Happy Birthday, Émile

zolaFrom the Writers’ Almanac about one of my favorite authors:

Today is the birthday of the French novelist and journalist Émile Zola (books by this author), born in Paris (1840). He invented a new style of fiction writing that he called Naturalism, which he defined as “nature seen through a temperament.” He had been inspired by Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1839), and he decided to try applying scientific principles of observation to the practice of writing fiction. The result was a 20-novel cycle, a kind of fictional documentary about the influence of heredity and environment on an extended family. It was called Les Rougon-Macquart. Some of the novels of the cycle include The Drunkard (1877), Nana (1880), and Germinal (1885).

Zola said, “The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”

And, “If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.”