Jason Mills's Reviews > Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
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Nov 03, 2009

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bookshelves: fiction, classics
Recommended for: Francophiles, literary snobs, stifled wimmin, curmudgeons
Read in January, 1993 — I own a copy

Bleauch. Couldn't be having with it. What I really disliked about it was that Flaubert seemed to have nothing but scorn for all his own characters. I felt like telling him, If you don't have anything good to say, keep yer trap shut! Seemed scathing to the point of mean-spiritedness. And so smugly self-consicous: certainly it's accomplished, but it doesn't half know it!

However, even in these days of infinite Internet sex, the liaison in a horse-drawn carriage retains its power to scandalise. That at least was an achievement in fiction worth reading.
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message 1: by Kristen (last edited Nov 04, 2009 03:40PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kristen Flaubert doesn't scorn his characters he simply shows them for what they are, including their flaws. I think the point was to avoid romanticizing them, which makes them so much more human and allows the reader to relate to them. You don't hate Emma for her indiscretions, maybe you pity her but you understand her and what she's looking for yet fails to find . . . that's what makes the story so heartbreaking because yeah, that's life.


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