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Showing posts from February 3, 2019

on the character's resistance to her author

I was talking with a friend the other day and she told me that she couldn’t stand Zola. Zola, she said, is boring. I’m not a young pup. I’m not wet behind the ears, at least in the Zola department. I’ve heard the boring accusation before. I, on the other hand, find Zola amazingly not boring. For one thing, his scenes are developed in an amazing prehension of an art and technique that haven’t been invented yet: film. In the nineteenth century, the novel is close to theater – just as the novel is close to film in the twentieth century – because, for one thing, theater is where the writer could grow rich. Just as with film. We have forgotten the theater scene of the 19 th  century because we don’t, in the Anglophone world, retain much from it, until its end, with Wilde and Shaw. But that was the world in which the demimonde and the monde overlapped. It was from theater and opera, as well as from serialized novels, that popular culture absorbed, into its folklore, the “higher” culture