ZOLA Émile (1840-1902).

Lot 214
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ZOLA Émile (1840-1902).
L.A.S. "Emile Zola" and L.A. (minutes with corrections), Paris November 16-18, 1889; 1 1/2 pages in-8 each. Nice set on his first candidacy for the Académie française and on La Bête humaine. November 16, to the director of the Journal des Débats [Georges PATINOT]. "I understand that my candidacy for the Academy may bother your anonymous editor or his friends. But I do not understand that a journalist makes a novelist responsible for the publicity made by a newspaper on one of his works, when above all he distorts and overrides the character of this publicity. There is, moreover, for any good mind, only one way to judge a book honestly: it is to wait until it has appeared and to read it"... And he asks for the insertion of his letter in the newspaper. November 18, to Henry HOUSSAYE. Zola swears that he did not think of accusing Houssaye more than any other editor of the Débats: "I simply wanted to say that this newspaper, whose academic ties are known, was employing against me a most disloyal manoeuvre; and you see that, as a result, it was compromising all its editors who may be thinking about the Academy, since you feel affected, when the idea of your candidacy did not even present itself to my mind"... A l.a.s. from Henry HOUSSAYE to Zola, November 18, 1889 is enclosed. Following the publication of Zola's letter in the Journal des Débats, Houssaye defends himself from being the anonymous author of the article in question: "After having been one of the first, I believe, to praise the talent of the author of Confession de Claude, of Voeu d'une Morte, of Mariage d'Amour, I have been, since the publication of L'Assommoir, one of your most ardent literary enemies. But I have always signed my articles. If I had had the idea of the entre-filet des Débats, I would have written it, and if I had written it, I would have signed it.
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