Madame Bovary (Penguin Classics)

Gustave Flaubert
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


Reviewed: 2019-01-12

Dense percision of time and place description presents us with the sheer weight of objects, things, the physical world. Yet the layerings of irony and poetry and the constant tension between these two impulses allow this to stand as one of the truly quintessential examples of what the novel can and should be. The importance of Madame Bovary cannot be overstated. As can be seen in the correspondence of Flaubert, he intened for his work to stand as an architectual monument, with perfect coherence of structure where each individual brick (every single word) is percisely chosen and can be replaced with no other. Still, the overarching despair, emptiness, and pathetic mediocrity of the existence of the characters in the text cannot be overlooked, and the only thing that keeps this terrible and yet sensitive masterpiece from being unreadable is its surprisingly deep humanity, its provokative nature, and its madtery of construction. 

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