Thursday, June 21

Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary tantalizing introduction

I copied three paragraphs of Lewis Warsh's essay about Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary. I think
that it can help those who have not read the book to know a little of what they are missing.
I hope it helps. Don't forget to search for the term "bovarism".

"Already disappointed with humanity by the age of twenty-two, Gustave Flaubert abandoned the outside world and retired as a hermit to his         
family's estate in the small town of Croisset, France. It was in            
this provincial Normandy setting that he created one of the world's         
great novels, Madame Bovary, and in which he spent most of his life         
almost mystically devoted to literature. Since he was deeply                
affected by stress and believed that a life of activity would damage        
the creative process, he wanted to shut the door, close off all             
distractions, and bury himself in work.  
"The writing of Madame Bovary dominated Flaubert's life from 1851          
to 1856. On completing the novel, he made no effort to publish it. But      
at his friends' insistence, he sent it to the prestigious Revue de          
Paris, which published Madame Bovary in installments in 1857.
The editors suggested he cut certain "offensive" passages, but the              
author refused. He might have reacted differently if he had known what      
lay ahead. Both Flaubert and his publishers were thrown into court          
on grounds that the novel was morally and religiously offensive to the      
public. Ironically, when the defendants won their case, Madame              
Bovary became a national best-seller." 
  The book was also recognized as marking a turning point in the            
history of the novel. The combination of realistic detail, objective        
narrative technique, harmony of structure, and language chosen to           
reflect the characters' personalities created a realistic, yet              
beautiful, picture for the reader. Drawing on both the Romantic             
emphasis on inner feelings and the Realist's concern for truth, Madame      
Bovary serves as a bridge between Romanticism and the modern novel."

Madame Bovary had two lovers:

"She repeated, 'I have a lover! a lover!' delighting at the idea as if a second puberty had come to her. So at last she was to know those joys of love, that fever of happiness of which she had despaired! She was entering upon a marvelous world where all would be passion, ecstasy, delirium."
read the book...
Image: Madame Bovary' book clutch by Olympia le tan

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