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MADAME BOVARY by Gustave Flaubert
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MADAME BOVARY (original 1857; edition 1978)

by Gustave Flaubert

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16,431236107 ()3 / 648
Member:Nulla
Title:MADAME BOVARY
Authors:Gustave Flaubert
Info:Modern Library (1978), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:novel, classics

Work details

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (Author) (1857)

  1. 100
    The Awakening by Kate Chopin (StarryNightElf)
    StarryNightElf: This is the American version of Madame Bovary - set in turn of the century Louisiana.
  2. 101
    Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (DLSmithies)
    DLSmithies: Don Quixote was Flaubert's favourite book, and I've read somewhere that the idea of Madame Bovary is to re-tell the story of Don Quixote in a different context. Don Quixote is obsessed with chivalric literature, and immerses himself in it to the extent that he loses his grip on reality. Emma Bovary is bewitched by Romantic literature in the same way. There are lots of parallels between the two novels, and I think putting them side by side can lead to a better understanding of both.… (more)
  3. 101
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (roby72)
  4. 70
    The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton (Limelite)
    Limelite: Essentially the same greedy, social climbing woman who gets herself into money troubles and manipulates men to get out of them -- but with more success. Similar commentary on society, but instead of the bourgeoisie of village France it's the upper crust of NYC of nearly the same time but without the trenchant humor of Flaubert.… (more)
  5. 70
    Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (Hollerama)
    Hollerama: Both works are about women who would do anything to gain a life of luxury.
  6. 40
    Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (Booksloth)
  7. 51
    The Awakening and Selected Short Stories {9 stories} by Kate Chopin (Dilara86)
  8. 30
    The Red and the Black by Stendhal (LittleMiho)
  9. 20
    Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane (roby72)
  10. 31
    The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa (browner56)
    browner56: The stories of two women, separated by 150 years, who search desperately for something they never find. Flaubert's legendary protaganist is the role model for Vargas Llosa's "bad girl".
  11. 10
    Mrs Craddock by W. Somerset Maugham (soylentgreen23)
    soylentgreen23: 'Mrs Craddock' evidently shares a lot in common with Flaubert's masterpiece, especially in terms of its representation of a woman married to a dull man, who wishes to have a renewed taste of passion, despite the likely terrible consequences.
  12. 10
    Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust (caflores)
  13. 21
    The Female Quixote by Charlotte Lennox (allenmichie)
  14. 11
    The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore (CGlanovsky)
  15. 00
    Eine Frage der Schuld: Roman - Mit der «Kurzen Autobiographie der Gräfin S. A. Tolstaja»: Anläßlich der "Kreutzersonate" von Lew Tolstoi. Mit einem Nachwort von Ursula Keller by Sofja Tolstaja (Monika_L)
  16. 11
    Contre-enquête sur la mort d'Emma Bovary by Philippe Doumenc (Cecilturtle)
  17. 11
    Serious Men: A Novel by Manu Joseph (orangewords)
  18. 23
    Three Tales by Gustave Flaubert (wrmjr66)
  19. 01
    Victorian Murderesses: A True History of Thirteen Respectable French and English Women Accused of Unspeakable Crimes by Mary S. Hartman (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: Flaubert based Emma, in part, on one of the women profiled in this really great book.
  20. 611
    Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (orangewords)
    orangewords: The language in both of these books is just amazing. Alluring prose covers a multitude of unlikable characters.

(see all 20 recommendations)

Romans (17)
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English (195)  Spanish (14)  Dutch (6)  Italian (3)  German (3)  French (3)  Danish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Galician (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (236)
Showing 1-5 of 195 (next | show all)
This is Flaubert's seminal novel of adultery in provincial France in the early 19th century, the publication of which in 1856 caused outrage and led to the author's prosecution for obscenity (he was acquitted). The title character, married to a decent but (to her) dull provincial doctor Charles Bovary, commits adultery with two men, Rodolphe Boulanger and Leon Dupuis, for reasons of simple ennui with her life. Indeed, she almost seems to have an addiction for the ecstasy and lack of self control of love, and is at one point described by her lover Rodolphe as "gaping after love like a carp after water on a kitchen table". I found her an unsympathetic character, until her indebtedness leads to the novel's dramatic and tragic lifestyle. While the author's observations of French provincial life are no doubt acute, I didn't particularly enjoy reading the novel, and the other characters didn't interest me. ( )
  john257hopper | Feb 20, 2015 |
Flaubert’s care with language is legendary. Few people — even native English speakers — who pay serious attention to World Literature haven’t heard the stories of how Flaubert would work painstakingly at every sentence to make sure even the sound of it was as close to perfection as he could possibly get. While this characteristic is a given among most poets (a “given,” but not necessarily a “gotten” among many contemporary poets), it’s relatively rare among novelists. But then, even someone of François Mauriac’s authority once said that “every great novelist is first of all a great poet.”

Consequently, to translate Flaubert is a daunting task for any native English-speaker. While I had neither the benefit of the original nor other translations to compare with Alan Russell’s, his translation, in my estimation, does the job both ‘adequately and sufficiently.’ (‘Adequate and sufficient,’ by the way, is no small praise coming from a former philosophy student.)

Madame Bovary is a classic not only of French literature, but also of World Literature — and rightfully so. The story itself is not particularly extraordinary. It is rather Flaubert’s telling of it that makes it a classic.

Just as Anna is the eminently memorable focal point of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Emma is what remains behind in stark detail in the reader’s mind after feasting on Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.

Your library will never be complete with a copy of Madame Bovary. And your reading pleasure will never be consummated without reading the book, start to finish.

RRB
04/16/11
Brooklyn, NY, USA
( )
  RussellBittner | Dec 12, 2014 |
The story of a young woman who is filled with romantic dreams and discontent over the how her life has transpired.

I didn't care for the story or the characters. It may have been about the period that it was written in. ( )
  cyderry | Nov 11, 2014 |
Had to force myself to finish it, but glad I did. The story may be about nothing but the prose and themes are brilliant and subtle. A book that has stayed with me far more than I thought it would. ( )
  bhutton | Oct 8, 2014 |
Ah, lovely greed and lust take Madame down the primrose path . . . I enjoyed reading Madame Bovary in the context of a course on modern and postmodern philosophy and literature. ( )
  KateRobinson | Oct 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 195 (next | show all)
Davis’s division of previous translators into flair-bringers and clunkheads doesn’t really hold; nor does her claim to offer the best of both worlds. ... Davis’s Madame Bovary is a linguistically careful version, in the modern style, rendered into an unobtrusively American English. At its best, it conveys the precision – which some think dryness – of Flaubert’s prose in this novel, while its syntactical mirroring of the French sometimes brings us closer to Flaubert. At its worst, it takes us too far away from English, and makes us less aware of Flaubert’s prose than of Davis being aware of Flaubert’s prose. And such defects come from something very old-fashioned: a lack of love for the work being translated. ... Lydia Davis’s Madame Bovary shows that it’s possible to produce a more than acceptable version of a book with which you are profoundly out of sympathy. In that sense, it confirms that translation requires an act of the imagination as well as a technician’s proficiency. If you want a freer translation, Steegmuller is best; for a tighter one, go to Wall.
 
It is a shame Flaubert will never read Davis’s translation of “Madame Bovary.” Even he would have to agree his masterwork has been given the English translation it deserves.
 

» Add other authors (370 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Flaubert, GustaveAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Achille, GiuseppeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ajac, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bair, LowellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bakker, MargotTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bersani, LeoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bodegård, AndersTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brissaud, PierreIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carifi, RobertoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, LydiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Édouard MaynialIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gendel, EvelynTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Konstantinov, KonstantinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lacretelle, JacquesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lacretelle, Jacques deIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marmur, MildredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mauldon, MargaretTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, J. LewisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCarthy, MaryForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palola, EinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinxteren, Hans vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schmied, TheoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Speziale Bagliacca, RobertoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suffel, JacquesPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorpe, AdamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viitanen, Anna-MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wall, GeoffreyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
A Marie Antoine Jules Senard- Membro del Foro di Parigi ex presidente dell'Assemblea Nazionale già Ministro degli Interni. -
"Caro e illustre amico, consentitemi di iscrivere il vostro nome in apertura di questo libro, e prima ancora della dedica: è soprattutto a voi che devo la sua pubblicazione. Passando attraverso la vostra magnifica arringa, la mia opera ha acquisito anche per me una sorta di autorevolezza imprevista. Accettate perciò qui l'omaggio della mia gratitudine, che, per quanto grande possa essere, non sarà mai all'altezza della vostra eloquenza e della vostra dedizione."  Gustave Flaubert....Parigi 12 aprile 1857
Dedication
To
Marie-Antoine-Jules Sénard
Member of the Paris Bar
Ex-President of the National Assemly
Former Minister of the Interior
To Louis Bouilhet
First words
Nous étions à l'Etude, quand le Proviseur entra suivi d'un "nouveau" habillé en bourgeois et d'un garçon de classe qui portait un grand pupitre.
We were in study hall when the headmaster walked in, followed by a new boy not wearing a school uniform, and by a janitor carrying a large desk.
We were at prep, when the Head came in, followed by a new boy not in uniform and a school-servant carrying a big desk.
We were at prep when the Headmaster came in, followed by a 'new boy' not wearing school uniform, and by a school servant carrying a large desk.
We were in class when the head master came in, followed by a "new fellow," not wearing the school uniform, and a school servant carrying a large desk.
Quotations
What would _they_ be doing now? ... the sort of life that opens the heart and the senses like flowers in bloom. Whereas for her, life was cold as an attic facing north, and the silent spider boredom wove its web in all the shadowed corners of her heart.
Surprised by the strange sweetness of it, they never though to describe or to explain what they felt. Coming delights, like tropical beaches, send out their native enchantment over the vast spaces that precede them -- a perfumed breeze that lulls and drugs you out of all anxiety as to what may yet await you below the horizon.
'Have you got your pistols?'
'What for?'
'Why, to defend yourself,' Emma replied.
'From your husband? Ha! Poor little man!'
Gone were those tender words that had moved her to tears, those tempestuous embraces that had sent her frantic. The grand passion into which she had plunged seemed to be dwindling around her like a river sinking into its bed; she saw the slime at the bottom.
She repented her past virtue as though it were a crime; what still remained of it collapsed beneath the savage onslaught of her pride.
Last words
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
This exquisite novel tells the story of one of the most compelling heroines in modern literature - Emma Bovary. Unhappily married to a devoted, clumsy provincial doctor, Emma revolts against the ordinariness of her life by pursuing voluptuous dreams of ecstasy and love. But her sensuous and sentimental desires lead her only to suffering, corruption, and downfall. A brilliant psychological portrait, Madam Bovary searingly depicts the human mind in search of transcendence, Who is Madam Bovary? Flaubert’s answer: “Madam Bovary, c’est moi.” Acclaimed as a masterpiece upon its publication in 1857, the work catapulted Flaubert to the ranks of the world’s greatest novelists.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140449124, Paperback)

For this novel of French bourgeois life in all its inglorious banality, Flaubert invented a paradoxically original and wholly modern style. His heroine, Emma Bovary, a bored provincial housewife, abandons her husband to pursue the libertine Rodolphe in a
desperate love affair. A succès de scandale in its day, Madame Bovary remains a powerful and arousing novel.


@TheRealDesperateHousewife My sadness is bothersome. He says I need to change scenery. That will help like a trip to Italy cures TB. What I need is a good poking.

From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:50 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

"Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent devourer 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 when real life continues to fail to live up to her romantic expectations 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'." -- BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 40 descriptions

Legacy Library: Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

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6 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140449124, 0141045159, 1846141044, 0451418506, 0143123807, 0734306873

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