The experimental novel and other essays
of the scientific evolution of the age; it continues and completes physiology, whichleans on physics and chemistry (176). Zola asserts that by replacing the word doctor with the word novelist he will be able to make his thought clear and bring it to the rigor of scientific truth (162). He concludes this point with, in our scientific age, experiment ought to provide proof of genius (184). His comments on the idealists are not favorable. Understanding that Zola is using Bernards work is crucial to following Zolas line of reasoning throughout his essay; Zola refers to Bernards Introduction to underline, or bring emphasis to, nearly every point or argument he asserts within The Experimental Novel. In one example he states that the idealist writers leave observation and experiment to base their works on the supernatural and the irrational (emphasis mine 177). Since we are experimenters without being practitioners, we must be content to seek out the determinism of social phenomena, leaving to legislators, to those with power of application, the task sooner or later of directing these phenomenato develop the good and reduce the bad from. Search, catalog Search, bibliographic search (Title, Author, Subject, isbn/issn, Publisher, Series Title, or Year of Publication) of all HathiTrust items, experimental Search. Private Collection by searching or browsing to find items of interest and then adding them to a collection. Build View Custom Collections, go to, public Collections to browse other people's collections. In his essay, The Experimental Novel, Emile Zola relies heavily upon Claude Bernards Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine.
In a word we work with the whole age at that great task which is the conquest of nature, the unleashing of mans power (181). We show the mechanism of the useful or the harmful; we disengage the determinism of social phenomena so that we may one day control and direct these phenomena. Does knowing how Zola viewed his work change your reading of LAssommoir? (See also middle referencing an essay in an essay of page 178.). In short, Zola sees the naturalist novelists role to be experimental moralists (181). Zola states Bernards book is set forth with force and marvelous clarity (Zola 162). My questions are these: Can a novelist truly experiment upon, or only observe, his characters when he is their creator and writes every movement and breath they take? Zola explains that rather they are determinists (179). He defends naturalists against the accusation that they are fatalists. Zola also makes a point to highlight the differences between the idealist novelists and the naturalists. Items from these collections can be copied into your own private collection. We novelists, he states, are examining magistrates of men and their passions (168).