Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sentimentally educated


















Bonne anniversaire, Monsieur Flaubert.

I can't help but shake the feeling that I'll be looking like that when I'm an old bastard. Of course, one mark in his favor is that he could actually write well.

So, go read his stuff, beatniks.

20 comments:

La Belette Rouge said...

Tha portrait makes me think of one of Flaubert's quotes, "Sometimes I think I'm liquefying like an old Camembert." ;-)

My Inner French Girl said...

Ooo, ooo, Mr. Kotter! Mr. Kotter!

I love Flaubert. I think Madame Bovary may be the only book I read in high school AP English class that I enjoyed enough to read again.

Well, that and Crime & Punishment.

Actually, this portrait reminds me of Ben Franklin. And the fact that I need to get to the ATM.

Salut,
Marjorie

Mary Ellen said...

Oh yeah...Madame Bovary, one of my favorites!

"He had one of those magnificently pale complexions which impart the majesty of a marble statue to the ardent races of the south. His robust chest was tightly encased in a brown doublet, a small chased dagger hung loosely over his left thigh and he rolled his eyes languorously, flashing his white teeth."

I could never say or even think like that! I'd just say, "Oh man, is that guy hot!", which is why I write blogs, and not poetry or literature. I think I could manage a trashy romance story, though.

Thanks for reminding me of this, I'm going to dust off my old copy of Bovary and start reading again tonight.

Randal Graves said...

LBR, time, the great liquefier? ;-)

MIFG, oh the days when I did the perfect Horshack impersonation. Then I turned 13.

Both of those books are wonderful, and I'm glad I was able to help the economy grow. I hear it needs it. :)

ME, I have no doubt you could write some lit if you put your mind to it. Problem is, I'd wager you often think with your loins. ;-)

I haven't read it myself in awhile, so I might indeed do the same.

Freida Bee said...

The thing is that looking like him, in large part, requires that 'stache. Are you prepared to make a commitment as such? That actually is what enabled him to write so well, like that dude in the bible and that hair. Oh yeah, Sampson, right?

I did so enjoy Madame Bovary and will make a confession that I have never read Crime and Punishment, but he didn't write that now, so why am I feeling bad? There is probably a quote in it I could refer to now, but cannot because I didn't read it. Karma.

Thanks for cheering me up again, Randal. I know that's your goal here.

dguzman said...

You go, Randal, pulling out old Gustave! I loved Bovary. Did you ever see the modern movie version with Isabelle Huppert? It was AWESOME. And for laughs, you could watch the old version with Jennifer Jones and Van Heflin, in which hubby Heflin refuses on principle to operate on the kid with bad foot! Wow!

Randal Graves said...

Freida Bee, I don't know, I'm such a handsome devil as it stands. If i added a soup strainer like that, well, how I would I fend off the attacks of so many ladies?

I'm glad you enjoyed the former and must chastise you for having failed to read the latter. Of course, we all have about 14 billion books we want to read, but haven't. Shit, I've had a copy of War and Peace on my shelves for a decade and still haven't read it.

And of course it is, mon amie. You know I live to spread joy to all my friends.

dguzman, oh shit, I glanced too quickly at your comment and thought it was asking if I "ever saw the modern puppets with Isabelle." Yes, that is a great version! I've never seen the older one, but it sounds suspiciously like a GOP training movie.

Mary Ellen said...


ME, I have no doubt you could write some lit if you put your mind to it. Problem is, I'd wager you often think with your loins. ;-)


Holy crap, was that ever insulting! Thanks for the hit. :-O

Randal Graves said...

Insulting? I just complimented you twice! You can most certainly write so don't gimme that crap, but as you yourself said, you'd probably end up writing a trashy romance tale. I read your blog and have seen your comments elsewhere. You think the Naughty Nun sobriquet is unwarranted? ;-)

Tom Harper said...

Hmmmph! Never heard of that Flaubert fellow. French isn't he? Does he support America in her War on Terror?

Who Hijacked Our Country

Scarlet W. Blue said...

Flaubert I do not know well. Because I teach Women's Literature, most of my serious reading has been in that area. Flaubert has to go on the list. But where on the list?

TomCat said...

I read both Madame Bovary and Sentimental Education years ago and thoroughly enjoyed both.

Randal Graves said...

Tom, no! Have you forgotten already, France is are friend now! Vive Sarkozy!

SWB, the fact that Gustave was kind of dude-ly probably eliminates him from your curriculum. Um, Madame Bovary is about a chick?

Tomcat, they're truly great novels. Too bad no one reads anymore. :)

Randal Graves said...

Is ARE friend? Holy fuck, I'm not even drunk. I can't begin to explain how the fuck that happened.

My Inner French Girl said...

Randal, the fact that you even noticed the gaffe excuses your error. I think your petition to join L'Academie Francaise is still safe. ;-)

I did see the Jennifer Jones flick of Madame Bovary, but it was ages and ages ago. Seriously, I think I was fifteen and having my usual bout of insomnia. Saw it at 2 am on some UHF channel in Dallas. It was a long time ago, but I still remember not liking it.

Hmmm...if they were to do another version today, who do you think should play Emma? I can totally see Juliette Binoche.

Salut,
Marjorie

Colleen said...

M. Flaubert detested stupidity, my hero. However, that pic screams bourgeoisie.

b said...

Camembert, indeed. I think you've got a lot of work to do to look like Flaubert. Yes, I mean, actual effort to look that way!

I actually just read Madame Bovary a couple of months ago. To be honest, I wasn't enamored with it but I did appreciate it. Now, Crime & Punishment is one of my favorite books. I'm eager to read more Russian authors. This month I'm reading Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago.

And like you, I have War and Peace sitting on my highest shelf just staring down at me. I'm always thinking about when I should read it but have this ridiculous thought that one reads that book right before they die. Reading it seems like a final rite or something! :)

FranIAm said...

Personally I want to read Salambo, but unless you are going to give me the ninety bucks it costs, I am shit out of Flaubert luck...

Randal Graves said...

Colleen, it really does. Not the clothes necessarily, but that sartorial look, lording over his servants.

b, but ti-i-i-i-me is on my side, yes it is! And if that is the case, I might hold off just a while longer. ;-)

Fran, ninety bucks? That some gilded, leatherbound hardcover edition? Try this one mon amie, ten bucks!

TomCat said...

The friendlier France is with Bush, the more enmity they have with me. Pass the freedom fries!