Madame Bovary is one such novel that refuses to grow old, just like its protagonist Emma Bovary who is tempted with the extravagant facilities and temptations provided by an unwrinkled, beautiful and sophisticated age.
“She was the amoureuse of all the novels, the heroine of all the plays, the vague “she” of all the poetry books.”
Originally published in French in 1857, Madame Bovary first came out in installments in a newspaper for which Flaubert was sued by the Government in the name of immortality. But once the Government lost the case, the book was sent for publication and people admired it widely for the unique aspect of a woman’s innate, unattended and, at times, destructive desires it covered.
Reviving here some of the greatest moments of reading Madame Bovary.
Beautifully describing the way in which the most romantic people are arrested by the strongest wind of love-
“Love, she thought, must come suddenly, with great outbursts and lightnings, – a hurricane of the skies, which falls upon life, revolutionises it, roots up the will like a leaf, and sweeps the whole heart into the abyss.”
And here is something to remind us in all our disappointing moments-
“One’s duty is to feel what is great, cherish the beautiful, and to not accept the conventions of society with the ignominy that it imposes upon us.”
The most depressing realization coming out of the monotony of our lives-
“But, in her life, nothing was going to happen. Such was the will of God! The future was a dark corridor, and at the far end the door was bolted.”
Something every reader experiences more than once in their lifetime-
“Haven’t you ever happened to come across in a book some vague notion that you’ve had, some obscure idea that returns from afar and that seems to express completely your most subtle feelings?”
When, in a moment of waiting for something to happen, we have lived on everything- every fear, hope, desire, disappointment, joy, sadness and passion-
“And she felt as though she had been there, on that bench, for an eternity. For an infinity of passion can be contained in one minute, like a crowd in a small space.”
And finally, the most beautiful line from the book, saying everything in itself-