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Quotations From GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

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  • Criticism occupies the lowest place in the literary hierarchy: as regards form, almost always; and as regards moral value, incontestably. It comes after rhyming games and acrostics, which at least require a certain inventiveness.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by Francis Steegmuller. The Selected Letters of Gustave Flaubert, letter, June 28-29, 1853, to Louise Colet (Farrar, Strauss and Young, 1953).
  • There are neither good nor bad subjects. From the point of view of pure Art, you could almost establish it as an axiom that the subject is irrelevant, style itself being an absolute manner of seeing things.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Correspondance, letter, Jan. 16, 1852, to Louise Colet. While writing Madame Bovary.
  • I had, as I told you, a great passion while still almost a child. When it was over, I divided myself in two, placing on one side the soul I kept for Art, and on the other, my body, which would have to fend for itself.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Correspondance, letter, autumn 1846, to Louise Colet (1926).

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  • Poetry is as precise a thing as geometry.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Correspondance, letter, August 14, 1853, to Louise Colet, Conard (1926-1933).

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  • Each dream finds at last its form; there is a drink for every thirst, and love for every heart. And there is no better way to spend your life than in the unceasing preoccupation of an idea—of an ideal.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Correspondance, vol. 1, letter, Jan. 14, 1857, to Elisa Schlesinger (1926). During the trial over Madame Bovary.

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  • The cult of art gives pride; one never has too much of it.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. letter, February 23, 1873, to Mme. Gustave de Maupassant, trans. by William G. Allen. Correspondance, VII, p. 10, Conard (1926-1933).

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  • I live absolutely like an oyster.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Correspondance, letter, September 9, 1868, to George Sand, Conard (1926-1933).
  • It seems to me that I have always existed and that I possess memories that date back to the Pharaohs.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by Stratton Buck (1966). Correspondance, letter, September 29, 1866, to George Sand, Conard (1926-1933).
  • Of all possible debauches, traveling is the greatest that I know; that's the one they invented when they got tired of all the others.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Letter, April 9, 1851, to Ernest Chevalier, trans. by William G. Allen. Correspondance, II, p. 309, Conard (1926-1933).
  • A memory is a beautiful thing, it's almost a desire that you miss.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Letter, March 15, 1842, to Ernest Chevalier, trans. by William G. Allen. Correspondance, I, p. 102, Conard (1926-1933).

    Read more quotations about / on: miss, memory, beautiful
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