Dr. Anna Gural-Migdal is Professor of French Literature and Film at the University of Alberta. She received her Ph.D. in French Literature and Cinema from the University of Montreal. Dr. Gural-Migdal has published articles on naturalism, French literature, film, and photography. Among her recent works are Zola and Film: Essays in the Art of Adaptation, in collaboration with Robert Singer (McFarland, 2005) and Writing the Feminine in Zola and Naturalist Fiction (Peter Lang, 2004). She is also President of the Association Internationale Zola et le Naturalisme and Editor-in-Chief of Excavatio.2006 0-7734-5527-2
This collection of essays seeks to raise a variety of questions: What is the relationship between Émile Zola’s naturalist project and traditional generic classifications? If the naturalist novel, as theorized in Le Roman expérimental
(1880) was to break with earlier literary traditions in its emphasis on modern scientific methods and the depiction of contemporary society, were traditional genres and literary devices to disappear entirely? The contributors to this volume seek to answer these and other questions by identifying traces of earlier genres and subgenres and other discourses that interfere and interact with the mimetic intention of these works. The hypothetical nature of Zola’s theoretical basis allows for infinite variations and complexity in the texts created, which could be classified in a number of genres themselves, requiring interdisciplinary approaches to untangle their meanings.