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The Temptation of Saint Anthony (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – January 8, 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[The Temptation of Saint Anthony] calls up not only the great problems of knowledge, but the real riddles of life . . . and it confirms the awareness of our perplexity in the mysteriousness that reigns everywhere.”
—Sigmund Freud

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library Classics
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; Modern Library edition (January 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375759123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375759123
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bruce Kendall VINE VOICE on August 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a work that should not be neglected by those interested in Flaubert or by lovers of French Literature. It's format resembles an old-fashioned cyclorama, which was basically a revolving canvas, portraying various interpretive images to an audience that would be seated in the middle of a room. Or it may recall the same period's "magic lantern" which would produce a similar effect, projecting a series of images on a flat wall, the precursor of modern cinema.
Flaubert ushered in an entirely new sensibility to the world of letters. He reinvented the concept of the literary artist as word-and world shaper. The word is the world and vice-versa. No writer ever engaged in such a Herculean struggle to shape every word, every sentence, every image, every assonance or consonance to perfectly conform to his intention.
Flaubert engaged in a kind of ascetisism his entire adult life, which is hardly news, but is central to an understanding of this work and to his attraction towards St. Anthony for a protagonist. Flaubert was for many years a kind of hermit in his study at Croisset, where he retired to his study to read books and write novels. He had contact with his mother and adopted niece and wrote letters to a mistress (Louise Collet, and later to George Sand) along with a few male friends. He would make brief sojourns into Paris, but for the most part, stayed to himself in his provincial hideaway. What he dreamt of there, besides his most famous works (Madame Bovary and L'Education Sentimentale) were reveries such as this novel and Salammbo, another book set in the Near-East and equally evocative in terms of his treatment of that region's sensual and Byzantine richness.
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Format: Paperback
This is a startling and brilliant piece of prose poetry that deserves to be more widely read; just don't expect anything like his more conventional novels. Indeed, don't read it expecting a novel at all; it reads more like a cross between modernist poetry and Medieval vision literature.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of the work itself, but wanted to throw in a recommendation for the Penguin Classics edition. By all means, avoid the Kindle translation, as it is crazy bad. Certain passages read strangely while a majority of them are just wrong. I'm no scholar; I just bought both versions and it's remarkable how much better the Penguin Classics edition is. This is a shame, but as the kindle is very convenient. However, the poetry and energy of Flaubert's writing comes through much better in the other translations. Trust me; you'll be glad you paid more for the print copy.
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