Gustave Flaubert

Gustave
Flaubert
1821
1880

French Writer, Western Novelist known for his first novel, Madame Bovary

Author Quotes

Read much, but not many books.

She loved the sea for its storms alone, cared for vegetation only when it grew here and there among ruins. She had to extract a kind of personal advantage from things and she rejected as useless everything that promised no immediate gratification -- for her temperament was more sentimental than artistic, and what she was looking for was emotions, not scenery.

She was filled with wonderment at the discovery that there was a bliss greater than mere happiness -- a love different from and transcending all others -- a love without break and without end, a love that increased throughout eternity!... She conceived the idea of becoming a saint. She bought rosaries and festooned herself with holy medals; she wished she had an emerald-studded reliquary within reach at her bed's head, to kiss every night.

Stupidity consists in wanting to reach conclusions. We are a thread, and we want to know the whole cloth.

The author in his book must be like God in his universe, everywhere present and nowhere visible.

The fire had gone out, but the clock went on ticking, and Emma vaguely wondered how all these things could be so still when her own heart was so full of turmoil.

The most important thing in the world is to hold your soul aloft.

The true poet for me is a priest. As soon as he dons the cassock, he must leave his family.

There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it.

We have all been beaten! Each one has to bear his misfortune! Resign yourself!

What exasperated her was Charles's total unawareness of her ordeal. His conviction that he was making her happy she took as a stupid insult: such self-righteousness could only mean that he didn't appreciate her.

When you reduce a woman to writing, she makes you think of a thousand other women

You must - do you hear me, young man? - You must work more than you are doing!

Reality does not conform to the ideal, but confirms it.

She loved the sea only for its storms, and greenery only when it was scattered among ruins.

She was not happy--she never had been. Whence came this insufficiency in life--this instantaneous turning to decay of everything on which she leaned? But if there were somewhere a being strong and beautiful, a valiant nature, full at once of exaltation and refinement, a poet's heart in an angel's form, a lyre with sounding chords ringing out elegiac epithalamia to heaven, why, perchance, should she not find him? Ah! How impossible! Besides, nothing was worth the trouble of seeking it; everything was a lie. Every smile hid a yawn of boredom, every joy a curse, all pleasure satiety, and the sweetest kisses left upon your lips only the unattainable desire for a greater delight.

Stupidity is something unshakable; nothing attacks it without breaking itself against it; it is of the nature of granite, hard and resistant.

The better a work is, the more it attracts criticism; it is like the fleas who rush to jump on white linens.

The fires died down, perhaps because the fuel was exhausted or because too much was piled upon them. Little by little, absence chilled the flame of love, the pangs of regret were dulled by habit.

The music was still throbbing in her ears, and she forced herself to stay awake in order to prolong the illusion of this luxurious life she would so soon have to be leaving... She longed to know all about their lives, to penetrate into them, to be part of them.

The truth is that fullness of soul can sometimes overflow in utter vapidity of language, for none of us can ever express the exact measure of his needs or his thoughts or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.

There isn't a bourgeois alive who in the ferment of his youth, if only for a day or for a minute, hasn't thought himself capable of boundless passions and noble exploits. The sorriest little woman-chaser has dreamed of Oriental queens; in a corner of every notary's heart lie the moldy remains of a poet.

We must laugh and cry, enjoy and suffer, in a word, vibrate to our full capacity... That's what being really human means.

What is beautiful is moral, that is all there is to it.

Whereas the truth is that fullness of soul can sometimes overflow in utter vapidity of language, for none of us can ever express the exact measure of his needs or his thoughts or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.

Author Picture
First Name
Gustave
Last Name
Flaubert
Birth Date
1821
Death Date
1880
Bio

French Writer, Western Novelist known for his first novel, Madame Bovary