Watched a terrific BBC series on the Impressionists and there was mention of this work and the rift it caused between Cezanne, a childhood friend, and Zola. Cezanne apparently took a lot personally. The intro. suggests the main character is an amalgamation of Cezanne, Manet, and Zola himself. Writing is really good so far. Very lucid and descriptive. Must be an excellent translation.