Natasha's Reviews > Sentimental Education

Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert
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Feb 19, 2009

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charming look into perils of living sentimentally, as it were. having reads this concurrently with Balzac's Lost Illusions, this novel sadly pales in comparison. However, this lack of equality is not to be taken seriously as Flaubert pays homage to Balzac's genius within the first pages of this book. follow frederic moreau as he longs after madame arnoux, a wavering experience lasting many, many years.

p51: " what do you mean by reality, anyway?...there's nothing less natural than Michelangelo, and nothing more powerful. The cult of external truth reveals the vulgarity of our times; and if things go on this way, art is going to become a sort of bad joke inferior to religion in poetry and inferior to politics in interest. You'll never attain the purpose of art - yes, its purpose! - which is to give us an impersonal sense of exaltation, with petty works. however carefully they're produced."

p59: "art should aim exclusively at raising the moral standards of the masses."

p357: "For in the midst of the most intimate confidences, false shame, delicacy, or pity always impose a certain reticence. we come across precipices or morasses, in ourselves or in the other person, which bring us to a halt; in any case, we feel that we would not be understood; it is difficult to express anything exactly; perfect unions, for that reason, are rare."

p455: " in every parting there comes a moment when the beloved is already no longer with us."

p458: "and as they exhumed their youth, they asked each other after every sentence: 'Do you remember?' "


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