Gustave Flaubert

(1821-1880 / Rouen)

Gustave Flaubert Quotes

  • ''One never tires of what is well written, style is life! It is the very blood of thought!''
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 47, Conard (1915).
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  • ''The future is the worst thing about the present.''
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Pensées de Gustave Flaubert, p. 1, Conard (1915).
  • ''Emma Bovary is me.''
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Said to a Rouen journalist, Annie Bosquet.
  • ''To be stupid and selfish and to have good health are the three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, the others are useless.''
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by Francis Steegmuller. The Selected Letters of Gustave Flaubert, letter, August 6, 1846, to Louise Colet (Farrar, Strauss and Young, 1953).
  • ''It is a delicious thing to write, whether well or badly M to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating.''
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by Francis Steegmuller. The Selected Letters of Gustave Flaubert, letter, December 23, 1853, to Louise Colet (Farrar, Strauss and Young, 1953).
  • ''I love good sense above all, perhaps because I have none.''
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by Francis Steegmuller. The Selected Letters of Gustave Flaubert, letter, 1848, to Louise Colet (Farrar, Strauss and Young, 1953).
  • ''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).
  • ''Art requires neither complaisance nor politeness; nothing but faith—faith and freedom.''
    Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist. Trans. by Francis Steegmuller. The Selected Letters of Gustave Flaubert, letter, October 2, 1856, to Léon Laurent-Pichat (Farrar, Strauss and Young, 1953).
  • ''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).

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