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Madame Bovary (Wordsworth Classics)

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9781853260780: Madame Bovary (Wordsworth Classics)
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With an Introduction by Roger Clark, University of Kent at Canterbury. Translation by Eleanor Marx-Aveling.

Castigated for offending against public decency, Madame Bovary has rarely failed to cause a storm. For Flaubert's contemporaries, the fascination came from the novelist's meticulous account of provincial matters. For the writer, subject matter was subordinate to his anguished quest for aesthetic perfection. For his twentieth-century successors the formal experiments that underpin Madame Bovary look forward to the innovations of contemporary fiction.

Flaubert's protagonist in particular has never ceased to fascinate. Romantic heroine or middle-class neurotic, flawed wife and mother or passionate protester against the conventions of bourgeois society, simultaneously the subject of Flaubert's admiration and the butt of his irony - Emma Bovary remains one of the most enigmatic of fictional creations.

Flaubert's meticulous approach to the craft of fiction, his portrayal of contemporary reality, his representation of an unforgettable cast of characters make Madame Bovary one of the major landmarks of modern fiction.

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Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" scandalised French bourgeois society of the time with its shocking depiction of an adulteress, Emma Bovary, and her lascivious liaisons. The 19th-century press denounced both the book and its author as corrupting influences. History has exonerated Flaubert and exposed the hypocrisy of a society that would deny the existence of such women.

Emma Bovary, a young woman, newly married to a provincial doctor, is dazzled when she attends her first ball, attended by high aristocracy. With the culmination of her romantic ideals realised, her head is so filled with fanciful notions that she never re-enters reality, until the damning end:

Before her wedding day, she had thought she was in love; but since she lacked the happiness that should have come from that love, she must have been mistaken, she fancied. And Emma sought to find out exactly what was meant in real life by the words felicity, passion and rapture, which had seemed so fine on the pages of the books.
Frustrated and bored by her marriage, Emma embarks on a brief, rather touching affair with one young man but soon, vulnerable and exposed, she is fitting carrion for Monsieor Rodolphe, a serial womaniser. Soon, Emma has not only ruined her own reputation but destroyed that of her husband in her ruthless bid for wealth and recognition. The cast of characters, from passers-by to the shopkeepers who take her money, act like the chorus in a Greek tragedy. Seen through their eyes and their reactions to her, Emma's downfall is recounted but also society's intolerance.

On the surface, Flaubert provides a melodramatic morality tale. Slyly, underneath it all, he is laughing. Through his voyeuristic tale, with each salacious detail recounted, he is wilfully subversive as he points the finger not only at the guilty but at those who would dare to judge. --Nicola Perry

Review:

"[Flaubert's] masterwork has been given the English translation it deserves." -Kathryn Harrison, The New York Times Book Review "[A] brilliant new translation." -Lee Siegel, The New York Observer "[Davis] has a finer ear for the natural cadences of English, in narrative and dialogue, than any of her predecessors, and there are many moments in her Madame Bovary when one pauses to admire how clean and spare a sentence seems by comparison with its earlier translated versions. . . . Only a very good writer indeed could have written it. . . . The bones of the original French show clearly through her English, and the rawness of her translation is, on the whole, invigorating." -Jonathan Raban, The New York Review of Books "How tickled Madame Bovary herself would be by the latest homage paid to her. . . . I'm grateful to Davis for luring me back to Madame Bovary and for giving us a version which strikes me as elegant and alive." -Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air "Flaubert's obsessive masterpiece finally gets the obsessive translation it deserves." -New York

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: new. Paperback. With an Introduction by Roger Clark, University of Kent at Canterbury. Translation by Eleanor Marx-Aveling. Castigated for offending against public decency, 'Madame Bovary' has rarely failed to cause a storm. For Flaubert's contemporaries, the fascination came from the novelist's meticulous account of provincial matters. For the writer, subject matter was subordinate to his anguished quest for aesthetic perfection. For his twentieth-century successors the formal experiments that underpin 'Madame Bovary' look forward to the innovations of contemporary fiction. Flaubert's protagonist in particular has never ceased to fascinate. Romantic heroine or middle-class neurotic, flawed wife and mother or passionate protester against the conventions of bourgeois society, simultaneously the subject of Flaubert's admiration and the butt of his irony - Emma Bovary remains one of the most enigmatic of fictional creations. Flaubert's meticulous approach to the craft of fiction, his portrayal of contemporary reality, his representation of an unforgettable cast of characters make Madame Bovary one of the major landmarks of modern fiction. AUTHOR: Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) achieved instant success and fame, indeed notoriety, with his first novel, "Madam Bovary", published in 1857. He was prosecuted on the basis that the novel was 'offensive to public morality and religion'. Although found not guilty, Flaubert earned a lecture from the judge on the dangers of "'realism". The book was a huge success, and Flaubert came to be considered one of the great novelists of Western literature. Flaubert's meticulous approach to the craft of fiction, his portrayal of contemporary reality, his representation of an unforgettable cast of characters make Madame Bovary one of the major landmarks of modern fiction. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9781853260780

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