Buy This Book: "Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert ("Nothing but faith, faith and freedom.")

On this day in 1857, Gustave Flaubert was acquitted in the Paris obscenity trial that probably did more to promote his career than twitter could have. After the story was serialized in La Revue de Paris, powers that be threw the book at Flaubert, saying that Madame B "challenged public mores, blasphemed against the Church by trying to justify the mortal sin of adultery, and included provocative images intermingled with religious affairs, therefore promoting the concept of a fictional utopia devoid of decency and moral values." (Go, Madame B!) Flaubert was acquitted, Madame Bovary was published in book form, and the rest is literary history.

This Norton edition includes sixteen essays on the novel's central themes by thoughty thinkers including Baudelaire, Henry James, and Roland Barthes.

And here's the perfect Flaubertism to start your writing week: "Art requires neither complaisance nor politeness; nothing but faith, faith and freedom."


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