Émile Zola's The Kill is one part of the French author's 20-volume series about the fictitious Rougon-Macquart family during the Second French Empire, and it is rich with symbolism. Paris is awakening to unprecedented expansion, the future intoxicating, and in keeping with its penchant for excess, the aristocracy is caught up in the mad dash to devour as much of it as it can.
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This is not one of the great Naturalist’s best. It’s also a poor translation, with less than idiomatic English.