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Gustave Flaubert Books


Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) is most famous for Madame Bovary, which was banned when it first appeared. These books explore the life and works of Gustave Flaubert. Read more about Gustave Flaubert.

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1. Flaubert: A Life

Geoffrey Wall dramatizes the life and times of Gustave Flaubert, who was one of the most enigmatic writers in literary history. Flaubert seems larger than life--too full of troubles, illnesses, personal traumas, and financial fiascos. In this biography, Wall ties together all the threads of Flaubert's life into a not-so-tidy tapestry, filled with contradictions and mysteries.

2. The Family Idiot: Gustave Flaubert

Jean-Paul Paul Sartre offers a discussion on Gustave Flaubert in The Family Idiot: Gustave Flaubert (translated by Carol Cosman and published by the University of Chicago Press). Here, you'll read about Flaubert's development, his relationship with his family, his decision to become a writer, and so much more.

3. Flaubert's Parrot

Here's a fictional account of a scholar's search for the truth about Gustave Flaubert. Flaubert's Parro is a novel by Julian Barnes, published by Random House. The experiences of this detective mirror the experience of Flaubert's characters.

4. Selected Letters

The title says it all. You'll find selected letters by Gustave Flaubert, in this translation by Geoffrey Wall, published by Viking Penguin. Besides Flaubert's letters, find a Flaubert Chronology, "The Flaubert Circle," "A Note on Translation," and more.

5. The Hidden Reader: Stendhal, Balzac, Hugo, Baudelaire, Flaubert

by Victor H. Brombert. Harvard University Press. In "The Hidden Reader," Brombert writes "Two specific literary activities are brought together in the title: the act of reading made manifest at a number of levels; and the strategies of concealment, conscious and unconscious, which in the writing/reading process remain inseparable from the desire to reveal."

6. Flaubert: Writing the Masculine

Flaubert: Writing the Masculine is a book by Mary Orr, published by Oxford University Press. Chapters include: "Madame Bovary," "Salammbo," "L'Education sentimentale," "La Tentation de Saint Antoine," "Trois Contes," "Bouvard et Pecuchet," and "Conclusions."

7. The Rise of the French Novel

The Rise of the French Novel is a book by Martin Turnell, published by New Directions Publishing Corporation. This book is a critical study of Marivaux, Rousseau, Stendhal, Flaubert, Alain-Fournier, and Raymond Radiguet.

8. Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour

In Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour, Francis Steegmuller is the editor for this reconstruction of Gustave Flaubert's journey through Egypt. The work is published by Penguin, and draws from a number of sources, including diary entries, letters, travel notes, and more.

9. Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

by Stephen C. Heath. Cambridge University Press. From the publisher: "In addition to representing Flaubert's intense personal engagement with the tragedy of bourgeois culture, the controversial novel is viewed as an example of the author's commitment to the impersonality of Art and the transcendence of style."
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10. Searching for Emma: Gustave Flaubert and Madame Bovary

by Dacia Maraini and Vincent J. Bertolini. University of Chicago Press. From the publisher: "Maraini relates Flaubert's contempt for Emma to his relationship with his mistress, Louise Colet, to his general terror of women, and to his own self-loathing. It was entirely in spite of himself, Maraini writes, that Flaubert created the female Don Quixote so admired for her restless spirit and ambition."

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