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Madame Bovary: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – Deluxe Edition, October 4, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics Deluxe Editio
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014310649X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143106494
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Lydia Davis’s Madame Bovary translation=perfect. She somehow pulls off a respectful translation with the readability of a contemporary novel.” —@lenadunham
 
"[Flaubert's] masterwork has been given the English translation it deserves." —Kathryn Harrison, The New York Times Book Review

"Invigorating . . . [Davis] has a finer ear for the natural cadences of English, in narrative and dialogue, than any of her predecessors." —Jonathan Raban, The New York Review of Books

"Dazzling . . . translated to perfect pitch . . . [Davis has] left us the richer with this translation. . . . I'd certainly say it is necessary to have hers." —Jacki Lyden, NPR.org, Favorite Books of the Year

"One of the most important books of the year . . . Flaubert's strict, elegant, rhythmic sentences come alive in Davis's English." —James Wood, The New Yorker's Book Bench

"I liked having a chance to find more nuances in Madame Bovary in the new Lydia Davis translation and read it blissfully as though floating, as Flaubert puts it in a different context, 'in a river of milk.'" —Paul Theroux, The Guardian (London), Books of the Year

"Madame Bovary reads like it was written yesterday. . . . Emma, with her visions of a grander life and resplendent passions, is me . . . and you, too, no doubt. . . . If you haven't happened to read Madame Bovary until now, I suggest you curl up with this edition . . . and allow yourself to get lost in another time and place that yet bears a curious resemblance to our own." —Daphne Merkin, Elle

"Davis is the best fiction writer ever to translate the novel. . . . [Her] work shares the Flaubertian virtues of compression, irony and an extreme sense of control." —Julian Barnes, London Review of Books

"A brilliant new translation." —Lee Siegel, The New York Observer

"I'm grateful to Davis for luring me back to Madame Bovary and for giving us a version which strikes me as elegant and alive." —Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

"Flaubert's obsessive masterpiece finally gets the obsessive translation it deserves." New York magazine

About the Author

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) was born in Rouen, France, and was brought to popular attention when Madame Bovary was deemed immoral by the French government.
Lydia Davis-MacArthur Fellow, National Book Award finalist, and Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters-was awarded the 2003 French- American Foundation Translation Prize for her translation of Marcel Proust's Swann's Way. She lives near Albany, New York.

More About the Author

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), the younger son of a provincial doctor, briefly studied law before devoting himself to writing, with limited success during his lifetime. After the publication of Madame Bovary in 1857, he was prosecuted for offending public morals.

Customer Reviews

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I saw this book referenced in another book and decided to buy it.
beachmom
I could read this novel a thousand times and find something new and interesting every time.
Bibliophile
The translator, Lydia Davis, created beautiful imagery out of Flaubert's words.
L. M. Keefer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've seen a bad review of this novel, with which I do not quibble, but one should note that it was given because the reader did not like the nature of the story (and possibly its ending). If you purchase this book though, with the idea that you are getting a feel-good story, a "David Copperfield" (which I love too), then you are in for a miserable experience. The story is by now so well-known that I don't think I'm giving away any spoilers. Perhaps some realize the basic substance of the story but do not expect the ending. In any case, the bad review should not detract one from purchasing this translation, in which Lydia Davis' prose is exquisite. The novel was ground-breaking in any number of ways, not the least of which is the well of human emotions that surge through one while reading it. The clunky translations of the past took away from the novel and the experience of all of the sadness, anger, disgust, contempt, pity and shame accentuated in this edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Keefer TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
I had read another, older translation of this novel a few years book and found it dated. Our library fiction book group read this translation and enjoyed the translation, if not the plot. It is difficult for many women today to sympathize with Emma Bovary who seems frivolous, overly-romantic, consumed with fantasy and a negligent mother. However, if Emma Bovary were living today, she would probably move to Paris, work in the fashion industry, develop her talents, be a career woman and we would applaud her for it.

Flaubert may have intended this to be read as darkly comic as he satirizes most of the characters and scenes. With humorous juxtaposition, he has intensely sentimental or dramatic scenes interrupted by more prosaic. For example, in one scene, Emma and her current amour are protesting their undying love for each other while talk of agriculture and manure is wafting through the open window.

The translator, Lydia Davis, created beautiful imagery out of Flaubert's words. In one description, the traipsing of townspeople on a road is compared to a vivid and colorful long scarf unfolding. Flaubert is the master of what a writing instructor would describe as the "telling detail" - those details which distinguish a scene or character and the translator captured these. The book seemed much more contemporary (not modern) with this translation as if we were transported to the 1800's and watching the action unfold in present time.

Flaubert is revered by authors for this novel. Although the plot is depressing, I found the book inspiring as a work of literature and believe any writer would benefit from examining Flaubert's craft as a writer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Flaubert is a very detailed writer, which can make reading this classic a bit tedious. This translation was reported to be the closest to Flaubert's original book, but I discovered that others in my book club found different translations to be more poetic, and thus more enjoyable.
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By WWJAD on January 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to read this book for a graduate course and ended up really enjoying it. Definitely worth a read.
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By Ashley Woolsey on June 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this translation is amazing! and the condition of the book was excellent! i'm very happy with my purchase and it was easy
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