Thérèse Raquin


Thérèse Raquin

infobox Book |
name = Thérèse Raquin
title_orig = Thérèse Raquin
translator = Robin Buss


image_caption = Cover of the 1994 Penguin Classics Edition paperback deletable image-caption
author = Émile Zola
cover_artist = Edgar Degas
country = France
language = French
series =
genre = Naturalism, Psychological novel
publisher = Penguin Group (U.S.)
release_date = 1867
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages =
isbn =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
"Thérèse Raquin" is a novel by Émile Zola, first published in 1867. It was originally published in serial format in the journal "L'Artiste". It was published in book format in December of the same year. In 1873, Zola turned "Thérèse Raquin" into a play.

Plot introduction

"Thérèse Raquin" tells the story of a young woman, unhappily married to her first cousin by a well-intentioned and overbearing aunt. Her cousin, Camille, is sickly and selfish, and when the opportunity arises, Thérèse enters into a tragic affair with one of Camille's friends, Laurent.

In his preface, Zola explains that his goal in this novel was to "study temperaments and not characters" and he compares the novel to a scientific study. [ Zola, Emile. "Préface de la deuxième édition." "Thérèse Raquin". Paris: Livre de Poche, 1997.] Because of this detached and scientific approach, "Thérèse Raquin" is considered an example of Naturalism.

Explanation of the novel's title

The name of the heroine is taken from two separate etymologies:
*Thérèse (or "Theresa") means "one who reaps" and comes from the Greek "therizein", or "harvest." [ [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%2348426 Online Greek-English Lexicon] ]
* Raquin comes from the argot verb "raquer", which means "to pay" [ [http://www.languefrancaise.net/glossaire/detail.php?id=3467 Online Argot Dictionary] in French]

Together, the title can be seen as "the one who reaps, pays." This could thus allude to the proverb "you reap what you sow."Fact|date=September 2008

Plot summary

Thérèse Raquin is the daughter of a French captain and an Algerian mother. After the death of her mother, her father brings her to live with her aunt, Madame Raquin, and her sickly son, Camille. Because her son is so ill, Madame Raquin dotes on Camille to the point where he is selfish and spoiled. Camille and Thérèse grow up side-by-side, and Madame Raquin marries them together when Thérèse is 21. Shortly thereafter, Camille decides that the family should move to Paris so he can pursue a career.

Thérèse and Madame Raquin set up shop in the Passage du Pont Neuf to support Camille while he searches for a job. Camille eventually begins working for the Orléans Railroad Company, where he meets up with a childhood friend, Laurent. Laurent visits the Raquins and decides to take up an affair with the lonely Thérèse, mostly because he cannot afford prostitutes anymore. However, this soon turns into a torrid love affair.

Thérèse and Laurent conspire to drown Camille while out on a boat trip. This enables them to marry, but their guilt comes between them. They imagine they see the dead man in their bedroom every night, preventing them from touching each other and quickly driving them insane. Laurent, who is an artist, cannot paint a picture (even a landscape) which does not in some way resemble the dead man. They also have to look after Madame Raquin, who suffered a stroke after Camille's death. Madame Raquin suffers a second stroke and becomes completely paralyzed except for her eyes (as in locked-in syndrome) [cite journal |author=Pearce JM |title=The locked in syndrome |journal=Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) |volume=294 |issue=6566 |pages=198–9 |year=1987 |pmid=3101806 |doi=] .

During an evening's game of dominoes with friends (an attempt to keep up a facade of normality) she manages to move her finger with an extreme effort of will to trace words on the table: "Thérèse et Laurent ont t..." The complete sentence was intended to be "Thérèse et Laurent ont tué Camille" (Thérèse and Laurent killed Camille). At this point her strength gives out, and the words are interpreted as "Thérèse and Laurent look after me very well".

Eventually, Thérèse and Laurent find life together intolerable and plot to kill each other. At the climax of the novel, the two are about to kill one another when Therese breaks down and admits that she was about to kill Laurent with a table knife, and he admits that he has bought poison. They embrace passionately one last time, then both commit suicide by taking the poison.

Characters in "Thérèse Raquin"

* Thérèse Raquin - the eponymous heroine, she is the orphaned daughter of Madame Raquin's brother and an unknown Algerian woman
* Camille Raquin - Thérèse's husband and first cousin.
* Madame Raquin - Camille's mother and Thérèse's aunt. She works as a shopkeeper to support her son.
* Laurent - a childhood friend and coworker of Camille who seduces Thérèse
* Michaud - the police commissioner and friend of Madame Raquin
* Olivier - Michaud's son who works at the police prefecture
* Suzanne - Olivier's wife
* Grivet - an elderly employee of the Orléans Railroad Company, where Camille works
* François - the Raquins' cat

Major themes

Temperaments

In his preface to the second edition, Zola writes that he intended to "study temperaments and not characters." To his main characters, he assigns various humors: Thérèse is nervous, Laurent is sanguine, and Camille is lymphatic. For Zola, the interactions of these types of personalities could only have the result that plays out in his plot.

Human beast

Also in his preface, Zola calls both Thérèse and Laurent "human brutes," and the characters are often given animalistic tendencies. Zola would take up this idea again in his La Bête humaine of 1890.

Mechanical man

Similar to the human beast who acts based on instinct, the mechanical man acts like an "unthinking machine." [ [http://www.aigloncollege.com/langlink/fprintable/jmm/therese.htm Thérèse Raquin ] ]

Literary significance and reception

"Thérèse Raquin" is generally considered to be Zola's first major work.

Upon its release in 1867, "Thérèse Raquin" was a commercial and artistic success for Zola; enough so that it was reprinted in book form in 1868. It gained additional publicity when critic Louis Ulbach (pen name: Ferragus) called "Thérèse Raquin" "putrid" in a long diatribe [Ferragus. "La littérature putride." "Le Figaro." 23 January 1868.] , upon which Zola capitalized for publicicty and to which he referred in his preface to the second edition.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

Zola adapted the novel into a play which was first staged in 1873.

Recent stage productions include:

*2006 for the Royal National Theatre, London, adaptation written by Nicholas Wright.
*2007 production of the Nicholas Wright adaptation by Quantum Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA. Staged in the empty swimming pool of the Carnegie Library in Braddock, PA.
*2008 production at Riverside Studios, London, adaptation by Pauline McLynn.The novel was made into several films, including:

*A 1915 silent film adaptation, which was made in Italy. It was directed by Nino Martoglio.
*Thérèse Raquin (1928 film) A German silent film
*A 1953 French adaptation with Simone Signoret.
*A 1956 German Made-for-TV movie adaptation.
*A 1965 Swedish Made-for-TV movie adaptation.
*A 1966 German Made-for-TV movie adaptation.
*A 1977 Mexican tv series adaptation.
*A 1979 Belgian Made-for-TV movie adaptation.
*A 1980 BBC serial adaptation starring Kate Nelligan as Thérèse.
*A 1985 Italian mini-series adaptation.
*There is a new film adaptation planned for release in 2008.

An opera based on the novel has been written by the composer Michael Finnissy. Another opera "Thérèse Raquin" by Tobias Picker opened in 2000.

The novel was also made into a Broadway musical entitled "Thou Shalt Not", with music composition by Harry Connick, Jr..

The novel (rewritten in the style of James M. Cain) was the basis of the play "The Artificial Jungle" by Charles Ludlam.

Publication history

*1867, France, Lacroix Dec 1867, hardback

ources, references, external links, quotations

External links

*gutenberg|no=7461|name=Thérèse Raquin (French)
*gutenberg|no=6626|name=Theresa Raquin (English translation)

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Thérèse Raquin — ist der Name des dritten von Émile Zola verfassten Romans, der 1867 erschien. Der Roman brachte dem damals 27jährigen Zola den literarischen Durchbruch in Paris. 1873 adaptierte er den Roman zum gleichnamigen Theaterstück. Zola beabsichtigte laut …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Thérèse Raquin —    1) Drame de Jacques Feyder, avec Gina Manes (Thérèse), Wolfgang Zilzer (Camille), Jeanne Marie Laurent (la mère Raquin), Adalbert von Schlettow (Laurent).   Scénario: Fanny Carlsen, Willy Haas, d après le roman d Émile Zola   Photographie:… …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

  • Thérèse Raquin — Este artículo o sección sobre literatura necesita ser wikificado con un formato acorde a las convenciones de estilo. Por favor, edítalo para que las cumpla. Mientras tanto, no elimines este aviso puesto el 13 de abril de 2010. También puedes… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Therese Raquin (film, 1953) — Thérèse Raquin (film, 1953) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Thérèse Raquin (homonymie). Thérèse Raquin Titre original Thérèse Raquin Réalisation Marcel Carné Acteurs principaux Simone Signoret (Thé …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Thérèse raquin (film, 1953) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Thérèse Raquin (homonymie). Thérèse Raquin Titre original Thérèse Raquin Réalisation Marcel Carné Acteurs principaux Simone Signoret (Thé …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Thérèse Raquin (1928 film) — Thérèse Raquin (1928) is the third silent film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Émile Zola, directed by Jacques Feyder. The movie was produced by Defa in Germany, with German and French actors, in a French German co production, to be… …   Wikipedia

  • Therese Raquin (homonymie) — Thérèse Raquin (homonymie) Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Thérèse Raquin, un roman d Émile Zola Thérèse Raquin, un film réalisé par Jacques Feyder, d après le roman éponyme Thérèse… …   Wikipédia en Français


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