To the next person who reads this book:
Nana is alive. Nana is this character who has a furious, quick temper that made all her unfiltered thoughts come through, and a temperament very similar to a child who suffers greedy tantrums. She is this horribly manipulative woman, who is incapable of self reflection and cruel in the way that only a selfish person can be (a person who cares only for themselves). It is just this quality that makes Nana act as she does, and Nana who she is.
At the same time, I wanted this cruel woman to triumph, she was the pinnacle of this high class prostitution world, directly before the fall of the second empire in France. The world itself is a character as vivid as Nana, and is bought to life by Nana.
We can see how the coming collapse of the French regime is shown through the final collapse of the world Nana belonged to, and of Nana herself.
This novel is a wonderful depiction of those niche, unique subcultures that seem to belong to a specific epoch in time that are often bought to an end by war, as though they are bubbles in time which inevitably must end.
The culture of this world is so rich and vivid that I felt intimately a part of it. It expresses what it means to be a prostitute in this time, captures what it means to love and live as one.
Nana is depicted as the fly which rises up from the lower class and filthies the upper elite; this novel explores the dislikable protagonist. Meet her lovers, meet her friends, meet her men. Nana is a star.