Worlds of Work and the Work of Words: Zola

  • Susan Harrow
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)


This chapter draws on correspondence, interart analogies, literary fiction, and art criticism and autobiography studies in order to probe Zola’s complex, often contradictory experience of work and his textual negotiations of that everyday experience of exasperation and, occasionally, exhilaration. Situating Zola’s physical and psychic struggle for his craft in a frame that originates with the classical artist Apelles and expands to include contemporary interlocutors of Zola such as Manet, Cézanne, Mallarmé, and Flaubert, this chapter explores the multiple intersecting worlds of work in Zola’s texts (both narrative and epistolary) and probes how words themselves work to articulate the modern writer’s equivocal engagement with work and time.


Clocks Correspondence Craft Émile Zola Habitat Habits Manet Médan Stéphane Mallarmé Timekeeping 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Harrow
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BristolBristolUK

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