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Abbe Mouret's Transgression

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La Faute de l'Abbé Mouret


(1875)


This is the Fifth novel in Zola's Rougon-Macquart series.


Translated and Edited by English author and journalist Ernest Alfred Vizetelly (1853-1922)


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one of the most beautiful things i've ever read

I wonder that this isn't 10,000 times more popular than it is. I've only read it in English, but still -- it's amazing. It's like a depressive fairy tale (which isn't far from most fairy tales anyway), surreal and heady and intoxicating. It's the story of a preist who falls in love and is forever tortured by it; it's the story of the girl he is never able to fully love because he is always torn towards his idea of God. Here are some quotes that I noted for their particular beauty: So he left her at the end of the garden, sitting in the sunlight on the ground before a hive, whence the bees buzzed like golden berries round her neck, along her bare arms and in her hair, without thought of stinging her. * 'I should like to be a child once more. I should like to be always a child, walking in the shadow of your gown. When I was quite little, I clasped my hands when I uttered the name of Mary. My cradle was white, my body was white, my every thought was white. * And I will rise to your mouth like a subtle flame * He loved God with a love that lifted him out of himself, out of all else, and wrapped him round with a dazzling radiance of glory. He was like a torch that burns away with blazing light. And death seemed to him to be only a great impulse of love.

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