Monday, September 19, 2011

Gustave Flaubert

Yesterday evening, I started my novel. Now I begin to see stylistic difficulties that horrify me. To be simple is no small matter.

From a September 20, 1851 letter to his friend, lover, and fellow writer Louise Colet. Flaubert was 29 years old when he started to write Madame Bovary -- the first truly modern novel -- 160 years ago today.  He finished it about five years later.

When Proust revised his work, it got longer.  When Flaubert revised his, it got shorter.

Flaubert as a young man

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