Saturday, 13 May 2017

Quotes 2017 #134

"THE FAMILY IDIOT is thus 'one brief life' of Flaubert. 'Brief' because even the 2,700 pages we have are incomplete, and we have still not reached MADAME BOVARY; Sartre's near blindness forestalled any FINIS, but in fact covered much of his subject's existence since, as many writers on Flaubert have observed, starting with Flaubert himself, Flaubert was more or less done---finished, or perhaps stuck---at a very early age...

The idea that Flaubert was in a sense deeply ordinary, only more so, and that this was one of the reasons for his magnificent anger, was put about by the Goncourt brothers, in their diary: it has a certain plausibility. He attempted to conceal his commonness, they thought, be 'truculent paradoxes, depopulating axioms, revolutionary bellowings, a brutal and indeed ill-brought-up way of setting himself against all received and accepted ideas.'"

Andrew Brown, Gustave Flaubert.