Quotations From GUSTAVE FLAUBERT


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  • The true poet for me is a priest. As soon as he dons the cassock, he must leave his family.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 46, Conard (1915).

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  • Stupidity is something unshakable; nothing attacks it without breaking itself against it; it is of the nature of granite, hard and resistant.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 17, Conard (1915).

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  • Mediocrity cherishes rules; as for me, I hate them; I feel for them and for every restriction, corporation, caste, hierarchy, level, herd, a loathing which fills my soul, and it is in this respect perhaps that I understand martyrdom.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 51, Conard (1915).

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  • Oh, if I had been loved at the age of seventeen, what an idiot I would be today. Happiness is like smallpox: if you catch it too soon, it can completely ruin your constitution.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Letter, March 25-26, 1853, to Louise Colet, trans. by Stratton Buck (1966). Correspondance, III, p. 130, Conard (1926-1933).

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  • I am a man-pen. I feel through the pen, because of the pen.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Correspondance, letter, Jan. 31, 1852, to Louise Colet (1926). While writing Madame Bovary.
  • Everything which one invents is true, be sure of it.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Correspondance, letter, August 14, 1853, to Louise Colet, Conard (1926-1933).
  • Happiness is a monstrosity! Punished are those who seek it.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 5, Conard (1915).

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  • I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 50, Conard (1915).

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  • Success is a consequence and must not be a goal.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 82, Conard (1915).

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  • Style is as much under the words as in the words. It is as much the soul as it is the flesh of a work.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 65, Conard (1915).

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