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That Emile Zola has done well to characterise his creations with the vivid sentiment of modern life rather than the pale dream which reveals to us the past, that he was able to bend, to model, to make serviceable to his purpose the ephemeral habits and customs of our day, few will now deny. But this was only the off-shoot of his genius. That the colour of the nineteenth century with which he clothes the bodies of his heroes and heroines is not always exact, that none other has attempted to spin these garments before, I do not dispute. They will grow threadbare and fall to dust, even as the hide of the megatharium, of which only the colossal bones now remain to us wherewith to construct the fabric of the primeval world. And, in like manner, when the dream of the socialist is realized, when the burden of pleasure and work is proportioned out equally to all, and men live on a more strictly regulated plan than do either the ant or the bee, I believe that the gigantic skeleton of the Rougon-Macquart family will still continue to resist the ravages of time, and that western scientists will refer to it when disputing about the idiosyncrasies of a past civilization.
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Emile Edouard Charles Antoine Zola (2 April 1840 - 29 September 1902) was a French novelist, playwright, journalist, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism, and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'accuse. Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902.

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