Portrait of Émile Zola, 1868
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Émile François Zola (French pronunciation: [emil zɔˈla]) (2 April 1840 –
29 September 1902) was an influential French writer, the most important
exemplar of the literary school of naturalism, an important contributor
to the development of theatrical naturalism, and a major figure in the
political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely
accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus.
Émile Zola was born in Paris in 1840. His father, François Zola, was the
son of an Italian engineer. With his French wife, Émilie Aubert, the
family moved to Aix-en-Provence, in the southeast, when he was three
years old. Four years later, in 1847, his father died, leaving his
mother on a meagre pension. In 1858, the Zolas moved to Paris, where
Émile became friends with the painter Paul Cézanne and started to write
in the romantic style. Zola's widowed mother had planned a law career
for him, but he failed his Baccalauréat examination.
Before his breakthrough as a writer, Zola worked as a clerk in a
shipping firm, and then in the sales department for a publisher
(Hachette). He also wrote literary and art reviews for newspapers. As a
political journalist, Zola did not hide his dislike of Napoleon III, who
had successfully run for the office of President under the constitution
of the French Second Republic, only to misuse this position as a
springboard for the coup d'état that made him emperor. Zola was very
opinionated, as his writings also showed.
During his early years, Émile Zola wrote several short stories and
essays, four plays and three novels. Among his early books was Contes à
Ninon, published in 1864. With the publication of his sordid
autobiographical novel La Confession de Claude (1865) attracting police
attention, Hachette fired him. His novel Les Mystères de Marseille
appeared as a serialized story in 1867.
After his first major novel, Thérèse Raquin (1867), Zola started the
long series called Les Rougon Macquart, about a family under the Second
More than half of Zola's novels were part of this set of 20 collectively
known as Les Rougon-Macquart. Unlike Balzac who in the midst of his
literary career resynthesized his work into La Comédie Humaine, Zola
from the outset at the age of 28 had thought of the complete layout of
the series. Set in France's Second Empire, the series traces the
"environmental" influences of violence, alcohol, and prostitution which
became more prevalent during the second wave of the industrial
revolution. The series examines two branches of a single family: the
respectable (that is, legitimate) Rougons and the disreputable
(illegitimate) Macquarts, for five generations.
As he described his plans for the series, "I want to portray, at the
outset of a century of liberty and truth, a family that cannot restrain
itself in its rush to possess all the good things that progress is
making available and is derailed by its own momentum, the fatal
convulsions that accompany the birth of a new world."
Although Zola and Cézanne were friends from childhood and in youth,
they broke in later life over Zola's fictionalized depiction of Cézanne
and the Bohemian life of painters in his novel L'Œuvre (The Masterpiece,
From 1877 onwards with the publication of l'Assommoir, Émile Zola
became wealthy–he was better paid than Victor Hugo, for example. He
became a figurehead among the literary bourgeoisie and organized
cultural dinners with Guy de Maupassant, Joris-Karl Huysmans and other
writers at his luxurious villa in Medan near Paris after 1880. Germinal
in 1885, then the three 'cities', Lourdes in 1894, Rome in 1896 and
Paris in 1897, established Zola as a successful author.
The self-proclaimed leader of French naturalism, Zola's works
inspired operas such as those of Gustave Charpentier, notably Louise in
the 1890s. His works, inspired by the concepts of heredity (Claude
Bernard), social manichaeism and idealistic socialism, resonate with
those of Nadar, Manet and subsequently Flaubert.
Activism on behalf of Captain Dreyfus
Émile Zola risked his career and even his life on 13 January 1898, when
his "J'accuse", was published on the front page of the Paris daily,
L'Aurore. The newspaper was run by Ernest Vaughan and Georges
Clemenceau, who decided that the controversial story would be in the
form of an open letter to the President, Félix Faure. Émile Zola's
"J'accuse" accused the highest levels of the French Army of obstruction
of justice and antisemitism by having wrongfully convicted a Jewish
artillery captain, Alfred Dreyfus, to life imprisonment on Devil's
Island in French Guiana. Zola declared that Dreyfus' conviction and
removal to an island prison came after a false accusation of espionage
and was a miscarriage of justice. The case, known as the Dreyfus affair,
divided France deeply between the reactionary army and church, and the
more liberal commercial society.
ramifications continued for many years; on the 100th anniversary of
Zola's article, France's Roman Catholic daily paper, La Croix,
apologized for its antisemitic editorials during the Dreyfus Affair. As
Zola was a leading French thinker, his letter formed a major
turning-point in the affair.
Zola was brought to trial for criminal libel on 7 February 1898, and
was convicted on 23 February, sentenced, and removed from the Legion of
Honor. Rather than go to jail, Zola fled to England. Without even having
had the time to pack a few clothes, he arrived at Victoria Station on 19
July. After his brief and unhappy residence in London, from October 1898
to June 1899, he was allowed to return in time to see the government
The government offered Dreyfus a pardon (rather than exoneration),
which he could accept and go free and so effectively admit that he was
guilty, or face a re-trial in which he was sure to be convicted again.
Although he was clearly not guilty, he chose to accept the pardon. Zola
said, "The truth is on the march, and nothing shall stop it." In 1906,
Dreyfus was completely exonerated by the Supreme Court.
The 1898 article by Émile Zola is widely marked in France as the most
prominent manifestation of the new power of the intellectuals (writers,
artists, academicians) in shaping public opinion, the media and the
State. The power of intellectuals lasted well into the 1980s, with a
peak in the 1960s with Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus.
Zola died of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a stopped chimney. He
was 62 years old. His enemies were blamed because of previous attempts
on his life, but nothing could be proven. (Decades later, a Parisian
roofer claimed on his deathbed to have closed the chimney for political
reasons). Zola was initially buried in the Cimetière de Montmartre in
Paris, but on 4 June 1908, almost six years after his death, his remains
were moved to the Panthéon, where he shares a crypt with Victor Hugo.
Therese Raquin is not the best of Emile Zola's novels; it has
the hesitancy of a beginning and the dogmatism of a defense,
rather than the assured scope of his later masterpiece Germinal
(1885). Yet it is precisely the properties of uncertainty and of
extravagance that make Therese Raquin a significant novel. In it
we see one of the most important novelists of the nineteenth
century struggling with his form, seeking, not without
desperation, to transform the novel into the social scalpel he
so devoutly believed it could be.
In keeping with the developing creed of Naturalism, Zola chose
two "specimens" to enact his theories about sexual desire and
remorse. But Raquin and Laurent, her lover, are so heavily
invested with the responsibility of embodying Zola's mechanical
determinism, that they become strange tortured creatures;
individuals rocked by chance and bewildered by the obscurity and
intensity of their feelings, rather than being exemplars of
physiology and material circumstance. The result is a novel
divided against itself, a wonderful amalgam of wild eroticism
and meticulous detachment. The impersonality of the third-person
narrator is pushed to outrageous extremes as the would-be
"scientific" narrator is forced to provide ever more elaborate,
mystified and mystifying explanations of the conduct of the two
lovers. Therese Raquin herself is a magnificent creation; she
enters the text as a site of mute desires and fears, as the
"human animal" without free will, subject to the inexorable laws
of her physiology. Gradually, however, and then volcanically,
her history cumulates to give her voice and movement, and a
superb consciousness of herself as a woman and of the bodily
pleasures of being a woman.
In Zola's own words, this is "a work of truth, the first novel
about the common people that does not lie and that smells of the
common people." The narrative details the fluctuating fortunes
of Parisian laundrywoman Gervaise Macquart, whose determination
to transcend the slum milieu through hard work is ultimately
thwarted by circumstance. Gervaise's roofer husband suffers a
fall and stops working. His ensuing alcoholism drains Gervaise's
assets and seduces her into the fatal assommoir (bar), affecting
her moral and physical dissolution. Urban vicissitude is linked
with moral improbity; individual misfortune linked with
environmental disintegration. Gervaise's tragic, pathetic
decline is inexorable, as her alcoholism leads to infidelity,
Zola's insistence on his novel's ethnographic credentials
deflected accusations that it actually caricatured working-class
life. Its authentic and innovative use of street language; its
lewd, sexual frankness;anti-clericalism;anti-officialdom; its
general filth, deprivation, and bad manners, were deemed
immoral, unpalatable, and potentially inflammatory by
conservative critics. L'Assommoir stakes a serious claim for
working-class experience and popular culture as aesthetically
worthy, formally challenging material for the artist. And in
overthrowing artistic conventions and inciting debate on the
appropriate form and material for modern art, it earns its place
as one of the first truly modern novels.
Nana exposes a licentious Parisian sexual economy, hooked on
prostitution and promiscuity. The respectable classes indulge in
drunken orgies, homosexuality, sadomasochism, voyeurism, and
more. An influential aristocrat, Count Muffat, is the epitome of
this degradation and chastisement. His familial, political, and
religious status is compromised by his infatuated devotion to
Nana. She is an ostensibly luminous yet inherently tainted
figure: debt, misogynistic violence, a dysfunctional family,
class background, and an ultimately fatal sexual disease temper
her success. Her eventual physical corrosion is horrific,
reflecting the total corruption and disfigurement of both state
and society. It is no coincidence that Nana's death throes take
place against the backdrop of a screaming mob galvanized by the
Franco-Prussian War, where the ultimate violent ruin, collapse,
and purification of this stage of French history is completed.
Today's readers will find extraordinary prescience in the
correlation of society's obsession with sex, celebrity, and
power portrayed in Nana. A conscious emphasis on exploitation
and disgraceful revelation is paramount in a novel that opens
with a theatrical striptease, before going on to revisit
connected themes of sexual and economic exhibitionism.
Determinedly realist and deliberately explicit, Nana is a
spectacular novel, which indicts a public appetite for voyeurism
and sensationalism that to this day has never really abated.
La Bete Humaine
La Bete Humaine was the seventeenth novel in Zola1s twenty-novel
series Les Rougons-Macquart, through which he sought to follow
the effects of heredity and environment on a single family,
using the "scientific" terms central to late nineteenth-century
Naturalism and to contemporary theories of degeneration and
"hereditary taint." La Bete Humain was also a vehicle through
which Zola explored the power and impact of the railway,
bringing together his twin fascinations with criminality and
railway liffe. The impersonal force of the train become
inextricably linked in the novel with human violence and
destructiveness, and in the character Jacques Lantier, a train
driver tormented by his pathological desire to kill women, Zola
depicted what a later generation would define as a serial
killer. Murder is made inseparable from machine culture, and
accident and psychopathology become indivisible. Lantier's
violent desires are stimulated when he glimpses the murder,
driven by sexual jealousy, of Grandmorin, one of the directors
of the railway company. His "itch for murder intensified like a
physical lust at the sight of this pathetic corpse.'The effects
of this murderous desire are played out in the rest ofthe novel.
Zola's meticulous observation of the physical world is shown in
his depictions of the railways, which paint in words the
qualities of light and shadow, fire and smoke, that also acted
as a magnet to the Impressionist painters of his time.
Anyone interested in the intersection between literature and
politics should know this famous, explosive novel of class
conflict and industrial unrest, set in the coalfields of
northern France in the 1860s. Zola's uncompromising presentation
of an impoverished, subterranean, and vulnerable working
existence, paralleled by bourgeois luxury, leisure,and security,
The title recalls the seventh month of the French revolutionary
calendar, associated with mass insurrection, rioting, violence,
poverty, and starvation. All feature in Germinal's central
story: the eruption and failure of a general strike and its
universally negative outcome. The main narrative charts Etienne
Lantier's emotional and political assimilation into a mining
community, illuminating a dark disenfranchized world, ripe for
revolt. His progression from neutral outsider to committed
strike leader mobilizes a collective struggle subtly presented
in tandem with the contradictions and compromises of individual
belief and aspiration. The narrative is permeated with
significant oppositions, but capitalism is the fundamental
determinant, subjugating all of the protagonists. It is
powerfully symbolized by the predominance of The Mine,
animated throughout as a mythical, sacrificial beast. That no
absolute victor emerges from the novel's concluding calamity is
significant. Mining survives, the system prevails, more labor is
Germinal's much debated ending resonates with a challenging
question: what is the potential for social change and
transition? The final images of destruction and renewal suggest
possible political evolution through the germination of
individual and collective working-class endeavor. It is
significant though, that this remains inconclusive.
Type of work: Novel
Author: Emile Zola (1840-1902)
Type of plot: Naturalism
Time of plot: Nineteenth century
First published: 1885 (English translation, 1885)
One of the first novels dealing with the conflict between capital
and labor, the book is still a work of fiction and not a manifesto. The
events of the novel are based on an actual strike which occurred in
France in 1884. Most notable about the work is Zola's ability to portray
mob scenes; the emotions and movements of masses of people are so
successfully rendered that the characters become believable results of
the events which mold them.
Etienne Lantier, a trained mechanic from Paris who becomes a miner and
falls under the influence of socialism, which he believes is the
workers' only hope. He organizes the miners, only to lose his popularity
when a strike is settled and the people go back to work. His suffering,
even the loss of his lover in a mine accident, only persuades him that
he must continue his revolutionary work. He is the illegitimate son of
Catherine Maheu, a girl who works as a miner. She is loved by Lantier,
even though she is forced to take another man as her lover. She
eventually becomes Lan-tier's mistress, sharing his miserable, lonely
life until she dies of suffocation after an accident in the mine where
she and Lantier work.
Vincent Maheu, an elderly miner nicknamed Bonne-mort because of his many
escapes from accidental death in the mines.
Toussaint Maheu (known simply as Maheu), Vincent's son, the father of
seven children. He becomes Lan-tier's friend and works with him in the
mine. He is killed by soldiers during a strike at the mine.
La Maheude, Maheu's wife.
Zacharie Maheu, son of Maheu. He is a young miner who marries his
mistress after she presents him withjtwo children.
Philomene Levaque, Zacharie's mistress and, later, his wife.
Souvarine, a Russian anarchist who becomes Lantier 's friend.
M. Hennebeau, director of the Montsou mines. He refuses to make any
concessions to the miners and imports strikebreakers to operate the
Paul Negrel, an engineer, nephew of M. Hennebeau. He feels compassion
for the miners and leads a rescue party to save them after an accident
traps Lantier and others below the surface of the ground.
Chaval, a miner who seduces Catherine Maheu. He is jealous of his rival,
Lantier, and their mutual animosity ends in a fight below the surface of
the ground in which Chaval is killed.
Dansaert, head captain of the mine in which Lantier works.
Cecile Gregoire, daughter of a mine stockholder, fiancee of Negrel. She
is strangled to death by old Vincent Maheu (Bonnemort), who has become
Maigrat, a rapacious storekeeper who extends credit to the women who
grant him amorous favors.
M. Gregoire, a mine stockholder who justifies low pay for the workers by
asserting that they spend their money only for drink and vice.
Jeanlin Maheu, an eleven-year-old who works in a mine until he is
crippled in an accident. He murders a mine guard, but his crime is
hidden by Lantier.
Alzire Maheu, a deformed sister of Catherine. The little girl dies of
starvation during the strike.
Pluchart, a mechanic who persuades Lantier to join the workers'
Etienne Lantier set out to walk from Marchiennes to Montsou looking for
work. On the way, he met Vincent Maheu, another workman, called
Bonnemort because of successive escapes from death in the mines. Nearing
sixty years old, Bonnemort suffered from a bad cough because of
particles of dust from the mine pits.
Bonnemort had a son, Maheu, whose family consisted of seven children.
Zacharie, Maheu's eldest son, twenty-one years old, Catherine, sixteen
years old, and Jeanlin, eleven years old, worked in the mines. Etienne,
too, was given a job in the mine. He descended the mine shaft along with
Maheu, Zacharie, Chaval, Levaque, and Catherine. At first he mistook the
latter for a boy. During lunchtime, Chaval roughly forced the girl to
kiss him. This act angered Etienne, although the girl insisted that the
brute was not her lover.
The head captain, Dansaert, came with M. Negrel, M. Hennebeau's nephew,
to inspect Etienne, the new worker. Although there was bitterness among
the workers, danger lurking in the shafts, and so little pay that it was
hardly worth working, Etienne decided to stay in the mine.
M. Gregoire had inherited from his grandfather a share in the Montsou
mines. He lived in peace and luxury with his wife and only daughter,
Cecile. A marriage had been arranged between Cecile and Negrel.
One morning, La Maheude (Maheu's wife) and her younger children went to
the Gregoires to seek help. They were given warm clothing but no money,
since the Gregoires believed working people would only spend money in
drinking and nonsense. La Maheude had to beg for some groceries and
money from Maigrat, who ran the company shop and who would extend credit
only if he received a woman's caresses in return. He had Catherine in
mind. Catherine, however, escaped him, met Chaval that night, and
allowed him to seduce her. Etienne witnessed the seduction and was
disillusioned by the young girl.
Etienne so quickly and expertly adapted himself to the mine that he
earned the profound respect of Maheu. He made friends with the other
workers. Only toward Chaval was he hostile, for Catherine now openly
behaved as the man's mistress. At the place where Etienne lived, he
would chat with Souvarine, a quiet Russian who espoused Nihilism, the
abolition of all forms of government. Etienne discussed a new movement
he had heard about from his friend Pluchart, a Lille mechanic. It was an
international trade-union movement to strengthen the workers. Etienne
had come to loathe the working and living conditions of the miners and
their families, and he hoped to collect a fund to sustain the
forthcoming strike. He discussed his plan with Rasseneur, with whom he
After Zacharie married his mistress Philomene Levaque, the mother of his
two children, Etienne came to the Maheu household as a boarder. Night
after night he urged the family to accept his socialistic point of view.
As the summer wore on, he gained prestige among the neighbors, and his
fund grew. As the secretary, he drew a small fee and was able to put
aside money for himself. He began to take on airs.
The threat of strike was provoked when the company lowered the wages of
the workers. As a final blow to the Maheus, a cave-in struck Jeanlin,
leaving him a cripple. Catherine went to live with Chaval, who had been
accusing her of sleeping with Etienne. In December, the miners struck.
While the Gregoires and the Hennebeaus were at dinner arranging the
plans for the marriage between Cecile and Negrel, the miners' delegation
came to see M. Hen-nebeau, but he refused to give any concessions. The
strike wore on through the weeks while the workers slowly starved.
Etienne preached socialism, and the strikers listened; as their misery
increased, they became more adamant in their resistance to M. Hennebeau.
The long weeks of strike at the Montsou mines ended in a riot when the
people advanced to other pits to force the workers to quit their labors
and join the strike. The mob destroyed property throughout the day and
raged against their starvation.
Catherine had remained faithful to Chaval, but when, during the riot, he
turned renegade and ran to get the gendarmes, she deserted him to warn
her comrades, especially Etienne.
Etienne went into hiding, assisted by Jeanlin, who had become a street
urchin and a thief. The Maheu family fared poorly. Crippled Alzire, one
of the younger children, was dying of starvation. Everywhere neighbors
quarreled fretfully over trifles. Etienne frequently slipped into
Maheu's house for a visit; for the most part, however, he wandered alone
at night. After the strike had been in force for two months, there was a
rumor that the company was bringing strikebreakers, Borain workers, to
the pits. Etienne began to despair. He suggested to the Maheus that the
strikers bargain with M. Hennebeau, but La Maheude, who once had been so
sensible and had resisted violence, shouted that they should not give in
to the pressure of the mine director's demands.
One night at Rasseneur's, while Etienne was discussing matters with
Souvarine, Chaval and Catherine entered. The animosity between Etienne
and Chaval flared up. and they fought. Chaval was overpowered and
ordered Catherine not to follow him but to stay with Etienne. Left
alone, Catherine and Etienne were embarrassed and confused. Etienne had
no place to take the girl. It was not possible for her to go home, since
La Maheude could not forgive her for having deserted the family and for
working during the strike. Resignedly, Catherine went back to her lover.
After Catherine had gone, Etienne walked by the pits. where he was a
witness to the murder of a guard by little Jeanlin. Etienne dragged the
body away and hid it.
When the strikebreakers began to work, the strikers stormed the entrance
to the pit and threatened the soldiers on guard. After a while, the
soldiers fired into the mob. Twenty-five workers were wounded, and
fourteen were killed. Maheu was among those killed.
Company officials came to Montsou to settle the strike. The Borain
workers were sent away. Etienne's popularity ended. He brought Catherine
home and began to stay at Maheu's house again. The bleak house of
mourning filled Etienne with remorse.
Souvarine resolved to leave Montsou. Before he went, he sneaked into the
pit and committed enough damage to cause a breakdown in the shafts. That
Etienne and Catherine decided that they must go back to work. Chaval
managed to be placed on the same work crew with Etienne and Catherine.
Repeatedly the two men clashed; Chaval still wanted Catherine.
Water began rushing into the shaft. Chaval, Etienne, and the rest were
trapped below when the cage made its last trip up and did not come down
again. The people above waited and watched the mine slowly become
flooded by subterranean torrents of water.
Negrel set about to rescue the entombed workers; as long as they were
below, they must be assumed to be still alive. At last, he and a rescue
party heard faint thumpings from the trapped workers. The men began to
dig. An explosion injured several of them and killed Zacharie.
Meanwhile, the trapped workers had scattered, trying to find a place of
safety. Etienne and Catherine came upon Chaval in the gallery to which
he had climbed. There the animosity between the two men led to a fight,
which ended when Etienne killed Chaval. Alone, the two lovers heard the
rescuers' tapping. For days they continued to answer the tapping.
Catherine died before the men outside reached them, but Etienne was
still alive when help came.
After six weeks in a hospital, Etienne prepared to go to Paris, where
more revolutionary work awaited him.
When Emile Zola's novel Germinal appeared in 1885, as the thirteenth of
a projected series of twenty interrelated novels designed to give "the
natural and social history of a family under the Second Empire," it was
acclaimed by some as the most impressive and powerful of the series that
far, and dismissed by others as a deliberately sensational catalogue of
the horrors of sex and violence prevalent in French coal-mining
communities. A century later, the initial ambivalence about Germinal's
reputation has largely dissipated, and most critics willingly grant it a
place among the greatest novels of the nineteenth century, in any
To know that Germinal gives a painstakingly detailed account of daily
life in a coal-mining community of northern France, in accordance with
Zola's well-known literary theory of naturalism, and that the novel's
central action, the account of a strike among the miners of Mont-sou,
was given extraordinary authenticity because Zola paid a personal visit
to a mine under strike conditions and took careful notes for his novel,
is to deepen one's appreciation for the value of the novel as a social
and historical document. None of that kind of information, however, can
explain why Germinal stands out as a major work of literary art. To
evaluate Germinal fairly as literature, one must go beyond its
acknowledged realism and consider the range and believability of its
characters, the ingenuity and force of its structure, and the scope and
significance of its themes.
The cast of characters in this monumental novel is unusually large, for
Zola wished to represent as many facets as possible of social and
economic life in the northern region of France, near the Belgian border,
where the novel's action takes place. The central figure of the novel is
actually an outsider to the mining country, a Parisian mechanic named
Etienne Lantier, who comes to the region in March of 1866 looking for
work of any nature, because times are bad. Lantier is also the sole link
in the novel to the other novels of Zola's vast series, since he is a
member of the Rougon-Macquart family that Zola invented as a focus for
his series. Lantier accepts menial work in the Montsou mine, but with
his education and native intelligence he quickly becomes a skilled and
respected miner and emerges within months as a leader who helps organize
a union among the miners.
The miners, who live in small company-built houses, are chiefly
represented by one family, named Maheu, consisting of Toussaint Maheu
and his wife (called La Maheude); Maheu's father, Vincent Maheu (called
Bonnemort); and Maheu and La Maheude's seven children, ranging in age
from an infant daughter to an adult son named Zacharie who is a
full-time miner like his father and grandfather before him. The reader
is given some knowledge of several other families, neighbors of the
Maheus in the mining village, who add to the variety of types and ways
of living found among the miners, though life is generally hard and
impoverished for all. A different social level is represented by a
character named Rasseneur, a former miner, now the proprietor of a
tavern, and ambitious to be a leader of the miners; a strange foreigner,
Souvarine, who works as an engineer in the mines, keeps largely to
himself, and harbors anarchist principles brought from his Russian
homeland; and a sinister figure named Maigrat, who runs the company
store in the village and abuses his power by demanding sexual favors of
the miners' wives and daughters in exchange for credit.
Ownership and management of the mines is represented by four
individuals: the director of Montsou, Hen-nebeau, who is tormented by an
adulterous wife; Hen-nebeau's nephew, Paul Negrel, employed as chief
engineer in the mines; Deneulin, an independent owner of a small mine in
the area; and Gregoire, a stockholder in the Montsou mine, who lives a
very comfortable bourgeois life solely on the income he derives from his
inherited mining stock. An array of marginal figures, involved in one
way or another in the life of the mining community, also people the
novel's pages, and there is frequent mention of the Montsou mine's board
of directors, remote and mysterious in its Paris headquarters, yet the
source of all the decisions that most directly affect life in Montsou.
Zola places this carefully balanced cast of characters in a series of
actions, arising out of tensions between labor and management, which
escalate relentlessly in hostility and violence. The protests begin as a
dispute about working conditions and develop into a full-scale strike,
followed by the use of troops to break the strike; the crisis culminates
in Souvarine's attempt, based on anarchist principles, to destroy the
mine by sabotage. The most notable feature of the novel's action is that
most of the events are sprawling crowd scenes of increasing complexity
as the novel progresses, which allowed Zola to demonstrate impressive
mastery of that special kind of writing. This series of major actions,
forming a crescendo of emotional intensity, allows all levels of the
small community to come into cooperation or confrontation with one
another and to display all that is good, and all that is bad, in their
natures as well as in their respective situations.
Zola is at great pains to preserve some kind of balance in the
distribution of good and evil traits, so as not to oversimplify the
moral and political issues the novel raises. Those on the side of labor
are neither always virtuous nor always ignorant; those on the side of
capital are neither always inhuman nor always rational. There is blame
and praise enough to assign to all levels of the community. The result
is that, as the action builds to an ever higher emotional pitch from
section to section of the novel, the reader, having no clear villain and
no clear hero on whom to focus, is overwhelmed by a sense of helplessly
witnessing an inevitable tragedy for which no individual or group bears
the ultimate responsibility. Zola certainly tried to depict in Germinal
the central crisis of industrialized society in that era: the clash
between capital and labor. Constrained, however, by the principle of
objectivity inherent in his quasi-scientific literary theory, which he
called naturalism, Zola was careful to show the crisis as complex,
multifarious, unpredictable, and hence hardly reducible to any
black-and-white formula ranging all virtue on one side and all villainy
on the other.
The attempt at a semblance of objectivity in Germinal was for Zola an
artistic imperative, but it did not imply neutrality or indifference on
his part with respect to the social and economic struggle of his time.
The socialist tendencies Zola had developed by 1885 were publicly known
and are perhaps expressed in the vaguely ambiguous closing scene of the
novel, in which Lantier, resorted to health after the mine cave-in and
flood that nearly killed him, leaves Montsou for Paris to continue the
struggle as a union organizer, full of hope that he and his mining
comrades will eventually triumph in the name of social justice. What
makes the hope seem just a bit ambiguous is that Lantier thinks of
himself and his comrades in violent terms, as a "black avenging army,"
forecasting more death and destruction before a better world can be
Zola's last-minute choice of the title Germinal is one possible clue to
the significance of the ambiguity in the ending. As a title, Germinal
evokes the French Revolution, since it is the name of a month in the
revolutionary calendar that was invented after 1789. Zola's thought was
perhaps that the industrial crisis of his time, depicted in his novel,
had brought France once again to the same political and social situation
that had existed in 1789. His novel was therefore intended as a warning,
perhaps, of a new revolution about to burst forth, with social justice
as its admirable goal but with the attendant threat of volatile and
unpredictable violence as well, as in the well-remembered aftermath of
Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jew, was wrongly
accused of spying for the Germans and thus arrested and
tried for treason. A military court sentenced him in
1890 to life imprisonment on Devil's Island and expelled
him from the army.
The Dreyfus Affair split the nation. While, for example,
Emile Zola obtained a reopening of the trial with his
open letter "J'accuse," anti-Semites, nationalists, and
antiparliamentarianists gathered together in the
opposition camp. In 1898, the principal piece of
evidence, a document, was shown to be a forgery, and
Dreyfus was cleared in 1906.
The affair was a struggle between restorative and
republican ideas, and the Republic emerged from it
strengthened Degradation of Alfred Dreyfus as liberal
J'accuse (I accuse)
Letter to the President of the Republic by Émile
Zola , translated by Wikisource
Published January 13, 1898 on the front page of the Paris daily,
L'Aurore. This text was written by Émile Zola, an influential French
novelist. It is written as an open letter to Félix Faure, President of
the French Republic, and accuses the government of anti-Semitism in the
Would you allow me, in my gratitude for the benevolent reception that
you gave me one day, to draw the attention of your rightful glory and to
tell you that your star, so happy until now, is threatened by the most
shameful and most ineffaceable of blemishes?
You have passed healthy and safe through base calumnies; you have
conquered hearts. You appear radiant in the apotheosis of this patriotic
festival that the Russian alliance was for France, and you prepare to
preside over the solemn triumph of our World Fair, which will crown our
great century of work, truth and freedom. But what a spot of mud on your
name — I was going to say on your reign — is this abominable Dreyfus
affair! A council of war, under order, has just dared to acquit
Esterhazy, a great blow to all truth, all justice. And it is finished,
France has this stain on her cheek, History will write that it was under
your presidency that such a social crime could be committed.
Since they dared, I too will dare. The truth I will say, because I
promised to say it, if justice, regularly seized, did not do it, full
and whole. My duty is to speak, I do not want to be an accomplice. My
nights would be haunted by the specter of innocence that suffer there,
through the most dreadful of tortures, for a crime it did not commit.
And it is to you, Mr. President, that I will proclaim it, this truth,
with all the force of the revulsion of an honest man. For your honor, I
am convinced that you are unaware of it. And with whom will I thus
denounce the criminal foundation of these guilty truths, if not with
you, the first magistrate of the country?
* * *
First, the truth about the lawsuit and the judgment of Dreyfus.
A nefarious man carried it all out, did everything: Major Du Paty de
Clam, then a simple commander. He is the entirety of the Dreyfus
business; it will be known only when one honest investigation clearly
establishes his acts and responsibilities. He seems a most complicated
and hazy spirit, haunting romantic intrigues, caught up in serialized
stories, stolen papers, anonymous letters, appointments in deserted
places, mysterious women who sell condemning evidences at night. It is
he who imagined dictating the Dreyfus memo; it is he who dreamed to
study it in an entirely hidden way, under ice; it is him whom commander
Forzinetti describes to us as armed with a dark lantern, wanting to
approach the sleeping defendant, to flood his face abruptly with light
and to thus surprise his crime, in the agitation of being roused. And I
need hardly say that that what one seeks, one will find. I declare
simply that commander Du Paty de Clam, charged to investigate the
Dreyfus business as a legal officer, is, in date and in responsibility,
the first culprit in the appalling miscarriage of justice committed.
The memo was for some time already in the hands of Colonel Sandherr,
director of the office of information, who has since died of general
paresis. "Escapes" took place, papers disappeared, as they still do
today; the author of the memo was sought, when ahead of time one was
made aware, little by little, that this author could be only an officer
of the High Comman and an artillery officer: a doubly glaring error,
showing with which superficial spirit this affair had been studied,
because a reasoned examination shows that it could only be a question of
an officer of troops. Thus searching the house, examining writings, it
was like a family matter, a traitor to be surprised in the same offices,
in order to expel him. And, while I don't want to retell a partly known
history here, Commander Paty de Clam enters the scene, as soon as first
suspicion falls upon Dreyfus. From this moment, it is he who invented
Dreyfus, the affair becomes that affair, made actively to confuse the
traitor, to bring him to a full confession. There is the Minister of
War, General Mercier, whose intelligence seems poor; there are the head
of the High Command, General De Boisdeffre, who appears to have yielded
to his clerical passion, and the assistant manager of the High Command,
General Gonse, whose conscience could put up with many things. But, at
the bottom, there is initially only Commander Du Paty de Clam, who
carries them all out, who hypnotizes them, because he deals also with
spiritism, with occultism, conversing with spirits. One could not
conceive of the experiments to which he subjected unhappy Dreyfus, the
traps into which he wanted to make him fall, the insane investigations,
monstrous imaginations, a whole torturing insanity.
Ah! this first affair is a nightmare for those who know its true
details! Commander Du Paty de Clam arrests Dreyfus, in secret. He turns
to Mrs. Dreyfus, terrorizes her, says to her that, if she speaks, her
husband is lost. During this time, the unhappy one tore his flesh,
howled his innocence. And the instructions were made thus, as in a 15th
century tale, shrouded in mystery, with a savage complication of
circumstances, all based on only one childish charge, this idiotic
affair, which was not only a vulgar treason, but was also the most
impudent of hoaxes, because the famously delivered secrets were almost
all without value. If I insist, it is that the kernel is here, from
whence the true crime will later emerge, the terrible denial of justice
from which France is sick. I would like to touch with a finger on how
this miscarriage of justice could be possible, how it was born from the
machinations of Commander Du Paty de Clam, how General Mercier, General
De Boisdeffre and General Gonse could be let it happen, to engage little
by little their responsibility in this error, that they believed a need,
later, to impose like the holy truth, a truth which is not even
discussed. At the beginning, there is not this, on their part, this
incuriosity and obtuseness. At most, one feels them to yield to an
ambiance of religious passions and the prejudices of the physical
spirit. They allowed themselves a mistake.
But here Dreyfus is before the council of war. Closed doors are
absolutely required. A traitor would have opened the border with the
enemy to lead the German emperor to Notre-Dame, without taking measures
to maintain narrow silence and mystery. The nation is struck into a
stupor, whispering of terrible facts, monstrous treasons which make
History indignant; naturally the nation is so inclined. There is no
punishment too severe, it will applaud public degradation, it will want
the culprit to remain on his rock of infamy, devoured by remorse. Is
this then true, the inexpressible things, the dangerous things, capable
of plunging Europe into flames, which one must carefully bury behind
these closed doors? No! There was behind this, only the romantic and
lunatic imaginations of Commander Paty de Clam. All that was done only
to hide the most absurd of novella plots. And it suffices, to ensure
oneself of this, to study with attention the bill of indictment, read in
front of the council of war.
Ah! the nothingness of this bill of indictment! That a man could be
condemned for this act, is a wonder of iniquity. I defy decent people to
read it, without their hearts leaping in indignation and shouting their
revolt, while thinking of the unwarranted suffering, over there, on
Devil's Island. Dreyfus knows several languages, crime; one found at his
place no compromising papers, crime; he returns sometimes to his country
of origin, crime; he is industrious, he wants to know everything, crime;
he is unperturbed, crime; he is perturbed, crime. And the naiveté of
drafting formal assertions in a vacuum! One spoke to us of fourteen
charges: we find only one in the final analysis, that of the memo; and
we even learn that the experts did not agree, than one of them, Mr.
Gobert, was coerced militarily, because he did not allow himself to
reach a conclusion in the desired direction. One also spoke of
twenty-three officers who had come to overpower Dreyfus with their
testimonies. We remain unaware of their interrogations, but it is
certain that they did not all charge him; and it is to be noticed,
moreover, that all belonged to the war offices. It is a family lawsuit,
one is there against oneself, and it is necessary to remember this: the
High Command wanted the lawsuit, it was judged, and it has just judged
it a second time.
Therefore, there remained only the memo, on which the experts had not
concurred. It is reported that, in the room of the council, the judges
were naturally going to acquit. And consequently, as one
includes/understands the despaired obstinacy with which, to justify the
judgment, today the existence of a secret part is affirmed,
overpowering, the part which cannot be shown, which legitimates all, in
front of which we must incline ourselves, the good invisible and
unknowable God! I deny it, this part, I deny it with all my strength! A
ridiculous part, yes, perhaps the part wherein it is a question of young
women, and where a certain D… is spoken of which becomes too demanding:
some husband undoubtedly finding that his wife did not pay him dearly
enough. But a part interesting the national defense, which one could not
produce without war being declared tomorrow, no, no! It is a lie! and it
is all the more odious and cynical that they lie with impunity without
one being able to convince others of it. They assemble France, they hide
behind its legitimate emotion, they close mouths by disturbing hearts,
by perverting spirits. I do not know a greater civic crime.
Here then, Mr. President, are the facts which explain how a
miscarriage of justice could be made; and the moral evidence, the
financial circumstances of Dreyfus, the absence of reason, his continual
cry of innocence, completes its demonstration as a victim of the
extraordinary imaginations of commander Du Paty de Clam, of the clerical
medium in which it was found, of the hunting for the "dirty Jews", which
dishonours our time.
* * *
And we arrive at the Esterhazy affair. Three years passed, many
consciences remain deeply disturbed, worry, seek, end up being convinced
of Dreyfus's innocence.
I will not give the history of the doubts and of the conviction of
Mr. Scheurer-Kestner. But, while this was excavated on the side, it
ignored serious events among the High Command. Colonel Sandherr was
dead, and Major Picquart succeeded him as head of the office of the
information. And it was for this reason, in the performance of his
duties, that the latter one day found in his hands a letter-telegram,
addressed to commander Esterhazy, from an agent of a foreign power. His
strict duty was to open an investigation. It is certain that he never
acted apart from the will of his superiors. He thus submitted his
suspicions to his seniors in rank, General Gonse, then General De
Boisdeffre, then General Billot, who had succeeded General Mercier as
the Minister of War. The infamous Picquart file, about which so much was
said, was never more than a Billot file, a file made by a subordinate
for his minister, a file which must still exist within the Ministry of
War. Investigations ran from May to September 1896, and what should be
well affirmed is that General Gonse was convinced of Esterhazy's guilt,
and that Generals De Boisdeffre and Billot did not question that the
memo was written by Esterhazy. Major Picquart's investigation had led to
this unquestionable observation. But the agitation was large, because
the condemnation of Esterhazy inevitably involved the revision of
Dreyfus's trial; and this, the High Command did not want at any cost.
There must have been a minute full of psychological anguish. Notice
that General Billot was in no way compromised, he arrived completely
fresh, he could decide the truth. He did not dare, undoubtedly in fear
of public opinion, certainly also in fear of betraying all the High
Command, General De Boisdeffre, General Gonse, not mentioning those of
lower rank. Therefore there was only one minute of conflict between his
conscience and what he believed to be the military's interest. Once this
minute had passed, it was already too late. He had engaged, he was
compromised. And, since then, his responsibility only grew, he took
responsibility for the crimes of others, he became as guilty as the
others, he was guiltier than them, because he was the Master of justice,
and he did nothing. Understand that! Here for a year General Billot,
General De Boisdeffre and General Gonse have known that Dreyfus is
innocent, and they kept this appalling thing to themselves! And these
people sleep at night, and they have women and children whom they love!
Major Picquart had fulfilled his duty as an honest man. He insisted
to his superiors, in the name of justice. He even begged them, he said
to them how much their times were ill-advised, in front of the terrible
storm which was to pour down, which was to burst, when the truth would
be known. It was, later, the language that Mr. Scheurer-Kestner also
used with General Billot, entreating him with patriotism to take the
affair in hand, not to let it worsen, on the verge of becoming a public
disaster. No! The crime had been committed, the High Command could no
longer acknowledge its crime. And Major Picquart was sent on a mission,
one that took him farther and farther away, as far as Tunisia, where
there was not even a day to honour his bravery, charged with a mission
which would have surely ended in massacre, in the frontiers where
Marquis de Morès met his death. He was not in disgrace, General Gonse
maintained a friendly correspondence with him. It is only about secrets
he was not good to have discovered.
To Paris, the truth inexorably marched, and it is known how the
awaited storm burst. Mr. Mathieu Dreyfus denounced commander Esterhazy
as the true author of the memo just as Mr. Scheurer-Kestner demanded a
revision of the case to the Minister of Justice. And it is here that
commander Esterhazy appears. Testimony shows him initially thrown into a
panic, ready for suicide or escape. Then, at a blow, he acted with
audacity, astonishing Paris by the violence of his attitude. It is then
that help had come to him, he had received an anonymous letter informing
him of the work of his enemies, a mysterious lady had come under cover
of night to return a stolen evidence against him to the High Command,
which would save him. And I cannot help but find Major Paty de Clam
here, considering his fertile imagination. His work, Dreyfus's
culpability, was in danger, and he surely wanted to defend his work. The
retrial was the collapse of such an extravagant novella, so tragic,
whose abominable outcome takes place in Devil's Island! This is what he
could not allow. Consequently, a duel would take place between Major
Picquart and Major Du Paty de Clam, one with face uncovered, the other
masked. They will soon both be found before civil justice. In the end,
it was always the High Command that defended itself, that did not want
to acknowledge its crime; the abomination grew hour by hour.
One wondered with astonishment who were protecting commander
Esterhazy. It was initially, in the shadows, Major Du Paty de Clam who
conspired all and conducted all. His hand was betrayed by its absurd
means. Then, it was General De Boisdeffre, it was General Gonse, it was
General Billot himself, who were obliged to discharge the commander,
since they cannot allow recognition of Dreyfus's innocence without the
department of war collapsing under public contempt. And the beautiful
result of this extraordinary situation is that the honest man there,
Major Picquart, who only did his duty, became the victim of ridicule and
punishment. O justice, what dreadful despair grips the heart! One might
just as well say that he was the forger, that he manufactured the carte-télegramme
to convict Esterhazy. But, good God! why? with what aim? give a motive.
Is he also paid by the Jews? The joke of the story is that he was in
fact an anti-Semite. Yes! we attend this infamous spectacle, of the lost
men of debts and crimes upon whom one proclaims innocence, while one
attacks honor, a man with a spotless life! When a society does this, it
falls into decay.
Here is thus, Mr. President, the Esterhazy affair: a culprit whose
name it was a question of clearing. For almost two months, we have been
able to follow hour by hour the beautiful work. I abbreviate, because it
is not here that a summary of the history's extensive pages will one day
be written out in full. We thus saw General De Pellieux, then the
commander of Ravary, lead an investigation in which the rascals are
transfigured and decent people are dirtied. Then, the council of war was
* * *
How could one hope that a council of war would demolish what a council
of war had done?
I do not even mention the always possible choice of judges. Isn't the
higher idea of discipline, which is in the blood of these soldiers,
enough to cancel their capacity for equity? Who says discipline breeds
obedience? When the Minister of War, the overall chief, established
publicly, with the acclamations of the national representation, the
authority of the final decision; you want a council of war to give him a
formal denial? Hierarchically, that is impossible. General Billot
influenced the judges by his declaration, and they judged as they must
under fire, without reasoning. The preconceived opinion that they
brought to their seats, is obviously this one: "Dreyfus was condemned
for crime of treason by a council of war, he is thus guilty; and we, a
council of war, cannot declare him innocent, for we know that to
recognize Esterhazy's guilt would be to proclaim the innocence of
Dreyfus." Nothing could make them leave that position.
They delivered an iniquitous sentence that will forever weigh on our
councils of war, sullying all their arrests from now with suspicion. The
first council of war could have been foolish; the second was inevitably
criminal. Its excuse, I repeat it, was that the supreme chief had
spoken, declaring the thing considered to be unassailable, holy and
higher than men, so that inferiors could not say the opposite. One
speaks to us about the honor of the army, that we should like it,
respect it. Ah! admittedly, yes, the army which would rise to the first
threat, which would defend the French ground, it is all the people, and
we have for it only tenderness and respect. But it is not a question of
that, for which we precisely want dignity, in our need for justice. It
is about the sword, the Master that one will give us tomorrow perhaps.
And do not kiss devotedly the handle of the sword, by god!
I have shown in addition: the Dreyfus affair was the affair of the
department of war, a High Command officer, denounced by his comrades of
the High Command, condemned under the pressure of the heads of the High
Command. Once again, it cannot restore his innocence without all the
High Command being guilty. Also the offices, by all conceivable means,
by press campaigns, by communications, by influences, protected
Esterhazy only to convict Dreyfus a second time. What sweeping changes
should the republican government should give to this [Jesuitery], as
General Billot himself calls it! Where is the truly strong ministry of
wise patriotism that will dare to reforge and to renew all? What of
people I know who, faced with the possibility of war, tremble of anguish
knowing in what hands lies national defense! And what a nest of base
intrigues, gossips and dilapidations has this crowned asylum become,
where the fate of fatherland is decided! One trembles in face of the
terrible day that there has just thrown the Dreyfus affair, this human
sacrifice of an unfortunate, a "dirty Jew"! Ah! all that was agitated
insanity there and stupidity, imaginations insane, practices of low
police force, manners of inquisition and tyranny, good pleasure of some
non-commissioned officers putting their boots on the nation, returning
in its throat its cry of truth and justice, under the lying pretext and
sacrilege of the reason of State.
And it is a yet another crime to have [pressed on ?] the filthy
press, to have let itself defend by all the rabble of Paris, so that the
rabble triumphs insolently in defeat of law and simple probity. It is a
crime to have accused those who wished for a noble France, at the head
of free and just nations, of troubling her, when one warps oneself the
impudent plot to impose the error, in front of the whole world. It is a
crime to mislay the opinion, to use for a spiteful work this opinion,
perverted to the point of becoming delirious. It is a crime to poison
the small and the humble, to exasperate passions of reaction and
intolerance, while taking shelter behind the odious antisemitism, from
which, if not cured, the great liberal France of humans rights will die.
It is a crime to exploit patriotism for works of hatred, and it is a
crime, finally, to turn into to sabre the modern god, when all the
social science is with work for the nearest work of truth and justice.
This truth, this justice, that we so passionately wanted, what a
distress to see them thus souffletées, more ignored and more darkened! I
suspect the collapse which must take place in the heart of Mr.
Scheurer-Kestner, and I believe well that he will end up feeling remorse
for not having acted revolutionarily, the day of questioning at the
Senate, by releasing all the package, [for all to throw to bottom]. He
was the great honest man, the man of his honest life, he believed that
the truth sufficed for itself, especially when it seemed as bright as
the full day. What good is to turn all upside down when the sun was soon
to shine? And it is for this trustful neutrality for which he is so
cruelly punished. The same for Major Picquart, who, for a feeling of
high dignity, did not want to publish the letters of General Gonse.
These scruples honour it more especially as, while there remained
respectful discipline, its superiors covered it with mud, informed
themselves its lawsuit, in the most unexpected and outrageous manner.
There are two victims, two good people, two simple hearts, who waited
for God while the devil acted. And one even saw, for Major Picquart,
this wretched thing: a French court, after having let the rapporteur
charge a witness publicly, to show it of all the faults, made the closed
door, when this witness was introduced to be explained and defend
himself. I say that this is another crime and that this crime will stir
up universal conscience. Decidedly, the military tribunals have a
singular idea of justice.
Such is thus the simple truth, Mr. President, and it is appalling, it
will remain a stain for your presidency. I very much doubt that you have
no capacity in this affair, that you are the prisoner of the
Constitution and your entourage. You do not have of them less one to
have of man, about which you will think, and which you will fulfill. It
is not, moreover, which I despair less of the world of the triumph. I
repeat it with a more vehement certainty: the truth marches on and
nothing will stop it. Today, the affair merely starts, since today only
the positions are clear: on the one hand, the culprits who do not want
the light to come; the other, the carriers of justice who will give
their life to see it come. I said it elsewhere, and I repeat it here:
when one locks up the truth under ground, it piles up there, it takes
there a force such of explosion, that, the day when it bursts, it makes
everything leap out with it. We will see, if we do not prepare for
later, the most resounding of disasters.
But this letter is long, Mr. President, and it is time to conclude.
I accuse Major Du Paty de Clam as the diabolic workman of the
miscarriage of justice, without knowing, I have wanted to believe it,
and of then defending his harmful work, for three years, by the
guiltiest and most absurd of machinations.
I accuse General Mercier of being an accomplice, if by weakness of
spirit, in one of greatest iniquities of the century.
I accuse General Billot of having held in his hands the
unquestionable evidence of Dreyfus's innocence and of suppressing it,
guilty of this crime that injures humanity and justice, with a political
aim and to save the compromised Chie of High Command.
I accuse General De Boisdeffre and General Gonse as accomplices of
the same crime, one undoubtedly by clerical passion, the other perhaps
by this spirit of body which makes offices of the war an infallible
I accuse General De Pellieux and commander Ravary of performing a
rogue investigation, by which I mean an investigation of the most
monstrous partiality, of which we have, in the report of the second, an
imperishable monument of naive audacity.
I accuse the three handwriting experts, sirs Belhomme, Varinard and
Couard, of submitting untrue and fraudulent reports, unless a medical
examination declares them to be affected by a disease of sight and
I accuse the offices of the war of carrying out an abominable press
campaign, particularly in the Flash and the Echo of Paris, to mislead
the public and cover their fault.
Finally, I accuse the first council of war of violating the law by
condemning a defendant with unrevealed evidence, and I accuse the second
council of war of covering up this illegality, by order, by committing
in his turn the legal crime of knowingly discharging the culprit.
While proclaiming these charges, I am not unaware of subjecting
myself to articles 30 and 31 of the press law of July 29, 1881, which
punishes the offense of slander. And it is voluntarily that I expose
As for the people I accuse, I do not know them, I never saw them, I
have against them neither resentment nor hatred. They are for me only
entities, spirits of social evil. And the act I accomplished here is
only a revolutionary mean for hastening the explosion of truth and
I have only one passion, that of the light, in the name of humanity
which has suffered so and is entitled to happiness. My ignited protest
is nothing more than the cry of my heart. That one thus dares to
translate for me into court bases and that the investigation takes place
at the great day! I wait.
Please accept, Mr. President, the assurance of my deep respect.