Monday, December 16, 2013

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

For daring to peer into the heart of an adulteress and enumerate its contents with profound dispassion, the author of Madame Bovary was tried for "offenses against morality and religion." What shocks us today about Flaubert's devastatingly realized tale of a young woman destroyed by the reckless pursuit of her romantic dreams is its pure artistry: the poise of its narrative structure, the opulence of its prose (marvelously captured in the English translation of Francis Steegmuller), and its creation of a world whose minor figures are as vital as its doomed heroine. In reading Madame Bovary, one experiences a work that remains genuinely revolutionary almost a century and a half after its creation. - Publisher

Madame Bovary, when it was first published in 1857, was considered very shocking.  It is not nearly as shocking in our time but still a gorgeously written story of an immature and romantic woman who is trying so hard to find everything she had dreamed of as a child.  Her quest for romance and passion ends up destroying the husband who has loved her no matter what and finally destroying herself.  A great cautionary tale of the times with a valid truth for today.

I have read this book more than once and truly enjoy it.

It is listed as the 10th greatest fiction book of all time according to

This book is also on the following lists:
22nd on The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time: The List (The Observer)
110 Best Books: The Perfect Library (The Telegraph)
Top 100 Works in World Literature (Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute)
7th on The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time (The Novel 100)
50 Greatest Books of All Time (Globe and Mail)
2nd on The Top 10: The Greatest Books of All Time (The Top 10 (Book))

Madame Bovary is a must read for anyone who loves the beauty of words.

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