Gustave Flaubert is the second child of Achilles Cléophas Flaubert (1784 - 1846), surgeon-chief very occupied by the hotel God (hospital) of Rouen, and his wife Anne Justine, born Fleuriot (1793 - 1872). It is born the December 12th 1821, with Rouen.
It carries out a schooling without enthusiasm with the Royal College then with the college of Rouen, as from the year 1832. The first event to be noted in its biography is the meeting with Trouville-on-Sea, during the be 1836 of Élisa Schlésinger to which it will dedicate all its life a deep passion (this meeting was then transposed by Flaubert in sentimental Education ).
He escapes the Military service and undertakes, in 1841, of the studies of Droit without much conviction. In January 1844, it gives up them, because of its first crises of epilepsy, and in June 1844 it is installed with Croisset, on the edges of the the Seine (High-Normandy). He then writes several news and a first version of sentimental Education . In 1846 die successively his/her father then his sister (two months after its Accouchement - it will take his niece in load).
It attends Paris with the Révolution of 1848 which it sees of a very critical eye. He writes between May 1848 and September 1849 one 1st version of the Temptation of saint Antoine . Between the year 1849 and 1852 it makes a long voyage in Orient with Maxime of the Camp (visit of the Egypt, of Jerusalem, Constantinople, the Italy…). In addition to its voyages, it is a sporting man: he practices swimming, the fencing, horsemanship, hunting…
It is during the summer 1851 that Flaubert starts the drafting of Mrs Bovary . He will continue this work during 56 months. Nevertheless, under the Second Empire, it attends the Parisian living rooms most influential, as that of Madam de Loynes with which it was very in love; it met there inter alia George Sand. With the end of the year 1856 appears in review Mrs Bovary , then, in April 1857, work leaves in book, and is the subject of a resounding lawsuit for attack with the moralities: Flaubert was discharged with the difference of Baudelaire continued by the same court for the same reasons for his collection the Flowers of the Evil , published him also in 1857. It is at the time of the publication of Mrs Bovary that date the correspondence of Flaubert with Marie-Sophie Leroyer de Chantepie, woman of letters living in Angers, and devoted to the poor.
The April 6th 1872, the mother of Flaubert dies. At that time, it has financial problems and its health, because of its nervous diseases, is delicate. It publishes however on April 1st 1874 the Temptation of saint Antoine , just after the failure of sound light comedy the Candidate . Its literary production continues with the Three tales in April 1877 (“a simple heart” - “the legend of Julien Saint the Hospital one” and “Hérodias”).
Of 1877 with 1880, it writes Bouvard and Pécuchet , which it had started in 1872 - 1874. But death carries it, the May 8th 1880, with Canteleu, the hamlet of Croisset. Bouvard and Pécuchet appears nevertheless, in posthumous publication, 1881.
Glances on its workFlaubert is the contemporary of Baudelaire and it occupies, like the poet of the Fleurs of the Evil a position hinge in the literature of the 19th century. At the same time disputed (for reasons morals) and admired of its time (for its literary force), it appears today as one of the largest novelists of its century with in particular Mrs Bovary who will found the bovarysme and sentimental Education ; it is placed between the psychological novel (Stendhal), and the movement naturalist (Zola - Maupassant, this last regarding Flaubert as its Master). Strongly marked by the work of Honore de Balzac of which it will take again the topics in a very personal form ( sentimental Education is another version of the Lily in the valley , Mrs Bovary takes as a starting point the thirty year old Woman ), it falls under its line of the realistic novel. He also is very worried about esthetism, from where its long work of development for each work (he orally tests his texts by subjecting them to the famous test “to gueuloir”). But it is obsessed so much for the example of Honore de Balzac, his literary father , which one will find in his notes this injunction: to move away from the Lily in the valley, to be wary of the Lily in the valley
Lastly, its ironic and pessimistic glance on humanity makes of him a large moralist. Its Dictionnaire of the generally accepted ideas gives an outline of this talent.
One will read with interest his vast correspondence with Louise Colet, George Sand.
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