Trois Contes
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Trois Contes

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  2,176 ratings  ·  119 reviews
Gustave Flaubert, ne a Rouen le 12 decembre 1821 et mort a Canteleu, au hameau de Croisset, le 8 mai 1880, est un ecrivain francais. Prosateur de premier plan de la deuxieme moitie du XIXe siecle, Gustave Flaubert a marque la litterature francaise par la profondeur de ses analyses psychologiques, son souci de realisme, son regard lucide sur les comportements des individus...more
Paperback, French edition, 104 pages
Published October 16th 2008 by Dodo Press (first published 1876)
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Richard
This collection of longish short stories is Gustave Flaubert's take on saints' lives. The stories go chronologically back in time from 19th century France, to the Middle Ages, to the New Testament. This may be surprising from an author who wrote about people with less than moral lives and who was well known for being critical of the Catholicism of his time. However, the three stories contained in this book are brilliant.

The first story, "Un coeur simple" (A Simple Heart), is about a saint who is...more
Manny
description

JOHN CLEESE: I would like to register a complaint about this parrot, what I read about not half an hour ago in a Flaubert short story.

MICHAEL PALIN: Oh yeah? What's wrong wiv it?

CLEESE: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my good man. It's representing the Holy Ghost, that's what's wrong with it.

The rest of this review is in my book If Research Were Romance and Other Implausible Conjectures
MJ Nicholls
I have the fire department coming around later for a lecture on electrical safety. Apparently, my unplugging policy needs revising. For fifteen years of my life, I never unplugged a single plug (even in multisockets) and encountered no raging conflagrations in my boudoir (except in the bed—wink wink). But now everyone’s telling me what a buffoon I was! That you must ALWAYS unplug your appliances at night in case spontaneous friction occurs and the whole neighbourhood burns to a crisp! So, lookin...more
Vanessa Wu
Flaubert is a rather cruel and beautiful writer who fascinates me. In these three stories you can find little morsels of his life's great preoccupations, which he developed further in his novels.

In Un Coeur Simple (a simple heart), his subject is a selfless and stupid peasant woman. For Flaubert it was a great intellectual and aesthetic challenge to shape something of enduring beauty from the rough material of the everyday and the banal. It was a challenge he was to pursue with obsessive tenacit...more
Cynthia
I was surprised at the number of biblical references in these stories though I probably shouldn’t have been given Flaubert’s time and place. He lived in a Catholic country during a religious era. I’ve read lots of contemporaneous Victorian fiction and though the Brits throw in many bible tie Flaubert out does them. In ‘A Simple Heart’ Felicite is goodness incarnate seeking only to love without seeming to need anything more than an other for which to care. She’ll even settle for inanimate objects...more
Yann
Alors le Lépreux l'étreignit; et ses yeux tout à coup prirent une clarté d'étoiles; ses cheveux s'allongèrent comme les rais du soleil; le souffle de ses narines avait la douceur des roses; un nuage d'encens s'éleva du foyer, les flots chantaient. Cependant une abondance de délices, une joie surhumaine descendait comme inondation dans l'âme de Julien pâmé; et celui dont les bras le servaient toujours grandissait, grandissait, touchant de sa tête et de ses pieds les deux murs de la cabane. Le toi...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This is an interesting collection of stories. As the Translator's Preface says, "These three short stories by Flaubert are unlike anyone else's, and they are also unlike much of his own work, for another reason than their shortness." I admit I was hoping for something that I would call more 'Flaubert-like,' and the prose is the best of it.

The first story is called A Simple Heart and is most like what I anticipated. "Madam Aubain's servant Félicité was the envy of the ladies of Pont-l'Évêque for...more
C.
A Simple Heart is a naturalistic story in the style of Madame Bovary, but perhaps told with more kindness towards the protagonist (though personally I think Flaubert was pretty kind to Emma anyway). It was quite lovely, but I don't think it succeeded as well as Emma because it was shorter and its subject less morally suspect. Though that implies that the reason Emma is so good is because of its sensational aspect, which is not true. It's the way he deals with someone behaving so... strangely? (w...more
Raymund
Flaubert's narrative is absolutely incredible. His attention to the details of a life, his attention to the details of a story give so much weight to the character in these stories. You know and understand Felicite so well in a "Simple Heart" and you know so well what she has gone through in life as well as the fact that you know what ends are in store for her but you will cry anyway, and I do not believe that my tears were for sentiment alone. Or in other words, not for my experiences that may...more
Guido
Non so se riuscirò mai a capire fino in fondo Flaubert - mi piace leggerlo, adoro il suo stile; ma non riesco ad apprezzare allo stesso modo le sue storie. Era accaduto, in parte, con Madame Bovary (comunque bellissimo, che spero di rileggere presto); ma leggendo questi racconti quest'impressione si è fatta molto più forte. Il primo, pur essendo forse il più bello, scivola in una drammaticità tale da sembrare parodistica; gli altri due sembrano degli esercizi, indubbiamente ben eseguiti e piacev...more
Lamia

قصص تسافر من قبل الميلاد إلى القرن التاسع عشر

القصة الأولى : قلب طاهر

هنا شيء من التفاصيل الكثيرة ...

فيليسيتيه خادمة وإنسانه في المقام الأول يشكلها فلوبير في قلب طاهر
عاشت فيليسيتيه اليتم في صغرها وتشتت أخوتها .. أوها مزارع وعملت منذ الصغر قاست الكثير لدرجة إنها كانت تشرب الماء من البحيرات على طريقة الحيوانات..
فيليسيتيه كـ كل النساء ...
عندما سأل تيودور من فيليسيتيه عن فكرتها في الزواج أجابت "ليس من اللائق بك أن تتخذني هزوًا" إجابة مكثفة وبارعة إنكار وإستهزاء في الوقت نفسه .. زواج تيودور من فتاة
...more
Bronwyn
No matter what Flaubert's opinion of this particular body of work was, the stories contained within attest to his mastery of the art of the short story. His writing style is both descriptive and succinct with an obsessive attention to detail in describing the story setting.

'A Simple Heart' is perhaps the best-known story of the three, detailing the the life of a gentle peasant woman named Felicite and her mistaking of a taxidermied parrot named LouLou for the Holy Ghost.

Although I appreciate a...more
Sadiq sagheer
I heard a lot about Flaubert and this is was my first experience with Flaubert. i like his style and looking forward to read Flaubert's most anticipating novel "Madame Bovary". I picked this little book up at a second-hand book stand.Flaubert writes beautifully, but these three stories are so dripping with religion/religiosity that it was only the impeccable style that kept me going. The third of the three stories (Hérodias) is about the beheading of John the Baptist, but presupposes a knowledg...more
Marcia Lonteen-Martin
These tales are Flaubert's versions of three saints' lives. Each is interesting in its own right. They date back to the Middle Ages and Biblical times around the coming of Christ. The first, "A Simple Heart," is the story of Felicite, a servant to a widow who loyally fulfills her duties to her mistress and her two children while her own life has been one of loss and sorrow. During it all she retains her pure Catholic faith and endures all with little reward until her death. One of her few joys i...more
Anastasia
In my personal personal personal opinion, questi tre racconti di Flaubert sono privi di qualunque attrattiva e interesse, anzi, hanno battuto insistemente sulla provocazione di sbadigli, frustrazioni da Anastasia che deve arrivare fino alla fine ma perde gli stimolo pagina dopo pagina e plateali "who cares" verso il terzo racconto.
Un cuore così semplice si fa leggere e per tanti altri potrebbe risultare anche un bel racconto, ma nonostante la buona partenza per me sfocia nel melodrammatico a lun...more
Matt
This was supposed to inspire Stein's Three Lives, so I read this one first. Of course, in some senses I've been reading it for a decade or two, given how many times I've read about, and read selections from "A Simple Heart." That story is as good as it would have to be to justify the talk about it, a real work of incredible clarity where Flaubert's attitude toward his subject becomes an incredible kind of pantomime or shadow puppet show; his stories have a way of turning from being about one thi...more
wigwam
Overall, this was great, but it ends on the weakest of the three, Herodias which is too similar to Salaambo's boring fawning over period detail and Bible-y verbal register, which is what I was afraid St Julian was going to be (besides just outright lame due to its affiliation in my head with that shitty Yann Martel book) but it turns out to be more like Michael Kollhaus mixed with Siddhartha and I think I enjoyed it the most of the three which is tough to say because A Simple Heart is completely...more
Yves Gounin
En 2009 sortait au cinéma "Un coeur simple" avec Sandrine Bonnaire adaptation du premier de ces Trois contes écrits par un Flaubert épuisé par la rédaction de "Bouvard et Pécuchet"
Félicité est un coeur simple, pleine d'un amour qu'elle donne sans rien attendre en échange. Mais la vie sera dure à cette domestique normande : Rodolphe, son premier amant, l'abandonne, Mme Aubin, sa maîtresse, la méprise, l'interdisant de manifester la moindre affection à ses enfants, Victor, son neveu, trouve la mor...more
Islam
تكمن قوة فلوبير فى أنه يكون فى قمة الجدية وقمة السخرية فى نفس الوقت
Tom
(Based only on the opening story, A Simple Heart; haven't read the other two yet)

Normally I think of "tear-jerker" as a derogatory term when applied to fiction, in the case of A Simple Heart, it's a compliment. What a sad, touching story, yet Flaubert is far too skillful to make it into something maudlin and manipulative. Instead, he gives you an honest portrayal of a decent woman who endures an increasingly plain and sad life with dignity.

BTW, the parrot in this story became the basis for Julia...more
Gale
N.B. This review references only ST. JULIAN and A SIMPLE SOUL ONLY.

The role of the Catholic Church in the daily lives of 19th century French provides the underlying basis for the characterizations in these two Contes. Whether high-born or lowly, Flaubert's two disparate protagonists are deeply influenced in their actions and attitudes by their faith. Making no moral judgment on his characters' responses to Christianity the author simply depicts their spiritual development as extensions of the Ch...more
Ken
I am rating this book on the basis of merely one of the three stories in it, "A Simple Heart." My most memorable assignment in three years of high school French and two years of college French was the translation I rendered of this lovely story. It is the story of a good person's keeping her Roman Catholic faith at a time when I was moving far away from my own, yet it's beauty still spoke to me deeply.
Jane
These three brilliantly constructed stories of lives filled with both the sacred and the profane are my personal favourites in a lifetime a reading. I turn to my little copy of Three Tales (Trois Contes in french) again and again. The story of St Julian the Hospitalier is particularly moving, a little world of evil and redemption. Highly recommend.
Cynthia
It's all about the parrot.
I don't think it matters just what you read by Flaubert, but read something. I find his short stories wonderful and still remember these ones fondly.
Alexandra
I was encouraged to read Flaubert a number of times and when I finally decided to do it I was a little bit disappointed. It seemed to me like there was no actual plot to "A Simple Heart" which made it difficult to read. Same with "Herodias", it just went on and on and on. On the other hand I really enjoyed "The Legend of Saint Julian Hospitator" and thought it was the best story out of all three of them. I'll definitely read more Flaubert, I enjoy his style of writing but I'm hoping his other wo...more
Nikki
My favourite story of this collection is 'The Legend of Saint Julian Hospitator'. It's almost like a Shakespeare play - it's the story of a man who's doomed by fate to suffer greatly and commit gruesome crimes but at the same time he's also destined for greatness and sainthood. Obviously, in a short story you can't get the same depth as you can in novels, but this story still sucks you in and makes you feel for the characters.

'A Simple Heart' is something completely different, more classic Flaub...more
Laurent
A very hard set of Tales to rate for a modern reader

Overall
I am going to use the excuse that perhaps these tales aren't timeless and have passed their 'use by date' as my excuse for giving them a fairly poor rating. I read the tales for my book club; the book came highly recommended by the person who chose the book and I really did give them my best and fairest attempt at liking them. In fact, I started out by listening to 'A Simple Soul' and 'The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitalier' in the o...more
Lydia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Piperitapitta
Un cuore semplice****
Inizio e fine lettura 07/08/11

Letto oggi al mare: bello, ma che tristezza!
Da non leggere se si è depressi o in vacanza al lago. :-)

La leggenda di san Giuliano l'Ospitaliere***1/2 (sono ancora indecisa, forse quattro!)
Inizio e fine lettura 10/08/11

Erodiade***
Inizio e fine lettura 10/08/11

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Lo so, con Flaubert non si scherza, qui si va a toccare uno dei capisaldi della letteratura di tutti i tempi ma: a me,...more
Jay Winters
Book Closing: I was surprised by how much I liked these three stories from Mr. Flaubert. French Realism didn’t seem like it was going to be much of a fit for me, but these three stories provide enough sarcastic wit and unexpected turns to keep anyone intrigued.
The first story is about a maid who deals with clinging desperation to those who are around her, the second takes you into a half-fairy tale world of a man who seems to be half-Oedipus and half tortured saint, and the last gives a rich hi...more
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Gustave Flaubert (December 12, 1821 – May 8, 1880) is counted among the greatest Western novelists. He was born in Rouen, Seine-Maritime, in the Haute-Normandie Region of France.

Flaubert's curious modes of composition favored and were emphasized by these peculiarities. He worked in sullen solitude, sometimes occupying a week in the completion of one page, never satisfied with what he had composed,...more
More about Gustave Flaubert...
Madame Bovary Sentimental Education Salammbô Bouvard and Pecuchet The Temptation of St. Antony

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