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Gustave Flaubert quotes Showing 1-30 of 845

“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.”
Gustave Flaubert
“Do not read as children do to enjoy themselves, or, as the ambitious do to educate themselves. No, read to live.”
Gustave Flaubert
“Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.”
Gustave Flaubert
“There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it”
Gustave Flaubert
“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
Gustav Flaubert
“Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.”
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
Gustave Flaubert
“At the bottom of her heart, however, she was waiting for something to happen. Like shipwrecked sailors, she turned despairing eyes upon the solitude of her life, seeking afar off some white sail in the mists of the horizon. She did not know what this chance would be, what wind would bring it her, towards what shore it would drive her, if it would be a shallop or a three-decker, laden with anguish or full of bliss to the portholes. But each morning, as she awoke, she hoped it would come that day; she listened to every sound, sprang up with a start, wondered that it did not come; then at sunset, always more saddened, she longed for the morrow.”
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
“Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.”
Gustave Flaubert, November
“She wanted to die, but she also wanted to live in Paris.”
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
“One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.”
Gustave Flaubert
“Never touch your idols: the gilding will stick to your fingers."

(Il ne faut pas toucher aux idoles: la dorure en reste aux mains.)
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
“It’s hard to communicate anything exactly and that’s why perfect relationships between people are difficult to find.”
Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education
“Doubt … is an illness that comes from knowledge and leads to madness.”
Gustave Flaubert, Memoirs of a Madman
“What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright...Haven't you ever happened to come across in a book some vague notion that you've had, some obscure idea that returns from afar and that seems to express completely your most subtle feelings?”
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”
Gustave Flaubert
“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”
Gustave Flaubert
“Love, she thought, must come suddenly, with great outbursts and lightnings,--a hurricane of the skies, which falls upon life, revolutionises it, roots up the will like a leaf, and sweeps the whole heart into the abyss.”
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
“You forget everything. The hours slip by. You travel in your chair through centuries you seem seem to see before you, your thoughts are caught up in the story, dallying with the details or following the course of the plot, you enter into characters, so that it seems as if it were your own heart beating beneath their costumes.”
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
“An infinity of passion can be contained in one minute, like a crowd in a small space.”
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
“It is always sad to leave a place to which one knows one will never return. Such are the melancolies du voyage: perhaps they are one of the most rewarding things about traveling.”
Gustave Flaubert, Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour
“To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.”
Gustave Flaubert
“The one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy.”
Gustave Flaubert
“Everyone, either from modesty or egotism, hides away the best and most delicate of his soul’s possessions; to gain the esteem of others, we must only ever show our ugliest sides; this is how we keep ourselves on the common level”
Gustave Flaubert, November
“You don’t make art out of good intentions.”
Gustave Flaubert
“One's duty is to feel what is great, cherish the beautiful, and to not accept the conventions of society with the ignominy that it imposes upon us.”
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
“I go dreaming into the future, where I see nothing, nothing. I have no plans, no idea, no project, and, what is worse, no ambition. Something – the eternal ‘what’s the use?’ – sets its bronze barrier across every avenue that I open up in the realm of hypothesis.”
Gustave Flaubert, Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour
“There is no truth. There is only perception.”
Gustave Flaubert
“Pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory.”
Flaubert
“There are two infinities that confuse me: the one in my soul devours me; the one around me will crush me”
Gustave Flaubert

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