My bet is most readers have never picked up Flaubert (unless you run in Humanities circles). Beware - it's not uplifting - unless you're out to define what not to do in your life. But it moves you - it will leave you changed. Hence, why I had to blog it. I had to jot down a few thoughts.
I love the cover of my particular copy - because this is exactly how I view Emma - constantly unsatisfied, selfish, and immature.
If you're still reading this post you're probably questioning the appeal of Madame Bovary. I'll tell you - I love the writing, the description, the prose! Flaubert is just genius when it comes to writing - I wish I could read the original French version. The translation is amazing by itself-
This is why I'll continue to read the book for years to come.
But here's where self-doubt comes into play -
How many of us can find a common bone here? Could small traces of Emma find themselves into my daily routine? Shudder...
Here's one of my favorite lines -
This makes me so grateful for what I believe.
This is why Emma never finds happiness - at least lasting happiness. Nothing eternal or peaceful is born from observation or the senses. Those relationships, people, moments in our lives that have real value come about through work, dedication, and endurance. There is also humility, prayer - sincere prayer (not the couple months where Emma decided to be religious), and foresight.
You must see the bigger picture.
Emma's story always makes me hold my children tighter, linger longer by their bedside talking after stories and prayers and be more patient when they're struggling.
Emma never found this joy - her little one with the holes in her stockings, sitting alone outside while her mother wrote love letters and day-dreamed about the bourgeoisies, and tossed aside to a wet nurse for spitting up on her mother's dress.
Seulement pour vous Emma...