys. Then there is a strike and things really start to get bad. Nobody was happy before, nor will anybody be afterwards. Thank goodness we can read this in the glorious times of the fifth Republic and that structural inequalities no longer exist, and Liberty, equality and fraternity constitute the basic realities of all lives and no foals are lowered down mine shafts.This is part of Zola's major series showing the influences of hereditary and environment, however it can be read and enjoyed as a free standing novel.One of the problems though about setting novels in the recent past is that with the end of Empire (view spoiler)[ at least in France, outside of France empire went on(hide spoiler)] is that it can be argued that Zola sought to spice them up with sensationalist acts of violence and sex (view spoiler)[ or all three combined(hide spoiler)] then again, these are novels - not reportage despite Zola's writing technique.

  • Ana
    2019-05-07 19:53

    A literatura francesa não está na moda. É pena. Émile Zola escreveu este clássico da literatura mundial, em 1881, e por alguma razão ela continua a andar por aí. A verdade é que não é uma história fácil e sei que durante uns dias isto vai andar por aqui a mexer comigo: há até quem defenda que este livro devia ser queimado (um exagero - nenhum livro por mais mau que seja merece esse fim - haja respeito). Zola viveu com e como um mineiro, experimentou uma realidade crua e nua de quem pouco mais espera dos dias para além da alegria de ter um pão duro para comer; um amontoado de gente que se procria no meio dos silvos e cuja morte pode ser a única salvação. Um livro cheio (repleto) de imagens (cruéis, nada meigas) e um final que ficou a latejar na minha cabeça. A literatura francesa não está na moda e é pena.

  • Hugo Emanuel
    2019-05-01 12:41

    Germinal é parte integrante do ciclo Rougon-Macquart, um ambicioso projecto de Emile Zola no qual este se propõe a documentar minuciosamente a sociedade francesa contemporânea e salientar á boa maneira Naturalista a importância da hereditariedade e contexto social no desenvolvimento ou retrocesso de uma nação, em particular a francesa, recorrendo para o efeito a vinte romances que se debruçam sobre a dinastia Rougon-Macquart (sendo Rougon o ramo legitimo da família em questão e Macquart o ilegítimo desta). No entanto, embora esteja certo de que a leitura do ciclo na sua ordem correcta enriqueça a leitura individual dos romances que o compõem, Germinal pode perfeitamente ser lido sem qualquer conhecimento prévio das obras que a precedem (assim como me parece ser o caso com os outros romances que perfazem este ciclo); posso afirmá-lo com toda a certeza pois para além da obra em questão o único outro romance que li deste ciclo foi “Nana”. A narrativa de Germinal debruça-se sobre Etienne Lantier (pertencente ao ramo ilegítimo da família Rougon-Macquart) que, ao aceitar trabalhar na mina Voreux acaba por tomar consciência das abjectas condições de trabalho e parcos rendimentos a que estão sujeitos os trabalhadores da mina, a quem são exigidos gigantescos esforços físicos a troco de uma mísera quantia. Consequentemente, a qualidade de vida dos mineiros é extremamente baixa, pontuada por uma miséria extrema, fome, doença e exaustão de tal forma desesperantes que leva a que estes afoguem as suas mágoas no álcool vendido nas tabernas da cidade e ofereçam favores sexuais das suas esposas ou filhas como pagamento por comida a merceeiros oportunistas e sem escrúpulos. Gradualmente Étienne vai-se revoltando cada vez mais contra as condições a que ele e os outros mineiros estão sujeitos, convencendo-os eventualmente a entrar numa greve que coloca os esfomeados e desesperados trabalhadores em rota de colisão com os interesses dos accionistas e donos das minas da região. Desengane-se o leitor que antecipe um aborrecido romance político e socialista – a dimensão humana concedida às personagens e a miséria descrita por Zola dificilmente deixará a maioria dos leitores indiferente. Além da batalha entre o trabalhador e o capital, o romance narra ainda duas das mais bizarras histórias de amor que já li na minha vida: a da paixão de Étienne por Catherine, uma jovem trabalhadora da mina cujo desejo de poder conservar no meio de toda a sua miséria um amor puro e verdadeiro com o primeiro homem com quem se deitara leva a que esta rejeite Étienne e se sujeite a um tratamento brutal da parte do seu amante, um homem violento e ciumento; e da paixão de Bébert e Lydie, duas crianças que se amam e cujo amor é negado pelo seu amigo Jeanlin, que é sistematicamente cruel e egoísta com ambos e que declara Lydie como a “sua mulherzinha”, que se submete á sua vontade e crueldade por receio, assim como o faz Bébert (apesar das poucas páginas que Zola dedica a este triângulo amoroso infantil, de algum modo esta secundária história feriu-me o coração de uma forma particularmente profunda). Não obstante a preocupação consciente de Zola em capturar a realidade da sociedade francesa da época de uma forma simultaneamente minuciosa e entusiasmante, evitando ainda assim por completo a monótona exposição em que uma obra do género poderia descambar, o autor não deixa de incutir uma qualidade onírica em certas passagens de Germinal (assim como em “Nana”), recorrendo a metáforas e imagens de cariz fantástico. O exemplo mais óbvio desta qualidade fantástica em “Germinal” é a da imagem que nos é dada da mina; esta é frequentemente comparada a uma monstruosa criatura que consome o sangue, carne, suor e lágrimas das centenas de mineiros que trabalham nas suas entranhas, nunca estando esta satisfeita, desejando sempre consumir mais seres humanos –é estabelecido um paralelo entre a descida dos mineiros para o interior da mina com a descida ao estômago da besta, as infra-estruturas da mina são referidos como os membros do gigantesco monstro comedor de homens. O nome da mina (Voreux, que conjura a palavra “vorace”, ou seja, voraz) completa a fantástica imagem que nos é dada da mina pelo autor.Poderia dizer muito mais sobre esta obra que me abalou até ao íntimo e que me parece absolutamente perfeita de modo a convencer-vos a que a leiam, mas parece-me que iria aborrecer ainda mais o leitor desta crassa opinião que, para mais, já tem uma considerável quantidade de linhas – existem certamente um sem número de análises e opiniões bastante mais incisivas, informativas e bem elaboradas do que a minha a que possam recorrer e que não induzam ao bocejo que decerto estou a provocar. Acrescentarei apenas que esta obra é considerada uma das maiores obras-primas não só da literatura francesa mas também o mundo – e, na minha humilde opinião, tal opinião parece-me amplamente justificada.

  • Moon Rose
    2019-04-21 15:54

    δ∝•☜THE CLAMOR FOR SOCIAL EQUITY☞•∝δGerminal refers to the season of spring, the time of renewal when the seed of life starts to sprout again from the ground, germinating hope after the long dormancy of winter.Émile Zola symbolically refers to this spring of hope as the wretched lives of the coal miners, amidst the sour inflictions of deprivation, leading to their depraved lives, slowly awaken from their long years of passive obedience, allowing them to see a picture of a better life as it hustles the wind of revolt to penetrate their already blacken skins, giving them courage to rise against their masters, the sated gods who greedily gnaw their flesh to the bone, robbing them blindly of their rightful share.This sudden awakening of the coal miners from their deep dormant slumber serves as a foreboding intensifier to the narrative as it rolls with a sonorous rumble of a dreadful drum. It moves with deepening urgency, filling the pages with suspense and anticipation as it pulsates with deafening vibrancy and ferocity, shaking the primordial placidness in the hearts of the coal miners like a catastrophic earthquake. Its violent trembles are captured in verbatim by Zola's meticulous descriptive style as the cracks that open the earth with large fissures are deeply felt, visibly letting out a hot boiling steam of wrath that rages to destroy everything in its midst. This fiery elemental force that foretells the destructive nature of a revolution is what Zola vividly recreates in Germinal, capturing humanity's fiercest cry for justice. As the clamor to attain social equity in the midst of a tumultuous anger, giddily allow them to succumb to their instinctive desire of retribution in the name of universal happiness, encumbering their divine pursuits of universal peace, as it derails them towards the true meaning of justice. 佛月球 Будда Луны

  • Selin Seçen
    2019-04-25 12:40

    Şimdi yoldayım, sıklıkla köylerden geçiyoruz. Evlerin içi görünüyor, içerde hiçbir şey yok. Yatak bile yok, hamakta yatıyorlar. Biz yiyecek bir şey bulmakta zorlanıyoruz bazen, her şey pahalı üstelik. Bu insanlar ne yiyor acaba diye düşünürken Germinal'i okumak daha da kötü oldu. Hiçbir şey yemiyorlar, bardak dibindeki kahveyi sulandırıp içiyorlar, bulurlarsa kuru ekmeğe yağ sürüp midelerinin sesini bastırıyorlar. Yine de kocaman bahçelerinde ekili hiçbir sebze, meyve yok. Oysaki iklim ve toprak yanlışlıkla yere düşen tohumdan bile kısa sürede ağaç yapacak kadar verimli. Germinal, hiç eskimeyecek şeyler anlatıyor. Onlar madende yaşıyor, buradakiler ormanın ortasında. Ama her şey aynı. Getirilecek eleştiri bile aynı, tuzu kurudan yiyecek ekmek bulamayana. Çok üzücü.

  • Manny
    2019-04-28 13:54

    Contrary to what you may believe, Germinal is not a minor work.

  • Mariafrancesca di natura viperesca
    2019-04-23 14:44

    Poteva essere fuori tempo massimo leggere Germinal con quasi un secolo e mezzo di ritardo. Poteva … “Dopo più di mezzo secolo, i cui ultimi decenni ci hanno regalato una sorte che Zola mai avrebbepotuto immaginare ,Germinal è ancora oggi un libro terribile; e non solo: ancor oggi non ha perduto nulla della sua importanza e della sua attualità. [Auerbach: Mimesis: Il realismo nella letteratura occidentale,1946)] Un libro terribile nella sua attualità: dopo tutto questo tempo stiamo qui ancora a lottare contro un potere finanziario che si serve di apparati statali fantoccio su cui dirigere la rabbia della massa povera che sta scivolando nella miseria da almeno un decennio.Quelle masse del 1866, però, furono più fortunate di quelle odierne: Zola, infatti, ha potuto infischiarsene della sua stessa “poetica” fedele al reale qui e ora, e prospettare il futuro prossimo rovesciamento delle terribili condizioni sociali dei suoi minatori. La rivoluzione alla fine di quel secolo delle “magnifiche sorti e progressive” avrebbe vendicato le migliaia di morti di lavoro e di fame, carne da macello per ingrassare quell’entità astratta fatta di sconosciuti azionisti.Più fortunate, quelle masse, perché allora c’erano idee, idee forti che potevano dare una speranza. La speranza non è la panacea ma aiuta a vivere e a dare ai lavoratori sfruttati una dignità.Tutto questo ora non c’è più. Prima di togliere il lavoro e il futuro hanno azzerato le capacità mentali con un ventennio di “panem et circenses” spianandosi un’autostrada a cinque corsie.È di questi giorni la vicenda dell’Ilva: 4200 lavoratori “esuberanti”. La notizia è stata trattata come una notizia qualsiasi: poco tempo in vetrina e poi in magazzino. Nessuno sciopero in solidarietà, nessuna manifestazione. Qualche dibattito nei talk show, tra una risibile opinione e l’altra su l’ennesimo porcatellum ( il porcellum già ci fu). I nostri operai non hanno come i minatori di Montsou né un Étienne Lantier che li guidi, né la forza di mobilitare, come loro, la classe operaia del paese e né un Severin, l’anarchico, che faccia piazza pulita dei mezzi di produzione. La classe operaia non esiste più, direte. Già, ma nella misura in cui non esiste più un coniglio che il prestigiatore fa scomparire alla vista ma che da qualche parte del palcoscenico è. Certo sono consapevole che non si recensisce un tal libro parlando dell’Ilva ma la sua forza sta in questo. Perché il vero protagonista del romanzo è la classe operaia della “nera” pianura del Nord francese e il suo antagonista è il capitale finanziario che si serve della miniera come del suo drago. Sono tremila uomini e donne che si muovono come un sol corpo, che si fanno massa inferocita perché la rivoluzione non è un pranzo di gala. Ci sono le figure “in carne ed ossa” ma nessuno di loro assurge a figura eroica perché Zola è quel che si dice un naturalista. Fino a un certo punto.Poi c’è lo Zola narratore, simbolista, darwinista, socialista e magari poco informato del marxismo, del bakunismo e di quant’altro. Tutte cose che potete trovare qua e là sul web o che sapete già. Ma se lo leggete vi troverete la realtà qui e ora. Raccomadatissimo

  • Laurie –A Court of Books–
    2019-05-13 14:50

    Rating this book is a difficult thing.It took me a while to read it, I knew that before starting it, Zola is a big deal. Long descriptions, unnecessary parts, complicated way to say what he wants. But in the end, the meaning and the message is always deep and strong. Rating : 3,5As I said I was about to give up on this book every two seconds, I was like "hold on, it is not that bad"Let's be serious for a minute. I did liked this book. I already studied this part of history in school, but Zola bring us to another level. I always admired the amount of work he puts on his books, all the researches he does. I knew that miners had a poor and tough life, but it is one thing to know, it is another thing to SEE this misery. Misery is even a to soft word. Their conditions are just AWFUL.Indeed Zola's precision make us apprehend this part of history more clearly.I loved Maheu, I think this was the most wise and complex character (even though I disliked his wife). And I pitied his daughter Catherine so much, I think this is the worst, seeing how young she is, and how nice she tries to be. And that often goes bad for her because of that.I think that the main character is supposed to be Etienne but he is so secondary to me, he is kind of a witness, newly arrived to that life where some lived for a while. Before rating and reviewing this book, I decided to watch the movie (the 1993 version with Gerard Depardieu) and it was good, very good even. Close to the book and I recommend it to you guys, even though I don't like Gerard Depardieu, it was even more interesting to actually see that misery.

  • Leonard
    2019-05-17 12:53

    The wobbly cages descending into the pit, miners half-naked toiling in the scorching darkness of the mine’s galleries, the veins bursting and flooding the passages, the meager wages the miners receive at the end of the day, the wives desperately scouring for gruel each meal, the parents giving their daughters to the grocer to get flour and sugar; all recounted in a calmly detached voice. Courrières Mine DisasterEtienne, a vagrant worker, joined the fraternity and dissatisfied with the inhuman daily drudges and ambitious to rise above these defeated and resigned miners organized them into a union and led the strike. But the strike revealed as much the indifference of the owners and managers as the ignorance and violence of the miners. After many lives perished, many families shattered, many mines destroyed, the strike failed, the miners returned to work and Etienne left. Emile ZolaIn Germinal, Zola harmonized the detached narrative voice with the miner’s sub-human existence and their potential for gratuitous evil to evoke a chilling sonata that would haunt the reader long after the novel’s conclusion.

  • Teresa
    2019-04-21 11:40

    4 and 1/2 starsI'm presently in an online group discussing this book, which is probably the reason I don't feel like writing a proper review. This is my second Zola and I admired it as much as I did my first, L'assommoir, even if I subjectively liked the latter a bit more. The structure of the novel and the way Zola handed the complexity of the issues through the eyes of his main character, Etienne (son of the main character in "L'assommoir"), is impressive.The group scenes are tense, thrilling, feverish and psychologically astute, as is the portrayal of hardships certain individuals endure, though the handling of one incident I felt was perhaps gratuitous and then treated as a throwaway. Though the book was written in the late-19th century, its language and issues are as gritty and contemporary as they would be in a book of today.

  • Nia F. S. Kartadilaga
    2019-05-12 11:58

    Sudah pernah membaca versi berbahasa Inggris sejak beberapa tahun yang lalu, lupa persisnya. Berhubung baru keluar versi terjemahan dari GPU dan saya mendapatkan buku ini sebagai salah satu hadiah Reading Challenge yang diadakan oleh Gramedia dan iJakarta, jadi ada alasan khusus untuk membaca ulang buku ini. No? Will update soon...

  • Leftbanker
    2019-05-10 19:44

    Moi, je vois autrement. Je n’ai guère de souci et de beauté et de perfection. Je me moque des grands siècles. Je n’ai souci que de vie, de lutte, de fièvre. -Émile ZolaZola is the supreme novelist, at least how I interpret that vocation. Like Dickens, Zola went out and studied France and her people for inspiration while Proust sat in a cork-lined room and dreamed up all of his stories in his head. I'll take journalism over the human imagination any day. Germinal is the essence of this style of writing. I like how Zola doesn't romanticize the life of the miners as he shows the terrible conditions of their work. I love how Zola trained his eye on an aspect of his society that desperately needed change and tried to effect that change. One of the culminations of this new power of the pen was his activism in the Dreyfuss Affair.I don't have much use for the other school of novelist represented by Proust. This seems to be the one followed by so much of the current literary output in America. Whenever I read a synopsis of a novel by one of the most favored American writers and the story deals with either a writer or a university professor, my eyes roll back in my head so hard I almost fall over backwards. I'm talking about Bellow, Irving, Updike, Cheever, Roth, Carol Oates, to name a few of these types who can't seem to be bothered to leave their university jobs and cocktail parties to find something worth writing about. Instead, they obsess over the little lives of intellectuals—sort of like Woody Allen and his childish fixation with relationships. Go out and learn something new. They always say that you should write about what you know. The problem is most of these writers don't know much. Their knowledge of politics and economics is embarrassing. Do some homework before writing and stop relying on your tired imagination. When I read something I can almost always tell if the author is a university professor. They almost all have the same lifeless style. They only write for other academics.I am working hard this year to improve my French so that I can read this classic in the original.

  • Joana Marta
    2019-05-15 17:47

    Quem era o idiota que punha a felicidade deste mundo na partilha da riqueza? Esses revolucionários, esses visionários, podiam à vontade demolir a sociedade e reconstruir outra que não acrescentariam uma alegria à humanidade, nem um dissabor lhe tirariam cortando a cada um sua fatia... Alargariam mesmo a desgraça da terra, fariam um dia uivar de desespero os próprios cães quando os arrancassem à tranquila satisfação dos instintos para os elevar aos insaciados sofrimentos das paixões. Não, o único bem era o não ser, e, sendo, ser a árvore, ser a pedra, menos ainda, o grão de areia, que não pode deitar sangue sob o tacão dos transeuntes. pág.234De todos os livros de Zola que li até ao momento, Germinal foi aquele que mais cicatrizes deixou gravadas em mim, e que automaticamente se tornou um dos meus favoritos.É sujo, nojento, dá-nos vontade de olhar para o lado enquanto o lemos, tentando apagar o cenário que acabámos de construir na nossa cabeça. Novamente Zola escreve um livro que me faz sentir fisicamente nele, numa parafernália de cheiros, cores e sons que me deixa embriagada. Um livro cru, com um rol de personagens às quais nos afeiçoamos e com as quais sofremos ao longo de todo o enredo. Que nos impossibilita que o ponhamos de lado.A forma brilhante com que Zola caracteriza o proletariado e lhe dá poder é inegável; a força dos mineiros que se podem, e devem, insurgir contra a burguesia, conquistando o que lhes pertence por direito. O capítulo da greve foi o meu preferido, não há um favorecer do proletariado em detrimento da burguesia. Zola consegue descrever ambas as classes sociais com o que de bom e mau cada um deles trás. Não estariam por ventura os mineiros a tentarem ser eles mesmos novos burgueses? São poucas as palavras que tenho, e que me sobram, para numa medíocre tentativa conseguir transmitir o tanto que este livro me trouxe.Há que descobrir a força que germina naqueles que são inconformados, que têm esperança. Sublime.

  • William
    2019-05-01 11:52

    In 1871, Zola began a 20 volume series called Les Rougon-Macquart of which Germinal is the 13th, written in 1885. The series chronicles the life of one extended family in a tale that explores the class structure in France during the Second Empire. While he surveys the society from top to bottom, he is also weaves in the influence of environment and heredity on position and behavior. Its an incredible series, and as each novel is its own character study, between the first and the last books, you can actually read them in any order. Germinal caught me because I find the class warfare books extremely interesting, particularly in this time period in France. Germinal chronicles the life of Etienne, born of the illegitimate Macquart line who becomes a coal miner in Northern France and becomes part of the miner's strike of 1860.I always wanted to be able to read a full book in another language and if I ever did, this would definitely be in my top 3.

  • Ian
    2019-04-20 12:36

    Not what I expected at all. This is not a twee tale of love or romance, nor is it a ‘keep you on the edge of your seat’ murder mystery. It is story of poverty and the working class eeking out an existence in a 19th century mining community in France. A tale of survival in its most raw and basic form showing how Maslow’s essential human needs of food, shelter and reproduction can bring people together to form a solidarity but also how quickly it can be destroyed.This my first Emile Zola book and I will be seeking out some more.

  • Laura
    2019-04-22 16:00

    Free download (in French) available at Project Gutenberg.Free download (in English) available at Project Gutenberg.

  • Nataša
    2019-05-11 12:59

    Nekada davno sam započela ovu knjigu i ubrzo je napustila, jer mi je radnja bila previše teška (i nezanimljiva)... Sada je bilo potpuno drugačije - često mi je bilo krivo što nemam više vremena za čitanje, tokom dana. Konstantno mi je držala pažnju, jer epilog nisam mogla ni da naslutim. Hepi enda naravno nema, ali ne mogu reći da me je kraj razočarao. Sve u svemu, ostavlja jak utisak.Pa zato i jaka četvorka :)