La grande Terre PDF

This article needs additional citations for verification. La grande Terre PDF is the fifteenth novel in Zola’s Rougon-Macquart series.


« Survoler la Terre est un puits sans fond. C’est le travail d’une vie, et même, une vie entière n’y suffira pas. Aujourd’hui, je porte en moi toutes les histoires que cette aventure m’a procurées. Partout où je suis allé, le même constat s’est imposé : le déséquilibre est en marche et il y a urgence. Mais partout des hommes et des femmes se mobilisent pour éviter le pire. Partout les hommes aspirent au bonheur, à la paix, à l’amour.
Ce livre anniversaire est l’occasion de réaliser ce que je n’avais jamais fait jusqu’ici : sélectionner les images « coup de cœur » et j’ai voulu que les commentaires y soient intimes et qu’ils « racontent » tout simplement ce qui pour moi est devenu une fabuleuse histoire.
Les bénéfices de la vente de ce livre seront reversés à l’association GoodPlanet.org, que j’ai créée dans le but d’éveiller le plus grand nombre au développement durable et aux enjeux écologiques du siècle. L’équilibre de la Terre est fragile, nous avons chacun le pouvoir et le devoir de le respecter. »

Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Président de GoodPlanet.org

La Terre describes the steady disintegration of a family of agricultural workers in Second Empire France, in the years immediately before the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. It offers a vivid description of the hardships and brutality of rural life in the late nineteenth century. The novel takes place in the final years of the Second Empire. Jean Macquart, an itinerant farm worker, has come to Rognes, a small village in La Beauce, where he works as a day labourer. He had been a corporal in the French Army, a veteran of the Battle of Solferino.

Midway through the novel, Fouan’s wife dies and, since it seems wasteful for Fouan to retain their marital home, the property is sold, and Fouan goes to live with Fanny and her husband. While Fanny is scrupulously respectful of the conditions of the donations entre vifs, she nevertheless make it clear that she resents his presence. Meanwhile, Françoise and Jean have married. Françoise can no longer remain under the same roof as Buteau, whose sexual overtures are becoming more and more persistent: Lise, jealous of Françoise, insists that her sister is behaving in a deliberately provocative way. Françoise, who is now pregnant with Jean’s child, decides to leave, but demands that Buteau and Lise buy out her share of the house, which the couple cannot afford to do.

Back in the Buteau home, the greedy couple turn their attention to Fouan, whose obstinacy in remaining alive has become a serious financial drain. The Buteaus refuse to pay Jean the money for Françoise’s share of the family home, which is now rightfully his as her next-of-kin. Horrified by his suspicions regarding both his wife’s and Fouan’s deaths, and by the heartlessness of those around him, Jean returns to his wandering, and leaves the region for good. As he leaves, he passes the freshly dug burial mounds of Françoise and Fouan, and the ripe corn in the harvest fields.

The novels contains about 100 characters. Many have multiple names and extended family connections. The novel centers on the Fouans, a 300-year-old peasant farming family « dynasty », and an itinerant carpenter, Jean Macquart, who also appears in two other Zola novels. Badeuil, Charles – married Laure Fouan, and went to live at Chartres. He tried commerce without much success, and, haunted by a desire for rapid fortune, acquired a house of prostitution which had fallen into bad repute through mismanagement. Badeuil, Madame Laure – wife of Charles, was the youngest daughter of Joseph Casimir Fouan. She was the sister of La Grande, of Padre Fouan, and of Michel Fouan, known as Mouche.

When her father’s estate was divided, she got no land, but received an indemnity in money instead. After she and her husband acquired the prostitute establishment in Chartres, she assisted ably in its management. Badeuil, Estelle – daughter of Charles and Madame Badeuil, was educated by the Sisters of the Visitation at Chateaudun, and at eighteen was married to Hector Vaucogne, by whom she had one daughter, Elodie. Bécu – gamekeeper and bell-ringer at Rognes, was a man of fifty years of age who had at one time been in the army.