[Nana is] “a force of Nature, a ferment of destruction but without meaning to, simply by means of her sex and her strong female odour, destroying everything she approaches and turning society sour just as women having their period turn milk sour. The cunt in all its power; the cunt on an altar, with all the men offering up sacrifices to it. The book has to be the poem of the cunt and the moral will lie in the cunt turning everything sour. As early as Chapter One I show the whole audience captivated and worshipping; study the women and the men in front of that supreme apparition of the cunt.” —prepatory notes to Nana by Zola, tr. George Holden.