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Emile Zola
French novelist
(1840-1902)



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Smut detected in it by moral men is theirs rather than mine. Scientific truth was my touchstone for every scene, even the most febrile.
-- Preface to second edition of Thérèse Raquin (1868)

When it comes down to it, you no longer have republican blood in your veins... It's a general you want in your bed. France, if you're not careful, you're on the road to dictatorship. And do you know where else you are going, France? You're on your way to the Church, you're going back to the past, that past of intolerance and theocracy, which your children fought, which they thought they had killed, by sacrificing their body and their spirit.
-- Speaking of the Third Republic, in: Letter to France, 6 January 1898,

J'accuse.
I accuse.
-- Title and initial words of an open letter by Zola to the President of France regarding the Dreyfus affair, in: L'Aurore, 13 January 1898

Since they have dared, I too shall dare. I shall tell the truth because I pledged myself to tell it if justice regularly empowered, did not do so fully, unmitigatedly. My duty is to speak; I have no wish to be an accomplice... I do not despair in the least of ultimate triumph. I repeat with intense conviction: the truth is on the march and nothing will stop it.
-- Extracts from the letter "J'accuse", in: L'Aurore, 13 January 1898





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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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