Émile Zola World Literature Analysis - Essay

Émile Zola World Literature Analysis

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Zola viewed his century as predominantly scientific and saw literature as the best means of observing and studying human forces at work, although he never completely rejected his early Romantic writings. He had been influenced not only by Claude Bernard’s Introduction à l’étude de la médecine expérimentale (1865; Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine, 1927), which dealt with biological determinism and the pathological functioning of the organism, but also by the questionable principles propounded by Prosper Lucas and Jules Michelet regarding hereditary laws. By placing his theory of human conduct in a scientific context, he showed himself to be much more interested in physiology than in...

(The entire section is 3165 words.)