- Gustave Flaubert
name = Gustave Flaubert
bgcolour = silver
imagesize = 199px
caption = Gustave Flaubert
birthdate = Birth date|1821|12|12|df=yes
deathdate = death date and age|1880|5|8|1821|12|12|df=y
nationality = French
genre = Fictional prose
movement = Realism,
Lord Byron, Victor Hugo, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Francois Chateaubriand
Anton Chekhov, Jean Paul Sartre, Vladimir Nabokov, Ezra Pound, Guy de Maupassant, Edmond de Goncourt, Alphonse Daudet, Emile Zola, Ivan Turgenev, Mario Vargas Llosa, Louis Ferdinand Céline, Michael Chabon
Gustave Flaubert (pronounced|gystaːv flobɛːʁ in French) (
December 12, 1821– May 8, 1880) was a French writer who is counted among the greatest Western novelists.Fact|date=July 2008 He is known especially for his first published novel, " Madame Bovary" (1857), and for his scrupulous devotion to his art and style, best exemplified by his endless search for "le mot juste" ("the right word").
Early life and education
Flaubert was born on
December 12, 1821, in Rouen, Seine-Maritime, in the Haute-Normandieregion of France. He was the second son of Achille-Cléophas Flaubert (1784–1846), a surgeon, and Anne Justine Caroline (née Fleuriot) (1793–1872). He began writing at an early age, as early as eight according to some sources. He was educated in his native city and did not leave it until 1840, when he went to Paristo study law.
In Paris, he was an indifferent student and found the city distasteful. He made a few acquaintances, including
Victor Hugo. Towards the close of 1840, he travelled in the Pyreneesand Corsica. In 1846, after an attack of epilepsy, he left Paris and abandoned the study of law.
After leaving Paris, Flaubert returned to Croisset, close to Rouen, and lived with his mother. Their home near
the Seinebecame Flaubert's home for the rest of his life. Flaubert never married. From 1846 to 1854, he had an affair with the poet Louise Colet(his letters to her survive). According to his biographer Émile Faguet, his affair with Louise Colet was his only serious romantic relationship. He sometimes visited prostitutes. Eventually, the end of his affair with Louise Colet led Flaubert to lose interest in romance and seek platonic companionship, particularly with other writers.
With his lifelong friend
Maxime du Camp, he traveled in Brittanyin 1846. In 1849-1850 he went to a long journey to the Middle East, visiting Greeceand Egypt. In Beiruthe contracted syphilis. He spent five weeks in Constantinoplein 1850. After 1850, Flaubert lived in Croisset with occasional visits to Paris and England, where he had a mistress. He visited Carthagein 1858 to conduct research for his novel "Salammbô".
Flaubert was a tireless worker and often complained in his letters to friends about the strenuous nature of his work. He was close to his niece, Caroline Commanville, and had a close friendship and correspondence with
George Sand. He occasionally visited Parisian acquaintances, including Émile Zola, Alphonse Daudet, Ivan Turgenev, and Edmond and Jules de Goncourt.
The 1870s were difficult. Prussian soldiers occupied his house during the War of 1870, and in 1872, his mother died. After her death, he fell into financial straits. Flaubert suffered from venereal diseases most of his life. His health declined and he died at Croisset of a stroke in 1880 at the age of 58. He was buried in the family vault in the cemetery of Rouen. A monument to him by
Henri Chapuwas unveiled at the museum of Rouen in 1890.
In September 1849, Flaubert completed the first version of a novel, "
The Temptation of Saint Anthony." He read the novel aloud to Louis Bouilhetand Maxime du Campover the course of four days, not allowing them to interrupt or give any opinions. At the end of the reading, his friends told him to throw the manuscript in the fire, suggesting instead that he focus on day to day life rather than on fantastic subjects.
In 1850, after returning from Egypt, Flaubert began work on "
Madame Bovary". The novel, which took five years to write, was serialized in the " Revue de Paris" in 1856. The government brought an action against the publisher and author on the charge of immorality, which was heard during the following year, but both were acquitted. When "Madame Bovary" appeared in book form, it met with a warm reception.
In 1858, Flaubert traveled to
Carthageto gather material for his next novel, "Salammbô". The novel was completed in 1862 after four years of work.
Drawing on his childhood experiences, Flaubert next wrote "L'Éducation sentimentale" ("
Sentimental Education"), an effort that took seven years. "L'Éducation sentimentale", his last complete novel, was published in 1869.
He wrote an unsuccessful drama, "Le Candidat," and published a reworked version of "La Tentation de Saint-Antoine", portions of which had been published as early as 1857. He devoted much of his time to an ongoing project, "Les Deux Cloportes (The Two Woodlice)", which later became "
Bouvard et Pécuchet", breaking from the obsessive project only to write the "Three Tales" in 1877. This book comprised three stories: "Un Cœur simple" ("A Simple Heart"), "La Légende de Saint-Julien l'Hospitalier" ("The Legend of St. Julian the Hospitaller"), and "Hérodias" ("Herodias"). After the publication of the stories, he spent the remainder of his life toiling on the unfinished " Bouvard et Pécuchet", which was posthumously printed in 1881. It was a grand satire on the futility of human knowledge and the ubiquity of mediocrity. He believed the work to be his masterpiece, though the posthumous version received lukewarm reviews. Flaubert was a prolific letter writer, and his letters have been collected in several publications.
Work and legacy
Flaubert's curious modes of composition favored and were emphasized by these peculiarities. He worked in sullen solitude, sometimes occupying a week in the completion of one page, never satisfied with what he had composed, violently tormenting his brain for the best turn of a phrase, the final adjective. His incessant labors were rewarded. His private letters show that he was not one of those to whom easy and correct language came naturally; he gained his extraordinary perfection with the unceasing sweat of his brow. Many critics consider Flaubert's best works to be models of style.
That he was one of the greatest writers who ever lived in France is now commonly admitted,Fact|date=July 2008 and his greatness principally depends upon the extraordinary vigour and exactitude of his style. Less perhaps than any other writer, not of France, but of modern Europe, Flaubert yields admission to the inexact, the abstract, the vaguely inapt expression which is the bane of ordinary methods of composition. He never indulgently or wearily went on, leaving behind him a phrase which almost expressed his meaning. As a writer, Flaubert was nearly equal parts romantic, realist, and pure stylist. Hence, members of various schools, especially realists and formalists, have traced their origins to his work. The exactitude with which he adapts his expressions to his purpose can be seen in all parts of his work, especially in the portraits he draws of the figures in his principal romances. The degree to which Flaubert's fame has extended since his death presents an interesting chapter of literary history in itself. He is also accredited with spreading the popularity of the color Tuscany Cypress, a color often mentioned in his chef-d'oeuvre Madame Bovary.
The publication of "Madame Bovary" in 1856 was followed by more scandal than admiration; it was not understood at first that this novel was the beginning of something new: the scrupulously truthful portraiture of life. Gradually, this aspect of his genius was accepted, and it began to crowd out all others. At the time of his death he was widely regarded as the most influential French Realist. Under this aspect Flaubert exercised an extraordinary influence over
Guy de Maupassant, Edmond de Goncourt, Alphonse Daudet, and Zola. Even after the decline of the Realist school, Flaubert did not lose prestige in the literary community; he continues to appeal to other writers because of his deep commitment to aesthetic principles, his devotion to style, and his indefatigable pursuit of the perfect expression.
He can be said to have made
cynicisminto an art form, as evinced by this observation from 1846:
To be stupid, and selfish, and to have good health are the three requirements for happiness; though if stupidity is lacking, the others are useless.His "Œuvres Complètes" (8 vols., 1885) were printed from the original manuscripts, and included, besides the works mentioned already, the two plays, "Le Candidat" and "Le Château des cœurs". Another edition (10 vols.) appeared in 1873–1885. Flaubert's correspondence with
George Sandwas published in 1884 with an introduction by Guy de Maupassant.
He has been admired or written about by almost every major literary personality of the 20th century, including
philosophers and sociologists such as Pierre Bourdieuand Jean Paul Sartrewhose partially psychoanalytic portrait of Flaubert in " The Family Idiot" was published in 1971. Georges Perecnamed " Sentimental Education" as one of his favorite novels. The Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosais another great admirer of Flaubert. Apart from "Perpetual Orgy", which is solely devoted to Flaubert's art, one can find lucid discussions in Vargas Llosa's recently published "Letters to a Young Novelist".
*"Mémoires d’un fou" (1838) (tr. "
Memoirs of a Madman")
Madame Bovary" (1857)
*"L'Éducation sentimentale" (1869) (tr. "
*"La Tentation de Saint Antoine" (1874) (tr. "
The Temptation of Saint Anthony")
*"Trois contes" (1877) (tr. "Three Tales") ("More short stories published in "Early Writings": ISBN 0-8032-1982-2")
Bouvard et Pécuchet" (1881, posthumously published)
*"Dictionnaire des idées reçues" (1911, posthumously published, tr. "
Dictionary of Received Ideas")
*"November" (written, 1842)
Correspondence (in English)
**"Selected Letters" (ed.
Francis Steegmuller, 1953, 2001)
**"Selected Letters" (ed. Geoffrey Wall, 1997)
*" [http://us.penguinclassics.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780140435825,00.html Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour] " (1972)
*"Flaubert and Turgenev, a Friendship in Letters: The Complete Correspondence" (ed. Barbara Beaumont, 1985)
*Correspondence with George Sand:
**"The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters", translated by Aimée G. Leffingwel McKenzie (A.L. McKensie), introduced by Stuart Sherman (1921), available at the Gutenberg website as [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/5115 E-text N° 5115]
**"Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence" (1993)
Biographical and other related publications
*Brown, Frederick, "Flaubert: A Biography", Little, Brown; 2006. ISBN 0-316-11878-8
*Hennequin, Émile, "Quelques écrivains français Flaubert, Zola, Hugo, Goncourt, Huysmans, etc.", available at the Gutenberg website as [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/12289 E-text N° 12289]
*Barnes, Julian, "
Flaubert's Parrot", ISBN 0-330-28976-4
*Steegmuller, Francis, " [http://www.nybooks.com/shop/product?usca_p=t&product_id=4159 Flaubert and Madame Bovary: A Double Portrait] ", Viking Press; 1939.
*Tooke, Adrianne, "Flaubert and the Pictorial Arts: From Image to Text", Oxford University Press; 2000. ISBN 0-19-815918-8
*Wall, Geoffrey, "Flaubert: A Life", Faber and Faber; 2001. ISBN 0-571-21239-5
*Various authors, "The Public vs. M. Gustave Flaubert", available at the Gutenberg website as [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10666 E-text N° 10666] .
*Sartre, Jean-Paul. "The Family Idiot: Gustave Flaubert, 1821-1857", Volumes 1-5. University Of Chicago Press, 1987.
* French [http://www.incipitblog.com/index.php/2005/08/08/gustave-flaubert-la-femme-du-monde-1836/ Audiobook (mp3)] : "La femme du monde" ("taken from Flaubert's early works")
*gutenberg author|id=Gustave_Flaubert|name=Gustave Flaubert
* [http://www.intratext.com/Catalogo/Autori/Aut148.HTM Flaubert's works] : text, concordances and frequency list
* [http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/flaubert.htm Overview]
* [http://www.univ-rouen.fr/flaubert/ site of the Centre Flaubert at Rouen]
* [http://www.fjvenezia.com/Flaubert.html Multilingual research links]
* [http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/hopkins_guide_to_literary_theory/gustave_flaubert.html Flaubert entry at the Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism site]
* [http://www.bibliomania.com/0/5/136/frameset.html Bibliomania page]
* [http://perso.wanadoo.fr/jb.guinot/pages/accueil.html A comprehensive site in French]
* [http://www.the-ledge.com/flash/ledge.php?book=12&lan=UK Flaubert 'Bookweb' on literary website The Ledge, with suggestions for further reading.]
* [http://www.mootnotes.com/literature/flaubert/index.html Flaubert works (HTML/PDF), media & interactive timeline]
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Look at other dictionaries:
Gustave flaubert — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gustave. Gustave Flaubert … Wikipédia en Français
Gustave Flaubert — [flo bɛ:r] (* 12. Dezember 1821 in Rouen, Haute Normandie; † 8. Mai 1880 in Canteleu, Haute Normandie) war ein französischer Schriftsteller, der vor allem als Romancier bekannt ist … Deutsch Wikipedia
Gustave Flaubert — Nacimiento 12 de diciembre de 1821. Ruan, Normandía, Francia … Wikipedia Español
Gustave Flaubert — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Flaubert (patronyme). Gustave Flaubert … Wikipédia en Français
Gustave Flaubert — noun French writer of novels and short stories (1821 1880) • Syn: ↑Flaubert • Instance Hypernyms: ↑writer, ↑author … Useful english dictionary
Gustave Flaubert — Adversidad La manera más profunda de sentir una cosa es sufrir por ella. No son las grandes desgracias las que debemos temer en la vida, sino las pequeñas. Arte Ama el arte. De todas las mentiras es, cuando menos, la menos falaz. Deseo Un alma se … Diccionario de citas
Gustave Flaubert — Escritor francés (Rouen, Alta Normandía, Francia 12 de diciembre de 1821 Croisset, Baja Normandía, Francia 8 de mayo de 1880) considerado como uno de los mayores novelistas occidentales, conocido principalmente por su primera novela publicada… … Enciclopedia Universal
Gustave Flaubert — n. (1821 1880) French novelist, author of Madame Bovary … English contemporary dictionary
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Pont Gustave-Flaubert — Pays France … Wikipédia en Français