Controversial enough to be banned for publication and the author to be prosecuted, Madame Bovary is now regarded as a classic and the stark reality of the story makes the novel relevant even today, although it was first published in 1856. In this masterpiece, Flaubert portrays the life of the beautiful, intelligent and talented Madame Emma Bovary who entertains high ideals about life and travel and despises the banality of country life. Her romantic notions are in stark contrast to the practical adoration of his wife by her mediocre doctor husband (perhaps Bovary= Bovine) who sees little beyond her beauty and impeccable mannerisms.
It beautifully depicts the fragility of romance when exposed to reality, ephemerality of love, illusions of lust and money and most of all the frailty of human life.
The book especially haunts me as I can see my own reflection in the protagonist’s character, in the romantic notions that even I entertain that no reality can ever match up to and I run away from reality chasing the notions in my head. My worst fears find resonance in the tragic ending of the book, screaming of the inevitable doom that befalls Emma Bovary!!
“Idols must not be touched, the gilt comes off on our hands.”
- Madame Bovary (mybooksareyourbooks.wordpress.com)
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- Madame Bovary a musical based on the novel by Gustave Flaubert, adaptation, music and lyrics Paul Dick, direction and choreography Marlene Thorn Taber, PASSAJJ Productions (letstalkoffbroadway.typepad.com)
- Saturday Night Cinema: Madame Bovary (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)