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Three Short Works

Three Short Works by Gustave Flaubert
By: (1821-1880)

Here is a collection of strikingly different pieces by Flaubert: a prose poem in the voices of Death, Satan and Nero; the trials and apotheosis of a medieval saint; and the life of a selfless maid in 19th century France. Each exhibits the vigorous exactness, and the mixture of realism and romanticism, for which Flaubert is renowned.

First Page:

THREE SHORT WORKS

by

GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

The Dance of Death The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitaller A Simple Soul

THE DANCE OF DEATH

(1838)

"Many words for few things!" "Death ends all; judgment comes to all."

[This work may be called a prose poem. It is impregnated with the spirit of romanticism, which at the time of writing had a temporary but powerful hold on the mind of Gustave Flaubert.]

DEATH SPEAKS

At night, in winter, when the snow flakes fall slowly from heaven like great white tears, I raise my voice; its resonance thrills the cypress trees and makes them bud anew.

I pause an instant in my swift course over earth; throw myself down among cold tombs; and, while dark plumaged birds rise suddenly in terror from my side, while the dead slumber peacefully, while cypress branches droop low o'er my head, while all around me weeps or lies in deep repose, my burning eyes rest on the great white clouds, gigantic winding sheets, unrolling their slow length across the face of heaven... Continue reading book >>


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