Academic Master


Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

This paper turn to the pleasure of another masterpiece, another fairy tale. Of all the fairy tales of this series, Flaubert’s novel “Madame Bovary” is the most romantic. From the point of view of style – before us prose, assuming the duties of poetry. When you read to a child, he asks if that was actually the case. If not, requires that they read another story, truthful. Let us leave this approach to books for children and youth. Of course, if you are told that Mr. Smith saw a blue saucer with a green helmsman whistle past him, you must ask whether the story is true if it is true because its credibility will affect one way or another for your entire life, you will be affected in a very practical way . But do not ask if the truth is written in a novel or a poem. Do not fool yourself; we will remember that literature has no practical value in principle – except for the very special case when a person strives to become a teacher of literature. Emma’s girl Bovary never was; the book “Madame Bovary” will remain forever. Books live longer than girls.

In the book there is a topic of adultery and there are situations and hints that scandalized the prudish, philistine government of Napoleon III. Moreover, the novel was prosecuted for obscenity. Just imagine. It is as if the work of the artist is obscene. I am glad to inform you that Flaubert won the case. It happened exactly one hundred years ago. And nowadays, in our time … But let’s not be distracted.
We will look at the novel as Flaubert and assumed: from the point of view of structures (he called them mouvements), thematic lines, style, poetry, characters. There are thirty-five chapters in the novel, each about ten pages long, and three large parts, which take place first in Rouen and Toast, then in Jonvil, and finally in Jonville, Rouen and Jonville-all fictional except for Rouen, the diocesan center in the north of France.

The period of the main action was chosen in the 1830s and 1840s, under King Louis-Philippe (1830-1848). The first chapter begins in the winter of 1827, and in a kind of epilogue of the fate of some of the characters traced to 1856, before the reign of Napoleon III, and in fact – until the date when Flaubert finished the novel. “Madame Bovary” was started on September 19, 1851 in Croisset, near Rouen, completed in April 1856, sent in July and published in the “Paris Review” until the end of the same year. In the summer of 1853, when Flaubert proceeded to the second part of the novel, a hundred miles north of Rouen, at Boulogne, Charles Dickens completed the “Cold House”; A year earlier Gogol died in Russia, and Tolstoy published the first significant work – Childhood.

Creates and forms a human three forces: heredity, environment and unknown factor X. The second force – the environment – is the least of the three, and the third – the X factor – the most important. When it comes to the inhabitants of books, literary heroes, it controls, directs and applies three forces, of course, the author.

The public environment around Mrs. Bovary Flaubert made as deliberately as her own, and to say that Flaubert’s society influences Flaubert’s characters – it means to reason in a circle. Everything that happens in the book takes place exclusively in Flaubert’s mind, no matter what the initial reason for writing a book or the state of affairs in the then France – real or according to Flaubert. That’s why I’m opposed to those who insist on the influence of objective social conditions on the heroine of Emma Bovary’s novel. Flaubert is busy with the subtle differentiation of human destiny, not with the arithmetic of social conditioning.

They say that most of the characters of “Madame Bovary” are capitalists. But once and for all you need to find out the meaning that was put into the word “capitalists” by Flaubert. In addition to the cases when it simply means “citizen” (often in French meaning), Flaubert’s word capitalists means “a petty capitalists”, that is, a person focused on the material side of life and believing only in generally accepted values. Flaubert never uses the word capitalists with a political-economic Marxist connotation. For him, capitalism is determined by the contents of the head, not the purse. In the famous scene of the novel, when an old peasant woman, receiving a medal for slave labor on the owner of a farm, faces the jury of the touched capitalists, and so, in this scene, the burghers are both parties: both complacent politicians and superstitious old woman, all of them are capitalists in Flauber’s sense . I will finally clarify the meaning of the term, saying that, for example, in Soviet Russia today Soviet literature, Soviet art, Soviet music, Soviet ideals are thoroughly and tediously capitalists. Behind the iron – the curtain is tulle. A Soviet official, large or small, is the embodiment of the capitalists spirit and philistinism. The key to the Flaubert term is the middle class of Mr. For the sake of extreme clarity, let me add that Marx would have called Flaubert a capitalists in the political economy, and Flaubert of Marx in the spiritual; and both would not have been mistaken, for Flaubert was a wealthy man, and Marx was a philistine in his views on art.

The rule of Louis Philippe, the leo-capitalists, from 1830 to 1848, is a pleasantly dull epoch compared to Napoleon’s fireworks that opened the century and our motley times. In the 1840s “the French chronicle unfolded calmly under the cold management of Guizot.” But “1847 began with grim prospects for the French government: discontent, need, desire for a more popular and, perhaps, more brilliant government … At the top, it seemed, fraud and excuses reigned.” The revolution broke out in February 1848. Louis Philippe, “taking the name of William Smith, completed the infamous reign of an inglorious flight in a hired carriage” (British Encyclopedia, 9th ed., 1879). I learned a fragment of history because the good Louis Philippe with the crew and umbrella is a real Flaubert character. Well, another character, Charles Bovary, was born, according to my calculations, in 1815; he went to school in 1828; was awarded the title of “Sanitary Doctor” (degree below the doctor) in 1835; married the first time – on the widow of Dubuque – the same year in Toest, where he opened medical practice. Having lost her, he married Emma Ruo (the heroine of the book) in 1838; moved to another city, Ionville, in 1840;in 1846, lost his second wife and died in 1847, thirty-two years.

The term “romantic” has several meanings. When discussing “Madame Bovary” – both the novel and the heroine herself – I will use it in the following sense: “distinguished by a dreamy mindset, indulging in the contemplation of picture fantasies, borrowed mainly from literature” (rather “romantic” than “romantic “). Romantic personality, with a mind and senses living in an unreal, deep or shallow manner, according to the quality of his soul. Emma Bovary is not stupid, sensitive, well educated, but her soul is shallow: charm, beauty, sensitivity does not save her from the fatal taste of philistinism. Despite the exotic dreams, she is a provincial capitalistsie to the core, faithful to stereotyped ideas or breaking patterned conventions in one way or another in a stereotyped way, from which the adultery is the most typical way to rise above the pattern; and, despite the passion for luxury, she once or twice discovers what Flaubert calls peasant stiffness – a village stinginess. But her unusual physical fascination, strange grace, birdlike, like the hummingbirds, is a vitality – all this irresistibly attracts and fascinates the three men in the book: her husband and her two successive lovers, the two scoundrels – Rodolphe, for whom her dreamy childlike tenderness is a pleasant contrast to whores, his usual company; and Leon, a vain nothingness, to whom it is flattering to have in a mistress a real lady.

Well, what about the husband, Charles Bovary? Boring, plodding, slow-witted, without charm, wit, education, but with a full set of patterned ideas and rules. He is a philistine, but at the same time a touching, pathetic creature. Two things are very important. He sees in Emma and he is attracted to her in exactly what she herself vainly seeks in her dreams. Vaguely, but deeply Charles feels in her some iridescent charm, luxury, dreamy distance, poetry, romanticism. This is the first, and in due time I will give examples. Secondly, the love for Emma, growing almost imperceptibly for Charles himself, is a real feeling, deep and genuine, the absolute opposite of the animal or petty emotions of Rodolphe and Leon, her self-satisfied and vulgar lovers. This is the attractive paradox of Flaubert’s tale: the most boring and incoherent character of the book is the only one who is justified by the dose of the divine that is in his all-conquering, all-forgiving, unchanging love for Emma, alive or dead. There is, however, in the book and the fourth enamored Emma character – but this is just a Dickens boy, Justin.Nevertheless, I recommend it to your kind attention.

Let’s return at a time when Charles is still married to Eloise Dubuque. In the second chapter, the horse Bovary – the horses play a huge role in the book, forming their own cross-cutting theme – a drowsy trot carries him to Emma, the daughter of a farmer – his patient. But Emma does not look like an ordinary farmer’s daughter; this is an elegant young woman, a “young lady”, who was brought up in a good boarding school together with her noble daughters. And Charles Bovary was dragged from a damp matrimonial bed (he never loved his first wife, aging, flat-breasted, all in pimples, a strange widow, as at Flaubert’s will, Charles calls her to himself), and Charles, a young rural doctor , pulled out of a dull bed, and he travels to the farm of Berto, where the owner broke his leg. Entering the yard of the farm, his calm horse suddenly flinches aside – an easy omen of shocks, coming to a quietly living young man.

Farm, and then Emma we see him with his eyes, when he comes there for the first time, still married to the unlucky widow.Half a dozen peacocks walk around the yard, like an unclear promise, the first lesson of rainbowness. You can trace the theme of the umbrella of Emma to the end of the chapter. A few weeks later, in a thaw, when the bark of trees trickled and snow melted on the roofs of the buildings, Emma stood on the threshold; Then she went to get an umbrella and opened it.The sun-drenched blue silk umbrella threw dancing colors on its white face. She was smiling at the soft warmth, and she could hear the drops falling, with the right drum note, one by one, at the tight moire, at the stretched silk.

Various details of the beautiful appearance of Emma are shown through the look of Charles: a blue dress with three frills, beautiful nails, a hairdo. This hairstyle is translated by all translators so disgustingly that it is necessary to give the right description, otherwise you will not be able to imagine it correctly: “Her black hair was divided into two bands, so smoothly combed, that they seemed a whole piece, a thin part, slightly bent according to the shape of her skull “A young doctor is watching. “; and the bando left only the earlobes of the ears open , not the “tops”, like all the translators: the ears were closed, of course, with a smooth black bando , and behind them the hair was gathered in a magnificent chignon. Her cheeks were pink. ”

The sensuality of the impression she made on the young man is emphasized by the description of the summer day, seen from inside, from the living room: “The shutters were closed. The sun’s rays made their way through the cracks, stretched out on thin slabs of stone slabs, broke on the corners of the furniture and trembled on the ceiling. Flies clinging to the dirty glasses on the table scrambled and sank at the bottom in the remnants of cider. Under the sun, which penetrated through the chimney, the velvet soot glowed in the depths of the fireplace, and the ash that had cooled off slightly gleamed. Emma sewed, sitting between the stove and the window, there was no scarf on her, sweat was visible on her bare shoulders. ” Pay attention to the thin rays breaking through the cracks, the flies clambering over the glasses (and not “crawling” like the translators: flies do not crawl, they walk and rub their hands), climbing glasses and drowning in the remains of cider. And note the insinuating light that turns soot in the depth of the hearth into velvet and touched the cooled blue ashes. Drops of sweat on Emma’s shoulders (she was in an open dress) – note them. Before us is an exemplary narrative passage.

Curling around the field wedding cortege must be compared with the funeral cortege, carrying the dead Emma and wriggling around the other fields, at the end of the book. At the wedding: “At first the guests walked in a tight string – like a colored scarf wriggling along a narrow boundary, snickering between green loaves; but soon the cortege stretched out and broke into groups; people chatted and did not hurry. A musician with a satin ribbon decorated with a violin stepped forward; followed by the newlyweds, and then went on to relatives and acquaintances. The children are far behind: they cut off the earrings of oats and secretly played games. Emma’s long dress was slightly drawn along the ground; from time to time, she stopped, lifted it and gently removed the coarse grass and small thorns of thistles with gloved fingers; and Charles, with his hands down, waited until she finished this case. Uncle Ruo, in a new cylinder and a black tailcoat with sleeves to the nails, was led by Mme Bovary-mother. And Mr. Bovary the father, despising in the depths of his soul all this company, appeared in a simple single-breasted coat of military cut and now lavished the tavern courtesies of some blond peasant woman. She squatted, blushed, did not know what to say. The rest of the guests talked about their affairs or joked in secret, pre-exciting themselves for fun; alerting the ear, you could hear in the field the pelican musician, who played and played. ”

Emma is buried. “Six people – three on each side – walked slowly and a little choked. Priests, choristers and two boys from the choir called De rofundis, their voices were lost in the fields, then rising or falling in the tones of the melody. Sometimes the choir was hiding behind the turn of the path, but the high silver crucifix was always visible between the trees. < Compare with the violinist at the wedding.>
The women walked in black cloaks with hoods lowered; In their hands they carried thick burning candles, and Charles almost fainted from these endless prayers and fires, from the pungent smells of wax and cassock. A fresh breeze was blowing, rye and rapeseed were green, droplets of dew trembled along the edges of the road on the hedges. Everything around was full of all kinds of merry sounds: rumbling in the distance along the ruts of a cart, echoing a cock-roaring cry, stomping hooves of a foal fleeing to the apple-trees. In the clear sky here and there were pink clouds; Over the reed roofs the bluish smoke curved downward; Charles on the move recognized the yards. He remembered the same morning as this, when he left the patient and returned to her. “I ‘m curious that he does not remember the wedding; the reader’s position is more profitable.

From time to time the black cloth, strewn with white “tears”, rose and opened the coffin. The weary porters slowed the pace, and the coffin moved with jerks, like a boat, evenly rocking on every wave. ”

Everyday bliss of our hero after the wedding is depicted in one more gradually acting on the feelings of the passage. And again, miserable translations have to be corrected: “In the morning, lying in bed beside Emma, he watched as a sunbeam permeated the fluff on her white-rosy cheeks, half-covered by the corrugated fester of the cap. At such a close distance, Emma’s eyes seemed even bigger, especially when she woke up several times to open and close them; black in the shade and bright blue in bright light, her eyes seemed to be composed of many color layers, dense in the depths and all brightening to the surface of the iris “(a weak echo of the layers’ theme).

In the sixth chapter, Emma’s childhood is retrospectively described in the language of a banal romantic culture, in the language of the books she has read and what she has learned from there. Emma – passionate reader of love, more or less exotic novels, romantic poetry. Some of her famous writers are first-class – for example, Walter Scott or Victor Hugo; others are not quite – Bernard de Saint-Pierre or Lamartine. But it’s not whether they are good or bad. The fact is that she is a bad reader. She reads emotionally, in a superficial teenage way, imagining herself as one, then another heroine. Flaubert acts very subtly. In a few paragraphs, he lists all the dear to Emmino heart romantic cliches; But the sophisticated selection of common images and their rhythmic arrangement along the curve of the phrase create a harmonious and artistic impression. In the novels she read in the monastery, “only it was that love, lovers, mistresses, persecuted ladies falling without feelings in solitary gazebos, postmen who are killed at all stations, horses that are pounded on every page, dark forests, heart murmurs, oaths, sobbing, tears and kisses, shuttles under the moonlight, nightingales in groves, “cavaliers”, brave like lions, and gentle as lambs, virtuous beyond measure, always beautifully dressed and shedding tears, like urns. At fifteen, Emma spent six months digging into this dust of old libraries. Later she was fascinated by her historical props Walter Scott, she began to dream of parapets, vaulted halls and minstrels. She wanted to live in some old castle, like those ladies in long corsages who spent their days in high lancet chambers and leaning their elbows on the stone window sill, leaning their cheeks with their hands, watched as a white-plumed knight jumps over the field on a black horse ”

The same artistic device he uses, enumerating the vulgar properties of Omet. The object itself can be rude and repulsive. His image is artistically verified and balanced. This is the style. This is art. Only this is important in books.

The theme of Emmina’s dreams is connected with a puppy, a forester’s gift: she “took him with her for walks; Sometimes she left home to stay alone for a minute and not to see this eternal garden and dusty road … Emma’s thoughts were initially pointless, clinging to the accidental, like her greyhound, which ran around in the field, yapping after yellow butterflies, chasing after shrews or nibbled the poppies along the edge of the wheat field. Then the thoughts gradually cleared up, and, sitting on the ground, Emma repeated, quietly stirring the grass with an umbrella:

– Oh my God! Why did I get married?

She wondered if she could have met another person at some other time; she tried to imagine what those unfulfilled events would be, this quite different life, this unknown husband. In fact, not everyone is like Charles! He could be handsome, intelligent, exquisite, attractive – and, probably, those were the people for whom friends of the monastery came out. What are they doing now? All, of course, in the city, in street noise, in the rumble of theaters, in the glamor of the ballroom, everyone lives a life from which the heart rejoices and the feelings blossom. And she? Its existence is cold, like an attic, facing the north, and boredom, a silent spider, weaves its network in the shadows of the corners of her heart. ”

Disappearance of the puppy when moving from Toast to Ionville symbolizes the end of tender romantic, elegiac dreams in Toast and the beginning of a more passionate period in fateful Jonvil.

But before Ionville, the romantic dream of Paris arises from the silk cigarette case that she picked up on an empty rural road, returning from Vobessar, as in Proust’s Quest for Lost Time, the greatest novel of the first half of this century, the town of Combray with all its gardens about him) pops up from a cup of tea. The vision of Paris is one of a series of Emmine dreams that pass through the whole book. One such (quickly discarded) dream is that Charles will glorify Bovary’s name, which she bears: “Why did not she get at least a silent worker as her husband?” – one of those people who at night dig into books and to sixty years, when rheumatism begins, get a cross in the buttonhole of a badly sewn tailcoat? .. She would like her name, the name of Bovary, to be glorified, so that it was exhibited in bookstores, repeated in newspapers, was known throughout France. But Charles did not have any ambition. ”

The theme of dreams naturally intertwines with the theme of deception. She hides from Charles a cigarette case over which she dreams; and from the outset it launches deception. First – that he took her away from Toast: her feigned illness – the reason for their move to Ionville, for the sake of a supposedly better climate: “Is this pathetic existence going to last forever?Did she never get rid of him? After all, she is no worse than all those women who live happily ever after. In Vobessar she saw more than one duchess, whose figure was heavier and more vulgar than hers. And Emma cursed God for injustice; she pressed her head against the wall and cried; she languished in a noisy and brilliant life, at night masquerades, in daring joys and uncharted self-oblivion, which was supposed to hide in them.

She turned pale, she had palpitations. Charles prescribed her valerian drops and camphor baths. But everything that they tried to do for her seemed to irritate her even more.

All the time she complained of Toast; so Charles imagined that at the basis of her illness there was some influence of the local climate, and, having stopped on this thought, began to seriously think about how to get settled in another city. Then Emma began to drink vinegar to lose weight, grabbed a dry cough and finally lost her appetite.”

It is in Jonvil that fate overtakes her. The fate of her wedding bouquet is a kind of omen or emblem of how Emma herself will part with life a few years later. Finding the wedding bouquet of her first wife, Emma asked herself what would become of her own. And so, leaving Tosa, she burns it in a magnificent passage: “One day Emma, preparing for departure, parsed things in the dresser and pricked something on her finger. It was a delay from her wedding bouquet. Fleordorange yellowed with dust, satin ribbons with a silver fringe worn around the edges. Emma threw the flowers into the fire. They flashed like dry straw. On the ashes remained a slowly burning red bush. Emma looked at him. The cardboard berries crumpled, the copper wire wriggled, the bald spot melted; Burnt paper corbels wore in the fireplace, like black butterflies, until finally they flew into the pipe. ” In Flaubert’s letter, written about July 22, 1852, there is a passage applicable to this passage: “A really good prosaic phrase should be like a good verse: the same unchangeability, the same rhythm and sonority.”

The theme of dreams reappears when Emma decides what kind of romantic name to call her daughter. “First she went over all the names with Italian endings, like Clara, Louise, Amanda, Atala; She also liked Galsuinda, and even more – Isolde or Leocadia. ” Other characters, offering a name, also remain true to themselves. “Charles wanted to name the child on behalf of his mother, Emma did not agree.” Mr. Leon, says Ome, “was surprised that you did not take the name of Magdalene. Now this is an unusually fashionable name.
But, hearing the name of the sinner, the old woman Bovary terribly screamed. Mr. Omet himself preferred names that would remind of some great man, a glorious feat or a noble idea. ” Note the reason why Emma chooses Bert’s name. “At last Emma remembered that in Vobessar the Marquis at her had called one young woman Bertha, and immediately stopped on that name …”

Romantic considerations in choosing a name make a sharp contrast to the situation in which Emma’s daughter gets, given, according to the amazing custom of that time, a wet nurse. Together with Leon Emma goes to visit her. “They recognized the house of the wet nurse on the old nut tree that had overshadowed it. The shack was low, covered with brown tiles; under the attic dormer window hung a bunch of onions. Along the whole hedgerow were bundles of brushwood, and in the courtyard there grew on the bed a lettuce, a little lavender and sweet peas on stamens. Dirty water was spreading on the grass, a rag, some stockings, a red cotton sweater; A large sheet of coarse linen was stretched over the fence. At the knock of the gate came a woman, holding the baby’s hand on her arm. With the other hand she led a miserable, frail little falcon with a scrofulous face – the son of a Rouen cap: parents, too busy with trade, sent him to the village. ”
Emminous Emotional Differences: the intersection of longing, passion, despair, love, disappointment – ends with a voluntary, painful and very chaotic death. But before we part with Emma, we must note her inherent stiffness, somehow reflected in a small physical flaw – in the dry angularity of the hands; she had sleek, tender and white, perhaps, lovely hands, but not very beautiful.

She’s lying, she’s a liar by nature: from the very beginning, before all the betrayals, she deceives Charles. She lives among the petty capitalists and the petty capitalists herself. Her spiritual vulgarity is not as obvious as that of Omega. Perhaps it would be too cruel to say that the hackneyed, stereotyped pseudo-Progressive ideas of Omet corresponds to the female pseudo-Romanticism of Emma; but it is impossible to get rid of the feeling that Emma and Omet not only have phonetics, but something similar, and this is something – inherent in both vulgar cruelty. In Emma, the vulgar and petty-capitalists are covered with charm, charm, beauty, brisk cleverness, a passion for idealization, glimpses of tenderness and sensitivity, and the fact that her short bird life ends in a real tragedy.



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