In this episode, we review “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert. Published in 1856 - the novel was deemed a threat to morality and caused Flaubert to face charges in the French court - because of the searingly detailed account it gives of protagonist Emma Bovary’s romantic affairs. But the book is anything but romantic - widely considered to be the first ‘modern novel’- Madame Bovary ushered in a new era in fiction by handling its controversial subject matter with a camera like neutrality. The infrequent good, the overwhelmingly banal, and the repulsively ugly details of life are on full display here, - presented in a distanced ‘coolness’ that shaped the mold for modern fiction. Join us as we discuss one of the most influential banned books in history.
Atlantic Article on Flaubert:
James Woods - How Fiction Works
It’s Too Late to Apologize - Book Review on Madame Bovary
A note on Flaubert
3:10 About the Novel
7:10 Why it’s banned/style of writing
9:10 Who is Emma Bovary?
13:10 Gustave Flaubert’s Realism/ Style of Writing
22:10 More on realism/Best scenes
27:30 Message of the novel
31:50 Analysis of Emma Bovary
36:20 Charles Bovary / Leon & Rodolphe
43:00 Final Thoughts
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