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Émile Zola: “I am waiting for something else. . . .”

November 21, 2016

Émile Zola–quoted from Naturalism on the Stage (1881)—-

“I am waiting for something else. . . .I am waiting for someone to put a man of flesh and bones on the stage, taken from reality, scientifically analyzed, and described without one lie. I am waiting for someone to rid us of fictitious characters, of these symbols of virtue and vice which have no worth as human data. I am waiting for the environment to determine the characters and the characters to act according to the logic of facts combined with the logic of their own dispositions. . . . I am waiting for everyone to throw out the tricks of the trade, the contrived formulas, the tears and superficial laughs. I am waiting for a dramatic work void of declamations, majestic speech, and noble sentiments, to have the unimpeachable morality of truth and to teach us the frightening lesson of sincere investigation.”

Zola may still be waiting. I’ll try to do my part to let him rest. . . .

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