Quotations From GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

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  • 31.
    The only way to avoid being unhappy is to close yourself up in Art and to count for nothing all the rest.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Letter, May 13, 1845, to Alfred le Poittevin, trans. by William G. Allen. Correspondance, I, p. 172, Conard (1926-1933).
  • 32.
    And so I will take back up my poor life, so plain and so tranquil, where phrases are adventures and the only flowers I gather are metaphors.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Correspondance, letter, Jan. 14, 1857, to Elisa Schlesinger (1926). During the trial over Madame Bovary.

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  • 33.
    One mustn't ask apple trees for oranges, France for sun, women for love, life for happiness.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 3, Conard (1915).

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  • 34.
    Caught up in life, you see it badly. You suffer from it or enjoy it too much. The artist, in my opinion, is a monstrosity, something outside of nature.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Letter, December 15, 1850, to his mother, trans. by Stratton Buck (1966). Correspondance, II, p. 269, Conard (1926-1933). To his mother, in response to her question as to whether he intended to marry.

    Read more quotations about / on: nature, life
  • 35.
    One arrives at style only with atrocious effort, with fanatical and devoted stubbornness.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 15, Conard (1915).
  • 36.
    It is the fault of fate.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Charles, in Madame Bovary (1856). On Emma's suicide.

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  • 37.
    I love my work with a frenetic and perverse love, as an ascetic loves the hair shirt which scratches his belly.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Letter, April 24, 1852, to Louise Colet, trans. by Stratton Buck (1966). Correspondance, II, p. 395, Conard (1926-1933).

    Read more quotations about / on: hair, love, work
  • 38.
    One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Correspondance, letter, July 6, 1852, to Louise Colet, Conard (1926-1933).
  • 39.
    The hand I burned and whose skin is shriveled like that of a mummy's is less sensitive than the other to cold or heat. My soul is the same; it passed through fire.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Correspondance, letter, spring 1847, to Louise Colet (1926).

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  • 40.
    The finest works of art are those in which there is the least matter. The closer expression comes to thought, the more the word clings to the idea and disappears, the more beautiful the work of art.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Correspondance, letter, Jan. 16, 1852, to Louise Colet (1926). While writing Madame Bovary.

    Read more quotations about / on: beautiful, work
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