Second Edition

Émile Zola


Second Edition

Émile Zola






30 Jun 2020




World's Classics

$20.95 AUD

$23.99 NZD

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'She was the golden beast, an unconscious force, the very scent of her could bring the world to ruin.'

Nana, daughter of a drunk and a laundress, is the Helen of Troy of Paris. A sexually magnetic high-class prostitute and actress, she becomes a celebrity, rapidly conquering society, ruining all men who fall under her spell-especially Count Muffat, Chamberlain to the Empress. Nana herself meets a terrible fate, consumed by her own dissipation and extravagance, just as the disastrous war with Prussia is declared.

Nana is the ninth instalment in the twenty volume Rougon-Macquart series. The novel opens in 1867, the year of the World Fair, when Paris, thronged by a cosmopolitan élite, was la Ville Lumière, the glittering setting-and object-of Zola's scathing denunciation of society's hypocrisy and moral corruption. Nana comes to symbolize the Second Empire regime itself in all its excesses; but in the final chapters, the narrator seems to suggest that the coming disaster is not so much a result of the corruption of the Empire, as of rampant female sexuality.


Émile Zola

Helen Constantine taught languages in schools until 2000, when she became a full-time translator. Her volumes of translated stories, Paris Tales, Paris Metro Tales, Paris Street Tales and French Tales are published by Oxford University Press. She is also the general editor of a series of 'City Tales' for OUP. Her translations include Mademoiselle de Maupin by Théophile Gautier (Penguin), Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos (Penguin), The Wild Ass's Skin by Balzac, The Conquest of Plassans and A Love Story by Zola and Flaubert's Sentimental Education, all for the Oxford World's Classics. She formerly co-edited the magazine Modern Poetry in Translation with her husband, the writer David Constantine. Brian Nelson is Emeritus Professor (French Studies and Translation Studies) at Monash University, Melbourne, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. His publications include The Cambridge Introduction to French Literature, The Cambridge Companion to Zola, Zola and the Bourgeoisie, and translations of Zola's His Excellency Eugène Rougon, Earth (with Julie Rose), The Fortune of the Rougons, The Belly of Paris, The Kill, Pot Luck and The Ladies' Paradise for the Oxford World's Classics. He has also translated Swann in Love by Marcel Proust for the series. He was awarded the New South Wales Premier's Prize for Translation in 2015.