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Madame Bovary A Tale of Provincial Life   By: (1821-1880)

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Transcriber's note: Minor printing errors have been corrected. Phrases printed in italics in the original version are indicated in this electronic version by (underscore). A list of amendments are given at the end of the book.

MADAME BOVARY

A TALE OF PROVINCIAL LIFE

BY GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

WITH A CRITICAL INTRODUCTION BY FERDINAND BRUNETIÈRE Of the French Academy

AND A BIOGRAPHICAL PREFACE BY ROBERT ARNOT, M. A

VOLUME I.

SIMON P. MAGEE, PUBLISHER, CHICAGO, ILL. COPYRIGHT, 1904, BY M. WALTER DUNNE

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London

CONTENTS

PART I.

I. THE NEW BOY 1

II. A GOOD PATIENT 13

III. A LONELY WIDOWER 23

IV. CONSOLATION 31

V. THE NEW MÉNAGE 38

VI. A MAIDEN'S YEARNINGS 43

VII. DISILLUSION 50

VIII. GLIMPSES OF THE WORLD 58

IX. IDLE DREAMS 71

PART II.

I. A NEW FIELD 85

II. NEW FRIENDS 98

III. ADDED CARES 107

IV. SILENT HOMAGE 121

V. SMOTHERED FLAMES 126

VI. SPIRITUAL COUNSEL 138

VII. A WOMAN'S WHIMS 154

VIII. A VILLAGE FESTIVAL 165

IX. A WOODLAND IDYLL 193

X. LOVERS' VOWS 206

XI. AN EXPERIMENT AND A FAILURE 217

XII. PREPARATIONS FOR FLIGHT 233

XIII. DESERTED 251

XIV. RELIGIOUS FERVOR 264

XV. A NEW DELIGHT 278

CRITICAL INTRODUCTION

Domi mansit, lanam fecit: "He remained at home and wrote," is the first thing that should be said of Gustave Flaubert. This trait, which he shares with many of the writers of his generation, Renan, Taine, Leconte de Lisle and Dumas fils , distinguishes them and distinguishes him from those of the preceding generation, who voluntarily sought inspiration in disorder and agitation, Balzac and George Sand, for instance (to speak only of romance writers), and the elder Dumas or Eugène Sue. Flaubert, indeed, had no "outward life;" he lived only for his art.

A second trait of his character, and of his genius as a writer, is that of seeing in his art only the art itself and art alone, without the mingling of any vision of fortune or success. A competency, which he had inherited from the great surgeon, his father, and moderate tastes, infinitely more bourgeois than his literature, permitted him to shun the great stumbling block of the professional man of letters, which, in our day, and doubtless in the United States as well as in France, is the temptation to coin money with the pen. Never was writer more disinterested than Flaubert; and the story is that Madame Bovary brought him 300 francs in debts.

A third trait, which helps not only to characterise but to individualise him, is his subordination not only of his own existence, but of life in general, to his conception of art. It is not enough to say that he lived for his art: he saw nothing in the world or in life but material for that art, Hostis quid aliud quam perpetua materia gloriæ? and if it be true that others have died of their ambition, it could literally be said of Flaubert that he was killed by his art.

It is this point that I should like to bring out in this Introduction, where we need not speak of his Norman origin, or (as his friend Ducamp has written in his Literary Souvenirs with a disagreeable persistence, and so uselessly!) of his nervousness and epilepsy; of his loves or his friendships, but solely of his work... Continue reading book >>




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