Browsing the archives for the Madame Bovary tag.

“Madame Bovary” drafts online

archives, blogs & sites, canon, fiction

From Reuters:

Drafts of “Madame Bovary,” Gustave Flaubert’s classic tale of adultery and thwarted dreams, are being shown online for the first time thanks to a mass effort to transcribe the originals.

Some 650 volunteers from all over the world, including teenagers, an oil worker and a cleaning lady, have transcribed thousands of often hardly legible hand-written manuscripts in a project overseen by a museum in Rouen in northwestern France. …

The decade-long project to prepare the writings for publication on the Internet cost 120,000 euros and was supported by the work of literature fans from 12 countries.

The result can be seen at and is meant to appeal to specialists as well as amateurs.

Flaubert on writing Madame Bovary

canon, the "on" series, writers' lives

I feel like a man who has fucked too much (forgive me for the expression) - a kind of rapturous lassitude.

flaubertFrom a letter Flaubert wrote to the poet and novelist Louise Colet, his sometime-lover, on December 23, 1853, at 2 AM:

I must write to you tonight, for I am exhausted. My head feels as though it were being squeezed in an iron vise. Since two o’-clock yesterday afternoon (except for about twenty-five minutes for dinner), I have been writing Bovary. I am in the midst of lovemaking: I am sweating and my throat is tight. This has been one of the rare days of my life passed completely in illusion from beginning to end. At six o’-clock this evening, as I was writing the word “hysterics,” I was so swept away, was bellowing so loudly and feeling so deeply what my little Bovary was going through, that I was afraid of having hysterics myself. I got up from my table and opened the window to calm myself. My head was spinning. Now I have great pains in my knees, in my back, and in my head. I feel like a man who has fucked too much (forgive me for the expression) - a kind of rapturous lassitude. And since I am in the midst of love it is only proper that I should not fall asleep before sending you a caress, a kiss, and whatever thoughts are left in me. …

Source: Madame Bovary: A Norton Critical Edition (second edition), edited by Margaret Cohen, p 307. Letter translated from the French by Francis Steegmuller.

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