Splendeurs et misères de l’architecture des Rougon-Macquart

With its strong presence in Les Rougon-Macquart, architecture is questioned in all its novelistic potentialities, from its ability to structure the characters’ environment to its soothing durability in an incessantly changing world. Indeed, while being firstly destined to openness and verticality, Zola’s architectural enterprise is shown to be condemned to a collapsing and a leveling both in terms of the story’s events and in terms of the narration and description. In fact, the recurrent visual wasting away of architectural objects liken Zola’s writing not only to impressionism, but also to pictorial abstraction, the ultimate manifestation of the fleeting sentiment that haunts the characters of Les Rougon-Macquart. (In French) (SEK)

El Kettani, Soundous
Volume 2010 Spring-Summer; 38(3-4): 211-227