Martin's Reviews > Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
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's review
Jun 09, 11

bookshelves: 2011books
Read from May 14 to June 08, 2011

I confess that I never really engaged mentally with this titanic masterpiece in the history of literature. I claim nothing other than pure intellectual laziness, with the added difficulty of buying a whole bunch of books from Chicago's Printers Row Book Fair in the midst of my reading -- at which point the already existent feeling of wanting to be reading something new turned into a desperation to read something new.

I acknowledge the modern novels' debt to Flaubert in the same way that I acknowledge the contributions of the telegraph to the internet: I'm thrilled that the contribution was made, but have very little interest in the progenitor.

For what it's worth, there were sections of Madame Bovary that were eye-opening in their clarity and insight; I certainly didn't hate it. I was just bored and impatient and reading out of a sense of obligation rather than excitement. And as one can learn from any schoolchild: obligation is no route to enjoying anything.
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