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Bouvard Et Pecuchet (French Edition) (French) Mass Market Paperback – January, 2000

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Known for his scrupulous devotion to his art and perfectionist style, French writer Gustave Flaubert is counted among the greatest Western novelists, and influenced such writers as Franz Kafka and J. M. Coetzee. Flaubert is best known for Madame Bovary, for which he was prosecuted (and acquitted) for offending public morals. His other works of note include Memoirs of a Madman, November, Salammb?, Sentimental Education, and The Temptation of Saint Anthony. His work has been widely adapted for the stage and screen. Flaubert died in 1880. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Pocket (FR) (January 2000)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 2266089951
  • ISBN-13: 978-2266089951
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This unfinished work by Gustave Flaubert was meant to be a manifesto against what he called the "French stupidity". The book was so ambitious that Flaubert had to immerse himself in different disciplines, all totally new and unknown for him such as agriculture and chemistry. Unfortunately he died before completing this magnificent book.
Bouvard and Pécuchet are a pair of copiers that meet each other by chance and soon become friends. One day, they receive an unexpected inheritance which allows them to finally pursue their dream: to write a huge book about every subject in the world; chemistry, biology, agriculture, politics, gymnastics and so on. They also want to discover the mysteries of love, magic, religion and education. Obviously this ambitious project ends as a disaster and Bouvard and Pecuchet decide to go back to the copying business and forget all about their unrealizable great project.
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The tricky question here is are we talking about a late masterpiece or an obsession carried to absurd lengths?

The two "woodlice" are the children of Homais in the regard that they adore cliches, though they aren't as practical and scheming, and their motives, misguided as they may be, are less smarmy.

Flaubert read an outrageous number of books on a variety of subjects to mug up the detail for this sad story, probably as many or more than for SALAMMBO. Was it worth it?

I have to say that the book could be much shorter, even the length of a long short story, and nothing much of its "meaning" would be lost, except, of course, we'd have less of Flaubert's remarkable prose.

Not a good starting point for a beginner in Flaubert, to be read only after BOVARY, EDUCATION, and his letters.

That Flaubert was a misanthrope and a nihilist certainly comes through clearly, but we have his own statement that except for art and artists the rest of humankind were mufles, so if we read L'EDUCATION SENTIMENTALE as the main course, do we need BOUVARD ET PECUCHET as a possibly indigestible last course? If we're Flaubertians, I would say mais oui!
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Format: Paperback
I picked it up again, after the passage of some years, and found it incredibly poignant.
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Format: Paperback
I loved it so much !
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