Quotations From GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

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  • 41.
    The idea of bringing someone into the world fills me with horror. I would curse myself if I were a father. A son of mine! Oh no, no, no! May my entire flesh perish and may I transmit to no one the aggravations and the disgrace of existence.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Correspondance, letter, December 11, 1852, to Louise Colet (Conard, 1926-1933).

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  • 42.
    Reality does not conform to the ideal, but confirms it.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 86, Conard (1915).
  • 43.
    The heart, like the stomach, wants a varied diet.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 94, Conard (1915).

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  • 44.
    I do not like to "interest" the public with myself.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Letter to Ivan Turgenev, trans. by William G. Allen. Lettres inédites à Tourgueneff, p. 180, Editions du Rocher (1946).
  • 45.
    The better a work is, the more it attracts criticism; it is like the fleas who rush to jump on white linens.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 40, Conard (1915).

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  • 46.
    Emma Bovary is me.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Said to a Rouen journalist, Annie Bosquet.
  • 47.
    What seems to me the highest and the most difficult achievement of Art is not to make us laugh or cry, or to rouse our lust or our anger, but to do as nature does—that is, fill us with wonderment.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by Francis Steegmuller. The Selected Letters of Gustave Flaubert, letter, August 26, 1853, to Louise Colet (Farrar, Strauss and Young, 1953).

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  • 48.
    I have the handicap of being born with a special language to which I alone have the key.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Correspondance, letter, August 11, 1846, to Louise Colet, Conard (1926-1933).

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  • 49.
    I hate that which we have decided to call realism, even though I have been made one of its high priests.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Letter, February 6, 1876, to George Sand, trans. by William G. Allen. Correspondance, VII, p. 285, Conard (1926-1933).

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  • 50.
    A superhuman will is needed in order to write, and I am only a man.
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 33, Conard (1915).
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