Saturday, August 6, 2016

Review: His Excellency Eugène Rougon

His Excellency Eugène Rougon His Excellency Eugène Rougon by Émile Zola
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Politicians and men are different species…

' Yes, beware of women,' Rougon repeated, pausing after each word so as to glance at his papers. ' When a woman does not put a crown on your head she slips a halter round your neck. At our age a man's heart wants as carefully looking after as his stomach.'
(Kindle Locations 710-712)

Then JM. Kahn, gazing blankly into the distance, murmured as though he were speaking to himself : ' A man knows when he falls, but never knows whether he will rise again.'
(Kindle Locations 1053-1055)

Rougon, for his part, sat back and gazed at Clorinde, and gradually fell into a dreamy state in which the girl seemed to him to expand into gigantic proportions. A woman was certainly a wonderful piece of mechanism, he reflected. It was a matter that he had never before thought of studying; but now he began to have vague mental glimpses of extraordinary intricacies. For a moment he was filled with a distinct consciousness of the power of those bare shoulders, which seemed strong enough to shake a world.
(Kindle Locations 1365-1368)
The great man had never before tasted such complete contentment. He felt well and strong, and was putting on flesh. Health had come back to him with his return to power.
(Kindle Locations 4509-4510)

They had thronged around him, hung on to his knees, then to his breast, then to his throat, and finally they had choked him. They had availed themselves of him in every way. They had used his feet to climb with, his hands to plunder with, his jaws to devour with. They had, so to say, used his body as their own, used it for their personal gratification, indulging in every fancy without a thought of the morrow. And now, having drained his body, and hearing its frame-work crack, they abandoned him like rats, whom instinct warns of the approaching collapse of a house, the foundations of which they have undermined.
(Kindle Locations 7197-7202)

' Ah ! ' said she (Clorinde), 'in spite of everything, you (Rougon) are a wonderfully able fellow !'
(Kindle Location 7721)

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