Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary

Gustave Flaubert

Fiction

Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent reader of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending and, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment and the consequences are devastating. Flaubert's erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857. It was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted: 'Madame Bovary, c'est moi'.
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Bouvard and Pecuchet

Bouvard and Pecuchet

Gustave Flaubert

Fiction

Walter Scott, Alexandre Dumas, Corneille, Racine, Voltaire, Balzac, George Sand. Quiseram saber tudo sobre o amor, o sujeito filosófico, a política, o socialismo, o belo, a estética, o sublime, a escrita, Deus, a Bíblia, a educação. Apaixonaram-se, mas as mulheres revoltavam-nos. Quiseram saber tudo sobre tudo - "mas não tardaram a aborrecer-se, porque os seus espíritos precisavam de um trabalho, as suas vidas de um objectivo", escreve o autor. Flaubert explicou um dia, numa carta a Adèle Perrot, que "Bouvard e Pécuchet" seria "uma enciclopédia da estupidez humana - verá que o sujeito é ilimitado". Mas o autor de "Madame Bovary" não chegou a terminar esta obra, publicada postumamente. Metódico e disciplinado, deixou um plano escrito sobre como deveria acabar o romance. São essas explicações que vêm no final do livro, três páginas de tópicos sobre os destinos dos dois amigos. Aí se verá que a obra é fascinante - não é só um retrato da superficialidade dos conhecimentos, mas uma dura denúncia das banalidades da vida intelectual francesa. Numa carta a Ivan Turgueniev, em Agosto de 1874, Flaubert escreveu: "Parece-me que vou embarcar numa viagem enorme por regiões desconhecidas e de que não voltarei mais." Era mesmo verdade. “O estilo está antes sob as palavras do que nelas.”
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The Temptation of St. Antony

The Temptation of St. Antony

Gustave Flaubert

Fiction

A book that deeply influenced the young Freud and was the inspiration for many artists, The Temptation of Saint Anthony was Flaubert's lifelong work, thirty years in the making. Based on the story of the third-century saint who lived on an isolated mountaintop in the Egyptian desert, it is a fantastical rendering of one night during which Anthony is besieged by carnal temptations and philosophical doubt.
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Three Tales

Three Tales

Gustave Flaubert

Fiction

First published in 1877, these three stories are dominated by questions of doubt, love, loneliness, and religious experience—together they confirm Flaubert as a master of the short story. "A Simple Heart" relates the story of Félicité, an uneducated serving-woman who retains her Catholic faith despite a life of desolation and loss. "The Legend of Saint Julian Hospitator," inspired by a stained-glass window in Rouen cathedral, describes the fate of a sadistic hunter destined to murder his own parents. The blend of faith and cruelty that dominates this story may also be found in "Herodias," a reworking of the tale of Salome and John the Baptist.
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Sentimental Education

Sentimental Education

Gustave Flaubert

Fiction

Based on Flaubert’s own youthful passion for an older woman, Sentimental Education was described by its author as “the moral history of the men of my generation.” It follows the amorous adventures of Frederic Moreau, a law student who, returning home to Normandy from Paris, notices Mme Arnoux, a slender, dark woman several years older than himself. It is the beginning of an infatuation that will last a lifetime. He befriends her husband, an influential businessman, and as their paths cross and re-cross over the years, Mme Arnoux remains the constant, unattainable love of Moreau’s life. Blending love story, historical authenticity, and satire, Sentimental Education is one of the great French novels of the nineteenth century.
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Salammbo

Salammbo

Gustave Flaubert

Fiction

Salaambo is a historical novel by Gustave Flaubert, whose vivid plot bursts with exoticism, high drama and bloody violence. We join war-torn Carthage in the third century B.C., as the city is on the cusp of the Mercenaries\' Revolt. Uncertainty pervades the once-great capital, whose finances are in disarray as a result of the lengthy Punic Wars. As it cannot pay or fulfill the promises made to mercenaries it hired, many of these mercenaries turn on the city, with the intention of claiming their dues by force. The main character is Matho, a Libyan mercenary who leads his own company in an assault against the city of Carthage. He has his eyes set not merely on gold but on a strikingly beautiful woman named Salaambo, who is the daughter of Hamilcar, one of the city\'s leading generals. However, Salaambo proves more than just a mere beauty. She seeks to confound Matho, whose wits are blinded with lust, by stealing back the Zaïmph - a sacred, jewel-encrusted veil said to protect Carthage and its people. The Zaïmph carries immense importance both patriotic and religious, however it is also foreboding; it is said all who touch it will shortly die... Written by Flaubert immediately after he finished the realistic novel Madame Bovary, Salammbo is an enthusiastic departure from gritty realism into the entirely different genre of historical exoticism. The author invested much time into painstakingly researching the surviving accounts and most authoritative histories of Carthage, which to this day is one of the less fictionalized powers of ancient times.
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Sentimental Education; Or, The History of a Young Man. Volume 1

Sentimental Education; Or, The History of a Young Man. Volume 1

Gustave Flaubert

Fiction

Based on Flaubert’s own youthful passion for an older woman, Sentimental Education was described by its author as “the moral history of the men of my generation.” It follows the amorous adventures of Frederic Moreau, a law student who, returning home to Normandy from Paris, notices Mme Arnoux, a slender, dark woman several years older than himself. It is the beginning of an infatuation that will last a lifetime. He befriends her husband, an influential businessman, and as their paths cross and re-cross over the years, Mme Arnoux remains the constant, unattainable love of Moreau’s life. Blending love story, historical authenticity, and satire, Sentimental Education is one of the great French novels of the nineteenth century. Includes vintage illustration!
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Madame Bovary (Modern Library)

Madame Bovary (Modern Library)

Gustave Flaubert

Fiction

A new translation by Adam Thorpe Gustave Flaubert once said of his heroine, "Emma Bovary, c'est moi." In this acclaimed new translation, Adam Thorpe brings readers closer than ever before to Flaubert's peerless text and, by extension, the author himself. Emma, a passionate dreamer raised in the French countryside, is ready for her life to take off when she marries the decent, dull Dr. Charles Bovary. Marriage, however, fails to live up to her expectations, which are fueled by sentimental novels, and she turns disastrously to love affairs. The story of Emma's adultery scandalized France when Madame Bovary was first published. Today, the heartbreaking story of Emma's financial ruin remains just as compelling. Translator Adam Thorpe, an accomplished author in his own right, pays careful attention to the "complex music" of Flaubert's language, with its elegant, finely wrought sentences and closely observed detail. This exquisite Modern Library...
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