Monday, December 03, 2007

Madame Bovary

I was trying to find a quote today that I thought came from Madame Bovary, and I came across some fantastic quotes from Flabuert's classic. I actually read a condensed version of Madame Bovary for freshman English in college, but apparently the depth of Flaubert's insight into human nature went right over my head. I'm thinking of picking it up again ... here's a sampling of the quotes that have whetted my appetite:

“Adultery ... could be as banal as marriage.”

“Casting aspersions on those we love always does something to loosen our ties. We shouldn't maltreat our idols: the gilt comes off on our hands” (MER: I love that last part!)

“When she knelt at the gothic prie-dieu she addressed the Lord with the same ardent words she had formerly murmured to her lover in the ecstasies of adultery. It was her way of praying for faith; but heaven showered no joy upon her, and she would rise, her limbs aching, with a vague feeling that it was all a vast fraud.”

“The more flowery a person's speech ... the more suspect the feelings, or lack of feelings, it concealed.”

“He had had such things said to him so many times that none of them had any freshness for him. Emma was like all his other mistresses; and as the charm of novelty gradually slipped from her like a piece of her clothing, he saw revealed in all its nakedness the eternal monotony of passion, which always assumes the same forms and always speaks the same language.”

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