35 Facts About Gustave Flaubert


Gustave Flaubert has been considered the leading exponent of literary realism in his country and abroad.


Gustave Flaubert is known especially for his debut novel Madame Bovary, his Correspondence, and his scrupulous devotion to his style and aesthetics.


Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen, in the Seine-Maritime department of Upper Normandy, in northern France.


Gustave Flaubert was the second son of Anne Justine Caroline and Achille-Cleophas Flaubert, director and senior surgeon of the major hospital in Rouen.


Gustave Flaubert began writing at an early age, as early as eight according to some sources.


Gustave Flaubert was educated at the Lycee Pierre-Corneille in Rouen, and did not leave until 1840, whereby he went to Paris to study law.


From 1846 to 1854, Gustave Flaubert had a relationship with the poet Louise Colet; his letters to her have survived.


Gustave Flaubert did however make occasional visits to Paris and England, where he apparently had a mistress.


Politically, Gustave Flaubert described himself as a "romantic and liberal old dunce", an "enraged liberal", a hater of all despotism, and someone who celebrated every protest of the individual against power and monopolies.


Gustave Flaubert visited Carthage in 1858 to conduct research for his novel Salammbo.


Gustave Flaubert suspected that a chancre on his penis was from a Maronite or a Turkish girl.


Gustave Flaubert engaged in intercourse with male prostitutes in Beirut and Egypt; in one of his letters, he describes a "pockmarked young rascal wearing a white turban".


Gustave Flaubert was a diligent worker and often complained in his letters to friends about the strenuous nature of his work.


Gustave Flaubert was close to his niece, Caroline Commanville, and had a close friendship and correspondence with George Sand.


Gustave Flaubert occasionally visited Parisian acquaintances, including Emile Zola, Alphonse Daudet, Ivan Turgenev, and Edmond and Jules de Goncourt.


Gustave Flaubert's health declined and he died at Croisset of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1880 at the age of 58.


Gustave Flaubert was buried in the family vault in the cemetery of Rouen.


Gustave Flaubert's first finished work was November, a novella, which was completed in 1842.


In September 1849, Gustave Flaubert completed the first version of a novel, The Temptation of Saint Anthony.


Gustave Flaubert read the novel aloud to Louis Bouilhet and Maxime Du Camp over the course of four days, not allowing them to interrupt or give any opinions.


In 1850, after returning from Egypt, Gustave Flaubert began work on Madame Bovary.


In 1858, Gustave Flaubert travelled to Carthage to gather material for his next novel, Salammbo.


Gustave Flaubert wrote an unsuccessful drama, Le Candidat, and published a reworked version of The Temptation of Saint Anthony, portions of which had been published as early as 1857.


Gustave Flaubert devoted much of his time to an ongoing project, Les Deux Cloportes, which later became Bouvard et Pecuchet, breaking the obsessive project only to write the Three Tales in 1877.


Gustave Flaubert believed the work to be his masterpiece, though the posthumous version received lukewarm reviews.


Gustave Flaubert was a prolific letter writer, and his letters have been collected in several publications.


Gustave Flaubert famously avoided the inexact, the abstract and the vaguely inapt expression, and scrupulously eschewed the cliche.


Gustave Flaubert believed in and pursued the principle of finding "le mot juste", which he considered as the key means to achieve high quality in literary art.


Gustave Flaubert worked in sullen solitude, sometimes occupying a week in the completion of one page, never satisfied with what he had composed.


Gustave Flaubert published much less prolifically than was the norm for his time and never got near the pace of a novel a year, as his peers often achieved during their peaks of activity.


Gustave Flaubert decisively established what most readers and writers think of as modern realist narration, and his influence is almost too familiar to be visible.


The degree to which Gustave Flaubert's fame has extended since his death presents "an interesting chapter of literary history in itself".


Gustave Flaubert who loathed pretty-pretty prose would have applauded Kafka's attitude towards his tool.


Under this aspect Gustave Flaubert exercised an extraordinary influence over Guy de Maupassant, Edmond de Goncourt, Alphonse Daudet, and Emile Zola.


Gustave Flaubert has been admired or written about by almost every major literary personality of the 20th century, including philosophers and sociologists such as Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Pierre Bourdieu, and Jean-Paul Sartre, the latter of whose partially psychoanalytic portrait of Flaubert in The Family Idiot was published in 1971.