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Touching Full-Page Manuscript Quoting the Final Lines of his Novel, “La Reve”

Signed by Emile Zola

Item: 21181
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ZOLA, EMILE. (1840-1902). French novelist; author of the famous newspaper article, J’Accuse…! written in defense of Alfred Dreyfus, the French-Jewish officer unjustly convicted of treason in 1894. AQS. (“Emile Zola”). 1p. 8vo. N.p., N.d. The closing lines of his novel Le Rêve. In French with translation.

“Félicien was left holding only a very soft and very tender form, this wedding dress, all lace and pearls, the handful of light feathers, still lukewarm, of a bird. For a long time, he had felt certain that he had a shadow. The vision, come from the invisible, was returning to the invisible. It was merely an apparition, which was fading, after having created an illusion. Everything is but a dream. And, at the height of happiness, Angélique had disappeared, in the little breath of a kiss.”

Photo of Emile Zola

Emile Zola

Before the start of his literary career, Zola worked in sales at the publishing firm Louis-Christophe-Francois-Hachette, supplementing his income by penning newspaper columns. In 1865, he published his novel La confession de Claude, the sordid nature of which got him fired and attracted police attention. Zola’s 20-novel series and masterpiece Les Rougon Macquart, of which the 1888 novel Le Rêve (The Dream) is the 16th volume. The work tells the story of the orphan Angélique who falls in love with a nobleman, Félicien. However, their marriage is opposed by Félicien’s father. A heartbroken Angélique falls ill because of their unconsummated love and, because of her frail state, dies on the steps of the cathedral upon her eventual marriage to Félicien. Our quotation, from Chapter XVII, immediately follows the passage detailing their kiss and Angélique’s death, and concludes the novel.

In addition to his groundbreaking and popular novels, Zola wrote several pieces of significant non-fiction that championed social causes. His famous article J’Accuse…! published in the January 13, 1898, edition of the newspaper L’Aurore and his collection of essays entitled La Vérité en Marche took up the cause of the unjustly accused French army captain Alfred Dreyfus. Zola died under mysterious circumstances (asphyxiation due to a backed-up chimney in his home) causing many historians to suspect that he fell victim to Dreyfus’s enemies.

Broadly signed. Dust stained and mounted to a slightly larger sheet. In very good condition.

Touching Full-Page Manuscript Quoting the Final Lines of his Novel, “La Reve”

Signed by Emile Zola

$2000 • item #21181

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