Title: Masterpiece

Author: Emile Zola

Translator: Ali Akbar Masoom Beigi

Publisher: Look

Subject: French stories

Age category: Adult

Cover: Paperback

Number of pages: 526 p

Language: Farsi



The masterpiece in the series of novels “Rogun Makar” is the only story that has the color and smell of a personal autobiography.

In this book, many of Zola’s friends, such as Bale, Wallaberg, Alexis, Solari, Baba Tangi (Zola himself in the form of Sandor), and finally many of Cézanne’s characteristics can be recognized in the first character of the story, the painter Claude Lantier.

The masterpiece is the story of a young man who paints a rainy night when he meets a girl who is left in the rain and has no shelter. He takes her home and in the morning the girl leaves his house. Her daughter, Claude, whose whole effort is to create a masterpiece in painting,

On the other hand, he falls in love with a young girl. They find each other and get married, but Claude is still trying to create a masterpiece, and in this way he is not afraid to sacrifice his child and his wife to achieve an ideal that he believes will change the world.

The masterpiece is another work by the famous French author Emile Zola, who has written unique novels during his lifetime.
The masterpiece book may not be a masterpiece despite its name and, of course, compared to other books by the author, but Zola’s pen undoubtedly attracts every reader.

In the field of literature, Zola has created a 20-volume collection that depicts the story of the Rogen Makar family over different generations. The masterpiece book is the fourteenth volume of this collection and deals with the life of a painter.

About the author:
Emile Zola was one of the founders of the school of naturalism and a French libertarian. Emile Zola was born on April 2, 1840 in Paris.

But his family soon moved from Paris. His father died when he was not more than 6 years old and left them a small amount of money.

He and his mother were forced to live among the poor, so Emile Zola became accustomed to the harsh lives of the poor.

Zola soon realized that he was not created to go to school and study, and that writing was his main interest. So he and his older friend Paul Cézanne (a painter) set out to escape school.

He was the son of Francis Zola and Emily Abrout. He grew up in Aix-en-Wing. Due to severe financial problems that he faced after the death of his father, he was forced to do various administrative work.
After a while, he started writing literary columns in newspapers. He was an outspoken critic of Napoleon. One of his first published works was his autobiography in 1865, which was critically acclaimed.

Arguably his most controversial and politically influential work is J accuse (I Accuse!) (1898), an open letter to the then President of France.

Zola’s revealing and controversial letter prompted French lawmakers in 1905 to separate church affairs from the government.

The court sentenced him to prison for spreading lies, but Zola fled to England. He returned to France when the charges against him were forgotten.

Upon his return to France, he continued to write, leaving behind several other works. Emil Zola died on September 29, 1902 at his home in Paris.
Emile Zola’s friendship with Paul Cézanne began around this time, and the painter always supported his little friend Emile.

When Emile Zola became a prominent writer, he was well acquainted with the painters of that period and was a staunch supporter of the Impressionist movement, but with the publication of the masterpiece book, Zola’s frustration with the Impressionist movement became apparent.

Zola believed that his friends had sacrificed theme, color, light and technique, and that all of them were nothing more than a handful of bankrupt artists.

In the masterpiece, Emile Zola has no mercy on his longtime friend, Paul Cézanne, and targets him in the main character of his book.

Thus, the publication of the masterpiece, in addition to being a severe blow to the Impressionists, also greatly disappointed Paul Cézanne.

Cézanne, who was very upset, was most upset, and after receiving the book, he wrote a short note to Zola, after which he severed all ties with her. Paul Cézanne’s note was as follows:

Dear Emil, I received the masterpiece novel that you sent by grace. I thank author Rogun Makar for this loving reminder of past memories, and I ask him to allow me to shake his hand in remembrance of the past.

About the masterpiece book
The story of this novel is about “Claude Lantier”. He is an ambitious and unknown painter whose thought of creating a magnificent work of art has taken over his whole being.

He seeks to create a masterpiece that will have an impact on the audience, a work that will transform the audience so much that he will never be able to continue his normal life before seeing the painting.

This temptation is always with him and he does not miss a single moment throughout the novel.

The opening scene of the book is that Claude returns home late one night and meets a young girl in the rain in front of the house.

He mercifully leads her to her room and lets her stay overnight.

But since Claude’s whole life is painting and working on different paintings, he suddenly feels that he has to paint the face and body of this beautiful girl, who only realized her beauty in the morning.

In a part of the book it is said about this:
The girl in the heat of the greenhouse came out of the window, pulled back her quilt, and lay unconscious from the tiredness of the night, lying in the middle of a stream of sunshine, unaware of anything;

Overwhelmed in a feverish sleep, one of the buttons on the top of his shirt was unbuttoned and his sleeve was down, so that a corner of his chest could be seen.

His skin was almost emaciated and satin smoothly. His right arm was under his neck, his head was on his back, and his black wig was strewn like a dark shroud.

“Wow, how beautiful,” Claude whispered again.
Seeing this scene, Claude goes crazy painting. According to him, when it comes to painting, he is even willing to sacrifice his parents.

It is easy to say: Claude is crazy about painting, not life. In fact, in order to achieve his lofty ideal in painting, Claude has no qualms about sacrificing his whole being and existence, his parents and even his child to achieve the masterpiece he has in mind, a work that is supposed to transform the art world at once. Slowly

In the continuation of the masterpiece book, we will get more acquainted with Claude’s thoughts, concerns and friends.
Among his friends, we meet a person named “Sandoz”. Claude’s childhood friend who is a writer. It can be clearly seen that Sandoz also represents Emil Zola’s character.

Therefore, critics say that the masterpiece book is the only book in the series of Zola novels that has the color and smell of the author’s story. There are other people in the book whose characters are taken from their friends Emile Zola.

However, in the rest of the novel, we see that Claude’s thirst for a masterpiece grows day by day, and it is at this point that Christine – the book’s protagonist – re-enters and thanks Claude for sheltering her.

This creates a complex relationship between them and….

In a part of the text on the back cover of the masterpiece book, we read about it as follows:
The masterpiece, which is another link in the long chain of the twenty novels of Emil Zola’s “Rogen-Macar family”, is full of vivid and diverse characters that are only in the mind of the great and lofty ideal of art.

The masterpiece provides a vivid, vibrant and first-hand look at the world of nineteenth-century Parisian Impressionist art, the annual competitions and parlors, halls and exhibitions.

A masterpiece can be considered a book that is completely related to painting, so if you are familiar with paintings and art paintings, you will enjoy the book immensely.

Although Emile Zola’s pen is attractive and fluent, to better understand the atmosphere of the book, we suggest that you do a little research on Impressionist painters, because in this book Emile Zola encounters Impressionist painters and specifically targets one of his friends.

His friend never reconciled with Emile Zola after this book, which of course, if you read the book, the reason for this is well understood.

In the book Masterpiece, we are faced with scenes that are completely ideal for painting, and the description of the scene and scenes are sometimes so precise and long that the reader may get bored.

But the main character of the book, who can see the smallest details himself, gets bored on the other hand.
The main character of the book is a painter who wants to capture that savage and rebellious nature while drawing a picture and create it gently under his pen.

If he fails to do so, he becomes angry and, for someone like Claude Lantier, creates a distinctive and unique work of art that means everything.

Creating this work can make him an ideal person, someone who looks at life from a different perspective, but in the face of the inability to create such a work can also be destructive and even drive the painter crazy.

The more love for creating a masterpiece, the greater the madness of inability to do so.

And we practically see in the masterpiece that Claude is not willing to go a step further than his ideals and be satisfied with a good work. He just wants a masterpiece.
In all the novels, Claude tries to leave a legacy. A legacy that can be at the disposal of history and the future and can be safely laid on the ground.

But the more he seeks to create this masterpiece, the more he distances himself from it. For him, painting is not just about creating and showing his work in the famous Parisian salon, painting has a higher status.

When we say that painting is everything for Claude, it means everything, he has sacrificed himself for painting and creating his works, but he is still not satisfied.

In his opinion, every painting should have its own style, drawing a picture to make a living is ugly from his point of view, because painting is more valuable. A painter must be able to see himself in his work and work in his own style. The painter must shake the heart of the audience.

Claude painted ten hours a day for twenty years to create a masterpiece. He sacrificed himself for painting, but we see that he has to pay for his work as well. The ruin of everyday life and that of his friends is only a small part of the cost that Cloud paid. To understand his sufferings, one must read this novel and consider the plight of art in Paris at that time.

Sentences from the masterpiece book
Claude Powerchin Powerchin went and picked up a pencil case and a large sheet of paper. Then he squatted on a short stool, put the painting bag on his knees, and enthusiastically began to draw. In the presence of wonder and artistic passion, everything else faded.

He trembled and imagined that sad city once more: with its dock line that extended to the right like a blazing flame, the deep moat of the river with its silvery waters, the massive black masses blocking its flow, the lights of whales, Crowds of cranes with outstretched arms stretched out from all sides.

Remembering these, the color jumped from his cheeks. Was this a welcome from Paris?

Fortunately, some of his work had recently been sold; He had sold a few of his small curtains for ten, twelve francs each to a conservative art dealer named Baba Malgra.

However, he preferred to starve to death, but did not turn his art into pure business by drawing a single face of merchants and their wives, glamorous religious images, painting the canopies of restaurants or billboards of midwives.

Is there anything in art other than expressing what one feels inside? Couldn’t all art be summed up in putting a woman in front of her and then painting her face according to the emotions that this woman evokes and inspires in a man?

Isn’t a bunch of carrots – yes, a bunch of carrots – designed by nature and painted in purity and in a personal way, worth all that painting of tobacco juice that was cooked according to pre-prepared instructions?

The day will come when an original carrot will lead to a revolution!

We have the courage and the recklessness – the future is ours.
Happiness is not in reaching the summit, but in climbing, in climbing the heights in excitement. Only, honestly you do not understand, you can not understand. One must be able to follow this path to understand this.

Every day a clear light shone on the bustling giants of Paris. Claude had resumed wandering in the city and decided, in his own words, to find the subject of a masterpiece, something huge and gigantic, something decisive, but he did not know exactly what. September came and he had not yet found anything to take his heart.

He just went crazy about this and that for a week and then said this was not what he was looking for. He was always in ambush to catch up and achieve a dream that always escaped him.

In fact, beneath the layer of her indomitable realism lay the superstition of a nervous and frightened woman. He believed in mysterious forces. Everything, man’s luck or manners depended on the theory he chose.

The only point of reliance on him during all these horrible hours, which he had desperately grasped in his rebellious work, was the soothing dream of his future masterpiece, a masterpiece with which he could finally be satisfied, and by drawing those hands he showed all his mastery and true mastery. Give.
Happiness in your mind, of course, can only be in putting out a lot of work, seeing your work, admiring it or saying bad things about it.

Well, being accepted into the hall, getting into the dust of the battlefield, taking other pictures, and then telling me is that enough? If so, will you be satisfied in the end? listen.

The work has taken over my whole being. It has taken me little by little from my mother, from my wife, and from all the things I love. Like a worm that falls into a bowl on a person’s head, eats the brain, opens its way to the trunk and limbs, and eats the whole body.

The moment I get out of bed in the morning, work grabs me and nails me to the table without giving me time to catch my breath.

In the past, it was the only graveyard of our illusions, in the past, our feet will be buried in the tombstones forever and we will stumble!
There is no feeling in this picture, that’s what bothers me. If you can not become a great painter, then at least the life that remains for us. Ah! Life, life!

Do not be afraid, death will come to us very soon. Let us live and love each other.

The truth is that a person must be very arrogant in order to surrender to the creation of a handful of mediocre work and to cling to every deception in life.

Related books

1- Introducing the book Masterpiece on YouTube

2- Introducing the book Masterpiece in Aparat


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