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Doctor Pascal (Les Rougon-Macquart #20)

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  496 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
This, the last of the Rougon-Macquart series, is the most personal of Zola's novels. Not only is Pascal, the scientist at loggerheads with religious bigotry, a mouth-piece for so much of Zola's own philosophy, but his niece, Clotilde, with whom he falls in love as he wins her over to his views, is an idealized portrait of Jeanne Rozerot, Zola's mistress, who was over twent ...more
Paperback, Bestseller Library, 296 pages
Published 1961 by Paul Elek (first published 1893)
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Scarlett
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
"Doktor Paskal" je poslednji roman serijala o Rugon-Makarovima i shodno tome, predstavlja konačnu potvrdu Zolinih teorija o nasleđu i zaokruženje priče o ovoj porodici. Jedini roman koji se možda ne treba čitati bez prethodnog predznanja o Zoli i Paskalovoj porodici. Knjiga je objavljena 1893. godine i nakon skoro dvadeset godina od početka svog projekta, Zola kao da je ublažio svoje teorije i povremeno se nazire njegovo priznanje da nije genetska predispozicija sve u razvoju pojedinca, tu je i ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
In posting my comments on The Debacle, I said of this last book in the series I don't expect the drama, but rather a "wrapping up." I could not have been more mistaken. Of the fourteen chapters, only a few paragraphs in Chapter 4 is a recap of what has preceded in the series. Nearly all of the remainder is very dramatic.

Dr. Pascal is the family genealogist and much of his scientific study has been about heredity. Dr. Pascal tells his niece about the family tree:
And it is also a historical docum
...more
J.M. Hushour
Well, I did it. I read all 20 goddamn volumes of 'Les Rougon-Macquart', one of the finest monuments to fiction's tackling the human spirit ever. A rich panoply of characters terrible and sympathetic, all based in Zola's simple idea that human shittiness/kindness is somehow genetic. He was mostly wrong but the novels are overall outstanding in their own right. I could recommend almost all of them with a whole heart.
Unfortunately, the project ends with a whimper not a bang with the sad-sack, yawn-
...more
Gill
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a great feeling to have reached the end of reading the 20 books of the Rougon Maquart series.

What a pity that this final book is only available in such a poor translation. This very much detracted from my enjoyment of this story, which ties up most of the loose ends of the series.

I'm going to miss my bimonthly read of Zola!
Rosa Ramôa
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Acredito que o futuro da humanidade reside no progresso da razão através da ciência.Acredito que as verdades cientificas,continuamente acrescentadas,acabarão por dar ao ser humano um poder incalculável e trazer-lhe a serenidade,senão mesmo a felicidade".
Friederike
Disclaimer: I haven't read any of the other Rougon-Marquart novels (this is the last of 20 by the way) so clearly my opinion about this book is 100% reliable.

Let's get this started with some background information about Zola's programmatic essay "The experimental novel"; "experimental" here does not mean using an unconventional style or language, but refers to scientific experiments. According to Zola, then, the novel should provide a scientific experiment concerning human behaviour (under the i
...more
Perry Whitford
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doctor Pascal is a zealous 19th century man of science, using his own two-branched family tree of the Rogoun-Marquarts to formulate his comprehensive theory of Hereditary. He has raised his niece Clothilde who assists him in his work, but her religious fervor brings them into conflict as she fears for his soul, which has no place for God.

Their differences, then their unlikely sympathies, become centred on his vast collection of documents related to five generation of the clan which initially she
...more
Citronnade
Honnêtement je me sens un peu frustrée par cette lecture : j'aurais vraiment voulu terminer la série des Rougon-Macquart sur une note positive, mais je n'ai pas réussi à rentrer dans ce roman, à part dans les toutes dernières pages.

Ça partait plutôt bien pourtant, il y avait des éléments que j'ai vraiment appréciés : les réflexions sur les avancées de la science, le bilan sur chaque membre de la famille, le fait de revoir Plassans et des personnages comme la tante Dide, l'oncle Macquart, Félicit
...more
Mélodie
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
Je dois d’abord dire que je n’ai pas fini ce livre. Peut-être que je vais le faire un jour, mais pour l’instant, ça me rend vraiment mal à l’aise et je vais essayer d’expliquer pourquoi.
J’adore vraiment Zola et j’adore son style d’écriture. Mais j’ai l’impression que ce livre est profondément différent des autres qu’il a écrits et pas dans le bon sens. Peut-être qu’il a essayé de trouver un ton diffèrent pour son dernier livre, qui est comme il dit « le résumé et la conclusion de toute son œuvr
...more
Teresa
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last volume of the saga where Zola directly writes down his theory on inherited physical and moral characteristics across a family, as well as his take on how to live a happy life. I liked the book but Pascal and Clotilde's relationship felt too centred on Pascal, the "master", the "maker" of Clotilde. Despite Zola's liberal view on women, their rights and so on, I'm too much of the 21st century to like it.
Longer review to come.
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Émile François Zola was an influential French novelist, the most important example of the literary school of naturalism, and a major figure in the political liberalization of France.

More than half of Zola's novels were part of a set of 20 books collectively known as Les Rougon-Macquart. Unlike Balzac who in the midst of his literary career resynthesized his work into La Comédie Humaine, Zola from
...more
More about Émile Zola...

Other Books in the Series

Les Rougon-Macquart (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Fortune of the Rougons (Les Rougon-Macquart, #1)
  • La Curée (Les Rougon-Macquart, #2)
  • The Belly of Paris (Les Rougon-Macquart, #3)
  • La Conquête de Plassans
  • La Faute de l'abbé Mouret (Les Rougon-Macquart, #5)
  • Son Excellence Eugène Rougon (Les Rougon-Macquart, #6)
  • L'Assommoir (The Dram Shop) (Les Rougon-Macquart, #7)
  • Une Page d'amour (Les Rougon-Macquart, #8)
  • Nana (Les Rougon-Macquart, #9)
  • Pot Luck (Les Rougon-Macquart, #10)
“And, in the warm silence, in the peaceful solitude of the study, Clotilde smiled down at the baby who was still sucking - his little arm in the air, pointing upwards, a symbol of hope and life.” 2 likes
“Essentially, Doctor Pascal's only faith was his faith in life. Life was the unique manifestation of the divine. Life was God, the great motive power, the soul of the universe. And the sole instrument of life was heredity, which made the world; so that if one could only understand it, master it and make it do one's bidding, one could remake the world at will.” 2 likes
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