EMILE ZOLA QUOTES

French writer (1840-1902)

Emile Zola quote

If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.

EMILE ZOLA, attributed, Dreyfus: His Life and Letters

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Tags: truth


Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.

EMILE ZOLA, attributed, The Heretic's Handbook of Quotations: Cutting Comments on Burning Issues

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Tags: religion


If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, I will answer you: "I am here to live out loud."

EMILE ZOLA, attributed, And I Quote

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Tags: artists


Truth is on the march; nothing can stop it now.

EMILE ZOLA, manifesto, Le Figaro

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I do not seek to defend myself.... My work will defend me. It is a work of truth, the first novel of the people which does not lie and which possesses the odour of the people. And one must not conclude that all the lower classes are bad, for my characters are not bad, they are only ignorant and spoilt by the surroundings of rough work and misery amidst which they live. Only, it is necessary to read my novels, to understand them, to see them clearly as a whole, before entertaining the grotesque and odious judgments formed beforehand, which are circulating about my person and my works. Ah! If it were only known how my friends laugh at the amazing legend which serves to amuse the crowd! If it were only known that the blood-drinker, the ferocious novelist, is a worthy citizen, a man of study and art, living discreetly in his corner, and whose sole ambition is to leave behind him a work as vast and lifelike as he can.

EMILE ZOLA, preface, The Assommoir

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The past was but the cemetery of our illusions: one simply stubbed one's toes on the gravestones.

EMILE ZOLA, The Masterpiece

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Tags: past


Everything is only a dream.

EMILE ZOLA, La Reve

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Tags: dreams


Classical education has deformed everything, and has imposed upon us as geniuses men of correct, facile talent, who follow the beaten track.

EMILE ZOLA, The Masterpiece

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Tags: genius


If people can just love each other a little bit, they can be so happy.

EMILE ZOLA, Germinal

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Tags: love


My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul.

EMILE ZOLA, "J'accuse!"

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A new dynasty is never founded without a struggle. Blood makes good manure.

EMILE ZOLA, The Fortune of the Rougons

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Respectable people ... What bastards!

EMILE ZOLA, The Belly of Paris

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A god of kindness would be charitable to all. Your god of wrath and punishment is but a monstrous phantasy.

EMILE ZOLA, Truth

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Tags: God


One forges one's style on the terrible anvil of daily deadlines.

EMILE ZOLA, Le Figaro

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

EMILE ZOLA, attributed, Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography

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Tags: photography


If I cannot overwhelm with my quality, I will overwhelm with my quantity.

EMILE ZOLA, attributed, And I Quote

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Oh, the fools, like a lot of good little schoolboys, scared to death of anything they've been taught is wrong!

EMILE ZOLA, The Masterpiece

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Yes! live life with every fibre of one's being, surrender oneself to it, with no thoughts of rebellion, without deluding oneself that one can improve it and render it painless.

EMILE ZOLA, Le Docteur Pascal

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Tags: life


When you have a sorrow that is too great it leaves no room for any other.

EMILE ZOLA, La Bete Humaine

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Tags: sorrow


We are told of the honor of the army; we are supposed to love and respect it. Ah, yes, of course, an army that would rise to the first threat, that would defend French soil, that army is the nation itself, and for that army we have nothing but devotion and respect. But this is not about that army, whose dignity we are seeking, in our cry for justice. What is at stake is the sword, the master that will one day, perhaps, be forced upon us. Bow and scrape before that sword, that god? No!

EMILE ZOLA, an open letter to French President Felix Faure on the scandal known as the Dreyfuss Affair, "J'accuse!", L'Aurore, Jan. 13, 1898

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