It all seemed a hollow sham now - that strict code, that conscientious virtue that condemned her to the sterile joys of pious women! No, no, she'd had enough of that; she wanted to live!

Emile Zola

Emile Zola

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: French

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Jean-Louis had never had a day's illness in his life. He was tall and as gnarled as an oak. The sun had baked his skin until it had the colour and toughness and stillness of a tree. With advancing years, he had lost his tongue. He now never spoke, considering such an activity pointless.

But his doubts were again coming back to him; when you needed a miracle to gain belief, it means that you are incapable of believing. There is no need for the Almighty to prove His existence.

I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul.

Sin became a luxury, a flower set in her hair, a diamond fastened on her brow.

Oh, Justice, what frightful despair oppresses our hearts!

There's only one thing that warms my heart, and that is the thought that we are going to sweep away these bourgeois.

No, the only good in life lay in not being - or, if one had to be, then in being a tree, a stone, or even less than that, the grain of sand that cannot bleed beneath the grinding heel of a passer-by.

In my view you cannot claim to have seen something until you have photographed it.

Things were definitely going badly. The night looked like ending in disaster. In one corner of the room Maria Blond had started squabbling with Léa de Horn, whom she accused of sleeping with men who weren't really rich.

Why then should money be blamed for all the dirt and crimes it causes? For is love less filthy - love which creates life?

The thought is a deed. Of all deeds she fertilizes the world most.

Boredom was at the root of Lazare's unhappiness, an oppressive, unremitting boredom, exuding from everything like the muddy water of a poisoned spring. He was bored with leisure, with work, with himself even more than with others. Meanwhile he blamed his own idleness for it, he ended by being ashamed of it.

If something's just, I'll let myself be hacked to bits for it.

Never subject to the rules, believing that the correct judgement and healthy nature keep her in the honesty she lived in.