Gustave Flaubert

(1821-1880 / Rouen)

Gustave Flaubert Quotes

  • ''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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  • ''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.
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''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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