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Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary (1857)

by Gustave Flaubert

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
19,705299113 (3.75)4 / 818
  1. 110
    The Awakening by Kate Chopin (StarryNightElf)
    StarryNightElf: This is the American version of Madame Bovary - set in turn of the century Louisiana.
  2. 122
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (roby72)
  3. 90
    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)
  4. 80
    Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (HollyMS)
    HollyMS: Both works are about women who would do anything to gain a life of luxury.
  5. 102
    Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (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)
  6. 50
    The Red and the Black by Stendhal (LittleMiho)
  7. 50
    Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (Booksloth)
  8. 51
    The Awakening and Selected Short Stories {9 stories} by Kate Chopin (Dilara86)
  9. 31
    Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane (roby72)
  10. 32
    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. 32
    The Female Quixote by Charlotte Lennox (allenmichie)
  12. 11
    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.
  13. 11
    Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust (caflores)
  14. 12
    The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore (CGlanovsky)
  15. 01
    Een zuivere liefde by Sofja Tolstaja (Monika_L)
  16. 12
    Serious Men: A Novel by Manu Joseph (orangewords)
  17. 12
    Contre-enquête sur la mort d'Emma Bovary by Philippe Doumenc (Cecilturtle)
  18. 02
    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.
  19. 24
    Three Tales by Gustave Flaubert (wrmjr66)
  20. 812
    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)

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Showing 1-5 of 246 (next | show all)
Madame Bovary es una novela escrita por Gustave Flaubert. Se publicó por entregas en La Revue de Paris desde el 1 de octubre de 1856 hasta el 15 de diciembre del mismo año; y en forma de libro, en 1857. fue un libro muy controversial para la época, el autor fue buscado y apresado por la autoría de este. ( )
  valeskaka | Nov 15, 2018 |
Procrastination. I was supposed to have read this in my freshman year of college, in the late 1980s.

Later: May be the era, may be that the memory of Pride and Prejudice is too fresh in my memory but reading for pleasure shouldn't be this much work. I'm headed for some hard science fiction.
  TheMagnificentKevin | Oct 12, 2018 |
Al principio me parecio que iba a ser aburrido. Es un libro lento y no pasan demasiadas cosas aunque el libro trate de toda la vida de la pareja protagonista. Si estas buscando un libro con mucha accion o donde el argumento se mueva rapidamente, este no es tu libro. En general los eventos se ven venir y es esta anticipacion que tambien tienen los protagonistas lo que los hacen incluso mas atractivos cuando estos eventos suceden.

Creo que el lenguaje al principio me molestaba, tantas palabras que no conocia y fue lo que me trajo de vuelta a la historia. Flaubert es un maestro del lenguaje y de la descripcion, en especial cuando describe los sentimientos de los personajes. Una maravilla, merece una relectura solo por releer sus descripciones.

Y por eso le doy 5 estrellas, los personajes tienen una corriente de pensamientos y de sentimientos que somos capaces de leer y esta corriente varia simplemente porque el personaje recuerda algo en particular. Y no solo de madame Bovary, Flaubert nos deja ver el mundo interior de varios de los protagonistas del libro.

A la vez la historia es simple y muy lineal, quiza es un punto en su contra para alguna gente, para mi es lo que la hace especialmente llamativa. Me da la sensacion de que si otras historias se hubieran mezclado para darle "mas profundidad" lo que hubiera pasado es que el libro seria un lio confuso.

( )
  trusmis | Sep 28, 2018 |
I do not get what makes this book so great. Life is sad, painful, and futile, but you can always make it worse by longing for something else? ( )
  susanramirez | Sep 17, 2018 |
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert remains one of the most important pieces of 19th century French literature. In Lydia Davis’s introduction to her new translation of Bovary, she quotes Flaubert, “‘Yesterday evening, I started my novel. Now I begin to see stylistic difficulties that horrify me. To be simple is no small matter.’ This is what Flaubert wrote to his friend, lover, and fellow writer Louise Colet on the evening of September 20, 1851, and the novel he was referring to was Madame Bovary. He was just under thirty years old.” (ix). In my Batcheler days, I met a member of the French Language department at The University of Pennsylvania. The details of the event have withered away, but I have not forgotten the 2-3 hours we spent discussing Emma Bovary and her tragic story. Since then, I have read and re-read Bovary too many times to count. I have used it dozens of times in my world literature classes. Now, I have a new translation by Lydia Davis, and I am thrilled--once again with the power of this masterful novel.

The story has so much minute detail, his prose is magnificent, and this new translation has rekindled all my passion for Emma. Instead of robbing my first-time readers of this story, I have selected an interesting passage for comparison with my original copy translated by Margaret Cohen. I begin with Cohen’s version. “The atmosphere of the ball was heavy; the lamps were growing dim. Guests were flocking to the billiard room. A servant got upon a chair and broke the window-panes. At the crash of the glass, Madame Bovary turned her head and saw in the garden the faces of peasants pressed against the window looking in at them. Then the memory of the Bertaux came back to her. She saw the farm again, the muddy pond, her father in his apron under the apple trees, and she saw herself again as formerly, skimming with her finger the cream off the milk-pans in the dairy. But in the splendor of the present hour her past life, so distinct until then, faded away completely, and she almost doubted having lived it. She was there; beyond the ball was only shadow overspreading all the rest. She was eating a maraschino ice that she held with her left hand in a silver-gilt cup, her eyes half-closed and the spoon between her teeth” (Cohen (45-46).

Here is Lydia Davis’s version. “The air of the ball was heavy; the lamps were growing dim. People were drifting back into the billiard room. A servant climbing up onto a chair broke two windowpanes at the noise of the shattered glass, Madame Bovary turned her head and noticed in the garden, against the window, the faces of country people looking in. Then the memory of Les Bertaux returned to her. She saw the farm again, the muddy pond, her father in a smock under the apple trees, and she saw herself as she used to be, skimming cream with her finger from the pans of milk in the milk house. But under the dazzling splendors of the present hour, her past life, so distinct until now, was vanishing altogether, and she almost doubted that she had ever lived it. She was here; and then, surrounding the ball, there was nothing left but darkness, spread out over all the rest. She was at that moment eating a maraschino ice that she held with her left hand in a silver-gilt shell and half closing her eyes, the spoon between her teeth” (Trans, Davis (44-45)).

Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is one of those novels a reader can easily fall in love in a heartbeat. 5 stars for Cohen and Davis.

--Chiron, 8/20/18 ( )
1 vote rmckeown | Sep 14, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 246 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (346 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Flaubert, Gustaveprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Achille, GiuseppeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ajac, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aveling, Eleanor MarxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bair, LowellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bakker, MargotTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bersani, LeoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bodegård, AndersTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brissaud, PierreIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carifi, RobertoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, LydiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Édouard MaynialIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gendel, EvelynTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Konstantinov, KonstantinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kraus, ChrisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lacretelle, Jacques deIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marceau, FélicienPrefacesecondary 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
Stahl, BenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suffel, JacquesPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorpe, AdamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viitanen, Anna-MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wall, GeoffreyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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 (4)

Book description
"Madame Bovary", apparso a puntate sulla "Revue de Paris" nel 1856 e integralmente un anno dopo, incontrò subito un grande successo di pubblico - dovuto anche al clamore del processo a cui il suo autore, incriminato per oltraggio alla morale e alla religione, fu sottoposto -, imponendosi all'attenzione della critica come il capolavoro assoluto del romanzo moderno. Incentrato sulla superba figura di Emma Bovary - donna inquieta, insoddisfatta, simbolo di un'insanabile frustrazione sentimentale e sociale - e giocato su un antiromanticismo ideologico e formale di fondo, "Madame Bovary" come ha scritto Vladimir Nabokov, "dal punto di vista stilistico è prosa che fa ciò che si suppone faccia la poesia. Senza Flaubert non ci sarebbe stato un Marcel Proust in Francia, né un James Joyce in Irlanda. In Russia, Cechov non sarebbe stato Cechov".
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:01 -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)

» see all 53 descriptions

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6 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

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