Category Archives: Gustave Flaubert

“Your novelistic language annoys us”: George Sand, Indiana

My intrepid book club, which followed up Madame Bovary with Julian Barnes’s Flaubert’s Parrot, decided that our next step would be something by George Sand. We settled on Indiana because it was the most readily available (there’s a nice Oxford World’s Classics edition, with a “new” [1994] translation and an introduction by eminent literary scholar Naomi Schor). […]

The Quality of Mercy: Edward St. Aubyn, The Patrick Melrose Novels

“If I could imagine a mercy that was purely human, and not one that rested on the Greatest Story Ever Told, I might extend it to my father for being so unhappy.” — Patrick Melrose This is the point at which I almost stopped reading Never Mind, the first of the four Patrick Melrose novels included in […]

Madame Bovary II: The Doctors and Their Wives

It’s difficult to compare two books that are very, very good at what they do but that do very different things. Must such a comparison be evaluative, hierarchical? Of course not. Does it often end up that way? Of course. We’re only human! We like different things, for reasons that often say more about us than […]

Madame Bovary I: “in all of Flaubert there is not a single beautiful metaphor”

It’s odd reading a very famous novel for the first time. It’s like meeting a celebrity in person (or so I imagine). It is intensely familiar and yet strange at the same time: it is exactly what it always appeared to be, and yet it is no longer an idea of something but the thing […]

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Summer Reading 2014

Rohan:
1. Julie James, It Happened One Wedding
2. Dorothy Dunnett, King Hereafter
3. Miriam Toews, All My Puny Sorrows
4. Elizabeth George, Just One Evil Act
5. Dorothy Dunnett, Niccolo Rising
In progress: Ferrante, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

Maddie:
1. Judy Blume, Forever
2. Rob Thomas, Veronica Mars, an original mystery
3. John Green, Paper Towns
4. Judy Blume, Then Again Maybe I Won't
In progress: Dessen, Dreamland

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