American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"The Life of Emile Zola" (1937)


Eulogy for Emile Zola

Audio mp3 delivered by Vladimir Sokoloff


Cezanne: Let us not mourn him. Let us rather salute that bright spirit of his which will live forever, and like a torch, enlighten a younger generation inspired to follow him.

You who are enjoying today's freedom, take to your hearts the words of Zola. Do not forget those who fought the battles for you and bought your liberty with their genius and their blood. Do not forget them and applaud the lies of fanatical intolerance.

Be human. For no man in all the breadth of our land more fervently loved humanity than Zola.

He had the simplicity of a great soul.

He was enjoying the fruits of his labor -- fame, wealth, security -- when suddenly, out of his own free will, he tore himself from all the peaceful pleasures of his life, from the work he loved so much because he knew that their is no serenity, save in justice; no repose -- save in truth.

At the sound of his brave words, France wakened from her sleep. How admirable is the genius of our country. How beautiful the soul of France which for centuries taught right and justice to Europe and the world.

France is once again today the land of reason and benevolence because one of her sons, through an immense work and a great action, gave rise to a new order of things based on justice and the rights common to all men.

Let us not pity him because he suffered and endured. Let us envy him. Let us envy him because his great heart won him the proudest of destinies: He was a moment of the conscience of man.

Photo of Emile Zola [Source:]

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