An enthralling, nearly life-changing book. I listened to the Kate Reading audiobook of the excellent Lydia Davis translation. Lively characters experience dramatic events in surprisingly relatable ways. It's weird how much of myself I am able to see in this book.
Madame Emma is vain, pretentious, impatient and callous, and I adore her. Her author, Gustave Flaubert, once said "I am Emma Bovary!" -- he knows her joys, her sorrows, and her frustrated bourgeoise aspirations from the inside. Emma is often compared to Anna Karenina (see essay above), and it is interesting to see the contrast between an author who is in love with his heroine (Tolstoy), and makes all the excuses for her he decently can, and an author who wants to ruthlessly expose her (Flaubert), but is madly in love with her anyway. Emma Bovary is a miserable creature, but she attains a kind of greatness in her misery. This story is a reminder of how short, painful, and limited most human lives are, and women's lives perhaps most of all.
May 1, 2015, I am bored with this, but plugging along anyway. I guess I am just not much of a 'classic' reader. As I read it, I am listening to the audio book recording, which was recorded from a different translation, and this makes it challenging! I get different perspectives from both however, and will continue on. Emma sure had some mental health issues! May 7,....on disc 7 of 10.......May 14 2015, I have finally finished this, and I must say the most interesting part was the 'trial' of the book. It was interesting to note that the defense (which was successful!) was based on the fact that poor ole Emma Bovary was educated beyond her position in life, and this was the cause of her unhappiness which caused her to stray! Well.....!......funny that my 25 year old son and his girlfriend come to visit last week, and what are they reading......Madame Bovary! Just too weird!
This is the most boring classic I have ever read.
This is my third reading of Madame Bovary, and each time it has been a different experience. The importance and beauty of this book eluded me until I read this new translation by Lydia Davis, however. If you've tried to read MB before and failed, give Ms. Davis's translation a chance.
Why is the library system and catalog becoming more difficult to use. When I tried to place a hold, I got the message, "there is a problem with your library card -- see a librarian." I am away, but would like to place a hold, so that the book is available when I return to NYC on April 1 as I need it for a book club to which I belong. I saw that my library card may expire soon -- no date of expiration was given. When did this start, and how can I get a new card if I need one before I return to NYC?
Larue (Larry) Lincoln
1 646 530-4022
Finally, I got around to reading this. It is a fascinating book--a portrait of a woman who simply succumbs to an utterly brutal fate. Is it a result of her own vanity and romantic vapidity? Is she a victim of a culture that had created scripts for female desire that could only end in emptiness? Is she just a person, morally neutral, who ends up in a mess? Flaubert refuses to make a judgment, and although it's horrifying to watch the inevitable, almost Greek-tragedy-like fall of Emma's fortunes, it's also completely mesmerizing. Details are rendered with almost neurotic precision. The writing (translated excellently by Lydia Davis) is eloquent but ruthlessly frank. This is, in the end, a cold book, portraying a cold world. Be ready for it if you read it.
I absolutely LOVE this book. I haven't read it in years, but it is one of the very few books that I would re-read over and over again. CLASSIC!!!
Emma Bovary was completely self absorbed in what the fantasy of love should be while letting her family life deteriorate slowly for her own pleasures. Charles was a very weak man he let everyone control him especially his wife. What I didn’t like is the writer spent lots of time on the characters and places which is all well but I think a little more description of the relationship between Emma and Charles would have been much better. By the end of the book I was tired of hearing any thing that character Homais had to say he was a pompous and arrogant know it all. I have heard a lot about the translation making this a hard read that wasn’t the case for me it was the lengthy moments he spent on situations that did not have any impact on the main characters Emma & Charles. The book ended disastrously for the daughter which made me feel even more contempt for Emma’s character as well as Charles at least he could have tried to live for his daughter she was the real victim in this story.
very insightful book, often considered a feminist book. Definitely a classic and worth reading. A little bit difficult to get through sometimes, because of some gory descriptions and some monotony. But overall, a book with some interesting themes
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