"‘Madame Bovary’ has a perfection that not only stamps it, but that makes it stand almost alone: it holds itself with such a supreme unapproachable assurance as both excites and defies judgment." —Henry James "Ever since ‘Madame Bovary’, the art of the novel has been considered equal to the art of poetry." —Milan Kundera "From the narrative point of view, the most perfect book is ‘Madame Bovary’ by Flaubert." —Giorgio de Chirico "Stylistically it is prose doing what poetry is supposed to do." —Vladimir Nabokov "‘Madame Bovary’ show Flaubert as the pioneer of our age, the portraitist and philosopher of the modern world." —Émile Zola "Possibly the most beautifully written book ever composed; undoubtedly the most beautifully written novel… a book that invites superlatives… the most important novel of the century." —Frank O’Connor
This exquisite novel tells the story of one of the most compelling heroines in modern literature — Emma Bovary. Unhappily married to a devoted, clumsy provincial doctor, Emma revolts against the ordinariness of her life by pursuing voluptuous dreams of ecstasy and love. But her sensuous and sentimental desires lead her only to suffering corruption and downfall. A brilliant psychological portrait, Madame Bovary searingly depicts the human mind in search of transcendence. Who is Madame Bovary? Flaubert's answer to this question was superb: "Madame Bovary, c'est moi." Acclaimed as a masterpiece upon its publication in 1857, the work catapulted Flaubert to the ranks of the world's greatest novelists.
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