Saturday, July 22, 2006

Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary. I won't try to review this classic by Gustave Flaubert. I read a good translation of this novel, and in the introduction the translator says Flaubert is a novelist's novelist. I agree with that 100%. The novel was written 150 years ago, but it is still as fresh as something written yesterday. Do read it. One of my favorite lines from the book

Charles's conversation was as flat as a sidewalk, with everyone's ideas walking through in ordinary dress, arousing neither emotion, nor laughter, nor dreams

4 comments:

Elizabeth Bennett said...

Madame Bovary is a great novel. Don't miss Flaubert's Sentimental Education, if you haven't already read it.

Here's what Flaubert said about this novel:

"I want to write the moral history of the men of my generation-- or, more accurately, the history of their feelings. It's a book about love, about passion; but passion such as can exist nowadays--that is to say, inactive." (from Wikipedia)

You'd also like Stendhal's The Red and the Black.

Chenthil said...

Thanks for the pointers Liz. Will check them. This is my first Flaubert novel.

Anonymous said...

Why are you assuming we haven't? :-) My favorite part is the one where the gravedigger debates to himself whether he prefers more funerals and fewer potatoes grown or more potatoes and fewer funerals. And the bit about art and the dancing bears.

I think, from reading your blog, that you might prefer Bouvard and Pecuchet (and their Dictionary of Recieved Ideas) to Sentimental Education.

nastikan

Chenthil said...

Nastikan, my mistake. Should have said If you haven't read it yet, read it now :-). And yes, the potatoes and graves stuff was a nice way of poking fun at the church.