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Book reviews for "Flaubert,_Gustave" sorted by average review score:

Dictionary of Accepted Ideas
Published in Paperback by Amereon Ltd (April, 2002)
Author: Gustave Flaubert
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Amusing to consider how many took it seriously
Like any master of parody, Flaubert doesn't go completely overboard with this satire of the "...For Dummies" books of his day. If we know a bit about Flaubert, we know that his "definitions" in the book are tongue in cheek, but it's actually possible that a member of the French upper middle class in Flaubert's time would have picked this up and thought it a good handy reference book. Priceless, just priceless.

This is great humor, and the accepted ideas it mocks are actually remarkably similar to the accepted ideas of our own time. Flaubert has a way of stating these "facts" that holds them up to the light of his brilliant ridicule. Because a dictionary can contain pretty much anything, Flaubert uses this as a platform to discuss views on art, politics, philosophy, food, animals, and just about everything else. Don't expect, however, to read this and just take its opposite in order to understand Flaubert's mind -- sometimes there is double irony here, and the author is himself ambivalent about the proper "definitions" of the words he lists.

Overall, this is a genuinely funny read, and a useful insight into the petty bourgeois society (similar to our own) Flaubert loved to mock.

The Ideas that Ferment in the Brains of the Brainless
"ARTISTS. All charlatans. Boast of their disinterestedness (old-fashioned). Express astonishment that they dress like everybody else (old-fashioned). They earn insane amounts, but fritter it all away. Often asked to dine out. A woman artist cannot be anything but a whore."

Flaubert's satirical reference work, the Dictionnaire des Idées Reçues, reveals in a marvellously condensed form the writer's attitude toward the French bourgeois society in which he was brought up. It is a sort of guidebook to19th-century crassness, triteness, pomposity, and irrationalism decked out to look like reason. Clearly Flaubert regarded his own social class with a mixture of detestation, boredom, and intense fascination. He found both comic and tragic possibilities in this cultural stratum, which he mined relentlessly for the realistic details of his novels Madame Bovary, L'éducation sentimentale, and Bouvard et Pécuchet.

In the early 1850s (while at work on Madame Bovary) Flaubert referred in several letters to his "sottisier," a compendium of trite opinions, of the ideas that "ferment in the brains of the brainless." Flaubert never published his dictionary, although in a letter to his mistress, Louise Colet, he hinted that he intended to do so eventually. Topical dictionaries and digests of knowledge were popular in France, especially among the upwardly mobile, who may have fancied that posession of snippets of miscellaneous information conferred a patina of erudition, and made one's dinner-party conversation more sparkling. Flaubert must have enjoyed parodying the entire concept of the "authoritative" reference work; his private compendium was arranged in alphabetical order, with ludicrous cross-references, secondary definitions (which generally contradict the first one), and a tone of pompous omniscience.

The Dictionary's stock of platitudes served Flaubert as a sourcebook for the opinions of many characters in the novels Madame Bovary, L'éducation sentimentale, and Bouvard et Pécuchet. This work, as well as being enjoyable and witty reading for its own sake, is an indispensable artist's eye view of mid-nineteenth century bourgeois mores, and also provides some insight into the paradox the author struggled with in his novels: how to create pure art out of pure vulgarity.

Bouvard Et Pecuchet
Published in Paperback by Distribooks Intl (August, 1900)
Author: Gustave Flaubert
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The only book about EVERYTHING IN LIFE!
This unfinished work by Gustave Flaubert was meant to be a manifesto against what he called the "French stupidity". The book was so ambitious that Flaubert had to immerse himself in different disciplines, all totally new and unknown for him such as agriculture and chemistry. Unfortunately he died before completing this magnificent book.

Bouvard and Pécuchet are a pair of copiers that meet each other by chance and soon become friends. One day, they receive an unexpected inheritance which allows them to finally pursue their dream: to write a huge book about every subject in the world; chemistry, biology, agriculture, politics, gymnastics and so on. They also want to discover the mysteries of love, magic, religion and education. Obviously this ambitious project ends as a disaster and Bouvard and Pecuchet decide to go back to the copying business and forget all about their unrealizable great project.

Dead Time: Temporal Disorders in the Wake of Modernity (Baudelaire and Flaubert)
Published in Paperback by Stanford Univ Pr (February, 2002)
Author: Elissa Marder
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Dead Time Come Alive
With clarity and verve and energy, Dead Time updates Benjamin for the twenty-first century, illuminating how Baudelaire and Flaubert speak to the technology-laden twenty-first century.

The book unfolds with equal aplomb in the subjects' time and our own: time out of hand -- caused by war, personal trauma, and the persistent anxiety over fears of terrorism -- can be regained through an understanding of Flowers of Evil and Madame Bovary. You may not believe that nineteenth-century texts can hold the key, but they just may. Marder's book, written before 9/11 but with the event seemingly in mind at each turn, begins the work.

Early Writings
Published in Hardcover by Univ of Nebraska Pr (December, 1991)
Authors: Gustave Flaubert and Robert B. Griffin
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This book is exclent! I'd recomend this book to anyon

Flaubert and Historical Novel
Published in Textbook Binding by Cambridge University Press (April, 1982)
Author: Green
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Flaubert and the Historical Novel: Salammbo Reassed
From the Book Cover: This book offers a fresh evaluation of one of Flaubert's major and most controversial novels. Dr. Green begins by discussing the 19th century debate about the relation between history and fiction, and examines Flaubert's distinctive responses to it. Then, through a detailed study of the manuscript plans for Salammbo, she shows how Flaubert worked to develop a new kind of historical novel. She shows the balance in his work between careful historical research and imaginative reconstruction; she charts how he modified, amplified, or omitted certain elements in the sources, and suggests his reasons for doing so. The result is a case history of the historical novelist's imagination at work, and on which indicates fruitful new perspectives within this area of research. Instead of escaping into a vanished world of the past, Flaubert drew on contemporary French social, political, and economic issues (particularly those surrounding the revolution of 1848) in his recreation of a distant and decadent civilisation nearing its end. Salammbo, Dr. Green argues, is as much a reflection of Flaubert's contemporary preoccupations as are Madame Bovary and L'Education sentimentale.

Madame Bovary
Published in Paperback by Penguin USA (Paper) (January, 1993)
Authors: Gustave Flaubert and Alan Russell
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The one good thing about a small hate it.
My best friend Robert and I have determinied that this is the quintessential book about life in Lawrence, Kansas (despite the fact that it takes place, for the most part, in France). This is, very basically, the story of a beautiful intelligent woman trapped in a small boring life in a small boring town who in making up ways to keep herself interested and entertained destroys her life. Like so many people we know. The End.

Madame Bovary: The End of Romance (Twayne's Masterwork Studies, No 23)
Published in Paperback by Twayne Pub (February, 1989)
Author: Eric Gans
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This book is an extremely incisive dissection of Flaubert
For anyone who has ever read "Madame Bovary" (arrogant literature professors included), this book is a must buy. Simply put, "The End of Romance" is the master analyzing "The Master". Writing with a remarkably clear and economical prosaic style, Mr. Gans shows exactly why most consider Flaubert's masterpiece to be the greatest novel of the French language. Not only does he give a short biography of the author, and analyse the novel's plot and main characters, but most importantly, he presents a thorogh discussion on the originality of the work (see chapter on the "comices agricoles")!

Published in Paperback by Carroll & Graf (August, 1987)
Authors: Gustave Flaubert and Frank Jellinek
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Art at its purest form
This is not a novel, this is not poetry, this is nothing but art. In a very short text, Flaubert has managed to flow out feelings described with an unforeseen accurateness that makes us relate closer not only to the author but also to ourselves, for here, for the first time, do things we have felt for so long, go under names.

Three Stories
Published in Audio Cassette by Audio Book Contractors (January, 2001)
Authors: Gustave Flaubert and Flo Gibson
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An exercise in varieties of genre
Really three novellas. An exercise in varieties of genre to rival Chaucer. One story is a medieval saints life. One is story Salome told with a mixture or realism and luxurious orientalism; it is the source of Wilde's play and Straus' opera. The third, a Simple Heart, is a grimly realistic and low-key account of the life of a poor and not very bright but somehow noble country woman who suffers at the hands of a series of employers.

Madame Bovary
Published in Mass Market Paperback by Signet Classic (05 November, 2001)
Authors: Gustave Flaubert, Mildred Marmur, Robin Morgan, and Gustave Falubert
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A Gem!
One of my favourite novels of all time! Truly astounding!
I read this when i was 13/14 for the first time (portuguese translation): i cannot recall my reaction. But 10 years l8er, during a hot, frustra8ing month of August - like all the months where there is enough sunlight 2 fry ur brains outdoors - i re-read this in 2 days sitting @ the park and lying in bed. What a thrill!!
Like Anna Karenina, Bovary is a perfect heroine. The difference is: this is a better novel. From beginning 2 end there is no fluff: just pure stylistical and emotional delirium making u snap @ every turn. I believe fully Flaubert's cry that HE was Madame Bovary: @ least u understand how ultimately inlove he was w/ her. ... It warps ur senses. It makes u turn that page faster and faster. These people r still alive in our towns, our pretentious backwaters, our petite bourgeoisie. This dreamy nihilistic boredom is perfectly contemporary, this need 2 have in order 2 forget loneliness & drape the hours w/ something more than void & human stupidity & stifling small-mindedness. I believe it was Benjamin who said something like: "The consumers relation with the real world, with politics, history and culture is not one of interest, investment or engaged responsibility. Rather, it is one of curiosity. One must try EVERYTHING: in fact man in consumer society is tormented by the fear of "missing" something, any enjoyment whatsoever... it is no longer desire or even taste or specific inclination that is in play, it is a generalised curiosity motivated by a widespread anxiety. It is the anxiety of always feeling on the verge of - but only on the verge of - finally grasping the object of desire, the meaning of life, the rules of the game."
A literary miracle and a pure, luminous joy! :o)

A True Masterpiece
Madame Bovary is, without a doubt, the best book I have ever read, and I love to read. This is a story about human nature and irony. Emma Bovary wants every man, but the man who adores her. She is selfish, oblivious, and cold. Her husband, Charles, is crazy for her, and she is disgusted by his unconditional love for her. This book is exciting and adventerous, but the element of reality is there too. The mixture of fantasy and reality is beautiful. If you enjoy reading, then this book is a must! I can not reccommend it too highly.

Timeless Classic
I read this book as a required reading for my 12 grade Advanced Placement english class and found it a very quick, enjoyable read. Often times a lot is lost in translation, but with a book as wonderful as Madame Bovary, no matter how you slice it it comes off as a masterpiece. A wonderful story about the rise and fall of a once peasant farm girl to a woman of luxury and an adulturous past. This book has everything: sex, love, passion, intrigue, tragedy, death, lies, and appealing characters. Read Madame Bovary!

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