In Zola’s Paris, an ingenue arrives at a tony bordello: she’s Nana, guileless, but quickly learning to use her erotic innocence to get what she wants. She’s an actress for a soft-core filmmaker and soon is the most popular courtesan in Paris, parlaying this into a house, bought for her by a wealthy banker. She tosses him and takes up with her neighbor, a count of impeccable rectitude, and with the count’s impressionable son. The count is soon fetching sticks like a dog and mortgaging his lands to satisfy her whims. She bankrupts him, arranges the debauching of his wife, and seduces his son on his wedding day. What else can she accomplish before she leaves Paris airborne?
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