Germinal roman von Emile zola - Germinal - novel by Emile Zola. First and rare German edition [c. 1900] with a picture of Emile Zola next to the title page, published by Dalle A. D. Specially designed cover with illustration of the novel's protagonist. On the protective page is an interesting wax seal of nobility with a hand signature (not recognized by us).
Germinal is the thirteenth novel in Emile Zoola's twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. It deals with protecting the rights of coal miners in the 1860s. The townspeople's lives revolve around the mine, the schedule, and the strict rules under which they must work. Into their difficult routine appears an idealistic young man who shakes up the existing order by convincing the miners to demand the rights they deserve. The novel was published in 1885, and it was the first work in which Zola led a struggle on behalf of the weak, even before he stood by Dreyfus' side. The details surrounding the plot are based on Zola's own visits to the mining area - in 1884 Zola himself arrived at the mines in Anzin, he posed as the secretary of a member of the French Chamber of Deputies, went down to the pits dressed in city clothes, with a high stiff collar, when he noticed a horse descending into the coal tunnels, Zola asked the miners: "How do you get the horse into the mine every day and take it out?" The miners, realizing that he was asking seriously, replied: "The horse comes down here once, when he's a little foal, he grows down here, after a year or two he goes blind due to lack of light, he keeps working, until he can't work anymore, and then he's buried down here". Zola describes this scene in Germinal and hints that the horses are the miners themselves who were lowered underground as children, they have been mining coal in the pit since they were young, until they can no longer dig and there they are buried...
The novel is considered Zola's masterpiece and one of the most successful novels in the French tradition, and has been translated in over a hundred countries. At Zola's funeral, crowds of workers gathered, cheering with shouts of "Germinal! Germinal!". Since its publication until today, the book symbolizes the struggle of the workers for freedom and justice. The novel was followed by five film adaptations and two television productions.
This edition is not known in bibliographies. The WorldCat library catalog shows later German editions of the book, but this edition does not appear at all in WorldCat. (The identification of this edition as the first German edition was made based on the words of the publisher in the introduction to the book, that this is the first time that German readers will also be able to read Zola's Germinal).
488 p. 18 cm. Age stains on some pages. Good condition.