Please join us for reading and discussion of Gustave Flaubert's great novel Madame Bovary.
We've been meeting every other Sunday at 4:30-7:00 p.m. around the Big Table in the back of the bookstore. After this meeting, we gather one last time for Madame Bovaryon August 4. Then we'll move on to the next work in our series.*
Participation is free, but donations of $10 or so per meeting are suggested to help support the bookstore, which provides us with a pleasant meeting space and complimentary wine, sandwiches, and cookies.
We will be using the Lydia Davis translation. The bookstore has copies for purchase.
For more information, please contact Ken Knabb: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flaubert's novels were conceived as head-on attacks on middle-class life in all its aspects, its ideals as well as its realities. Yet what happens? Flaubert was a tireless craftsman, and as he reworked his sentences, seeking always the ultimate precision of a surgical instrument, the simplicity of his approach yielded before an irony of which he never became fully conscious. . . . Flaubert had a vision, a model, of how words should function, and he ground down each phrase until it fitted that model, a kind of abstract template that did not merely shape rhythm and image, but revealed a fundamental quality of the sensibility. Among the painters Courbet, Manet, Degas, and then all the Impressionists, nature was being illuminated with a new kind of light, never seen before. For sheer brilliance of direct vision, Flaubert’s prose surpasses any of them, and has yet to be equaled by any of his disciples. All the manifold details of life, of nature, of still life, glow with an internal fire, the fire of burning prose that has been distilled to a perfect transparency. (Kenneth Rexroth)