Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary

Provincial Lives

Book - 1992
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The subject is French bourgeois life in all its inglorious banality, which Flaubert invented a modern style to match. Emma, a bored provincial housewife, abandons her husband Charles to pursue the libertine Rodolphe in a desperate love affair. The author also wrote Sentimental Education.
Publisher: London ; New York, N.Y. : Penguin, 1992.
ISBN: 9780140445268
Branch Call Number: FLAUB
Characteristics: xxv, 291 p. ; 20 cm.


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May 20, 2017

Madame Emma is vain, pretentious, impatient and callous, and I adore her. Her author, Gustave Flaubert, once said "I am Emma Bovary!" -- he knows her joys, her sorrows, and her frustrated bourgeoise aspirations from the inside. Emma is often compared to Anna Karenina (see essay above), and it is interesting to see the contrast between an author who is in love with his heroine (Tolstoy), and makes all the excuses for her he decently can, and an author who wants to ruthlessly expose her (Flaubert), but is madly in love with her anyway. Emma Bovary is a miserable creature, but she attains a kind of greatness in her misery. This story is a reminder of how short, painful, and limited most human lives are, and women's lives perhaps most of all.

May 07, 2015

May 1, 2015, I am bored with this, but plugging along anyway. I guess I am just not much of a 'classic' reader. As I read it, I am listening to the audio book recording, which was recorded from a different translation, and this makes it challenging! I get different perspectives from both however, and will continue on. Emma sure had some mental health issues! May 7,....on disc 7 of 10.......May 14 2015, I have finally finished this, and I must say the most interesting part was the 'trial' of the book. It was interesting to note that the defense (which was successful!) was based on the fact that poor ole Emma Bovary was educated beyond her position in life, and this was the cause of her unhappiness which caused her to stray! Well.....!......funny that my 25 year old son and his girlfriend come to visit last week, and what are they reading......Madame Bovary! Just too weird!

Dec 03, 2012

This is the most boring classic I have ever read.

Jun 21, 2012

This is my third reading of Madame Bovary, and each time it has been a different experience. The importance and beauty of this book eluded me until I read this new translation by Lydia Davis, however. If you've tried to read MB before and failed, give Ms. Davis's translation a chance.

Larry245 Mar 20, 2012

Why is the library system and catalog becoming more difficult to use. When I tried to place a hold, I got the message, "there is a problem with your library card -- see a librarian." I am away, but would like to place a hold, so that the book is available when I return to NYC on April 1 as I need it for a book club to which I belong. I saw that my library card may expire soon -- no date of expiration was given. When did this start, and how can I get a new card if I need one before I return to NYC?
Larue (Larry) Lincoln
1 646 530-4022

kayafraser Feb 11, 2012

Finally, I got around to reading this. It is a fascinating book--a portrait of a woman who simply succumbs to an utterly brutal fate. Is it a result of her own vanity and romantic vapidity? Is she a victim of a culture that had created scripts for female desire that could only end in emptiness? Is she just a person, morally neutral, who ends up in a mess? Flaubert refuses to make a judgment, and although it's horrifying to watch the inevitable, almost Greek-tragedy-like fall of Emma's fortunes, it's also completely mesmerizing. Details are rendered with almost neurotic precision. The writing (translated excellently by Lydia Davis) is eloquent but ruthlessly frank. This is, in the end, a cold book, portraying a cold world. Be ready for it if you read it.

NGarcias Sep 01, 2011

I absolutely LOVE this book. I haven't read it in years, but it is one of the very few books that I would re-read over and over again. CLASSIC!!!

Apr 28, 2011

very insightful book, often considered a feminist book. Definitely a classic and worth reading. A little bit difficult to get through sometimes, because of some gory descriptions and some monotony. But overall, a book with some interesting themes

dragonsnakes Mar 07, 2011

Notable classic title

debwalker Nov 18, 2010

Mia Wasikowska starring as Madame Bovary in the latest film adaptation of Flaubert's classic novel. Filming in Normandy, France.

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