Gustave Flaubert is born in 1821 in Rouen, in the family of a wealthy doctor. Famous for his perfectionism, he became one of the leading authors of the French realism. Flaubert purposefully restrains himself from using clichés, and stays away from the inexact, abstract, inadequate, and inappropriate expression. In a letter to George Sand he writes that he spends his time „trying to write sentences that are like melody without using chords“. Flaubert believes in the principle of finding „le mot juste“(the exact/right word), as the mean to a quality literature. He works in a depressing loneliness, while trying to finish a page he has been unsatisfied with, which sometimes took him as long as a week.

This pedantic writing style become evident once the whole volume of works that Flaubert has written in his life is compared to the writings of his contemporary authors - Balzac and Zola for example. Flaubert publishes a lot less that has been perceived as normal during this period, never reaching the norm of a novel a year, something that his colleagues often managed during their active years. Walter Paiter calls Flaubert „Martyr of Style“.

His first completed work was „November“, a short novel that finishes in 1842. In September 1849 Flaubert finished the first version of his novel „The Temptation of Saint Antony“.

In 1850 after his return from Egypt, Flaubert started working on „Madame Bovary“. The completion of the book took him 5 years and was published as separate parts in Revue de Paris in 1856. The great desire of Flaubert was to show his contemporaries that the real achievement of a book is not simply the story, but how it is actually executed. „Madame Bovary“was published in1857, after a trial against its author on the charges of „impairing the public and religious morale“.

His second novel „Salammbo“was published in 1862, written in the style of Omir like storytelling and rated as the most expressive and powerful of his works.

„Sentimental Education“is the author's last completed novel that was published in 1869. This is a work that has been mostly despised by the critique of that time, used to familiar and unchangeable forms in art, but it has numerous and enthusiastic admirers as well, that place the novel first among Flaubert's works. 

Gustave Flaubert

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