Zola writes on his visiting card with printed address, in full, "Dear friend, please send me Mr. Vincent's address (correct spelling?), the army surgeon who is a friend of Daudet's. Cordially, Emile Zola." Zola refers to fellow author Alphonse Daudet (1840-97).
Zola is identified as the leading author of literary naturalism, an aesthetic movement inspired by the principles and methods of natural science aimed at depicting objective reality. Zola's Les Rougon-Macquart, (1871-93) series of 20 novels exemplifies the style. Alphonse Daudet, Gustave Flaubert and Guy de Maupassant are regarded as proponents of naturalism.