Fiction & Literature

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill

The Red and the Black

Stendhal

 Julien Sorel, the ambitious son of a carpenter in the fictional village of Verrières, in Franche-Comté, France, would rather read and daydream about the glorious victories of Napoleon's long-disbanded army than work in his father'...

The Chartreuse of Parma

Stendhal

The Charterhouse of Parma chronicles the adventures of the young Italian nobleman Fabrice del Dongo from his birth in 1798 to his death. Fabrice spends his early years in his family's castle on Lake Como, while most of the rest of the novel is set in...

The Downfall

Emile Zola

The novel starts in the summer of 1870, when after serious diplomatic tensions, France has declared war on Prussia (the nucleus of Germany which was then emerging as one nation out of a number of disparate cities, regions and principalities). The Fre...

The Fortune of the Rougons

Emile Zola

After a stirring opening on the eve of the coup d'état, involving an idealistic young village couple joining up with the republican militia in the middle of the night, Zola then spends the next few chapters going back in time to pre-Revolution...

His Masterpiece

Emile Zola

Painter Claude Lantier advocates painting real subjects in real places, most notably outdoors. This is in stark contrast to the artistic establishment, where artists painted in the studio and concentrated on mythological, historical and religious sub...

The Ladies' Paradise

Emile Zola

The events of Au Bonheur des Dames cover approximately 1864-1869. The novel tells the story of Denise Baudu, a 20-year-old woman from Valognes who comes to Paris with her younger brothers and begins working as a saleswoman at the department store "Au...

Germinal

Emile Zola

The novel's central character is Étienne Lantier, previously seen in L'Assommoir (1877), and originally to have been the central character in Zola's "murder on the trains" thriller La Bête humaine (1890) before the overwhelmingly positiv...

Theresa Raquin

Emile Zola

Thérèse Raquin is the daughter of a French sea-captain and an Algerian mother. After her mother's death, her father takes her to live with her aunt, Madame Raquin, and Camille, her valetudinarian son. Because her son is "so ill", Madame...

This Is Not A Story

Denis Diderot

There are two different stories in This is not a story. The first recounts the story of Tanié, who is in love with a venal and greedy woman, Madame Reymer. Tanié goes off to Saint-Domingue for ten years to make a fortune for her. Madame...

Les Bijoux Indiscrets(The Indiscreet Toys)

Denis Diderot

Sultan Mangogul of Congo is bored with life at court and suspects his mistress Mirzoza of infidelity. A genie presents him with a magical ring that has unique properties. When the ring is rubbed and pointed at the vagina of any woman the vagina begin...