Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ah, the Classics

Title: Madame Bovary
Author: Gustave Flaubert


Every-so-often I try to read one of the "classics" (to avoid offending Reyn, and the writers of this great blog I just discovered, I would like to say that I used quotation marks because I am still unclear how a piece of literature arrives at the point where it can be deemed one of these so-called classics). I have had Madame Bovary sitting on my bookshelves for who knows how long, so it seemed a good option. Honestly, I'm not sure what the fuss is all about.

First of all, stop spending money you don't have, woman! I cannot even begin to rant about how much I am irritated by books where someone spends more money than they can ever hope to repay (the Shopaholic series for example. Why did anyone ever recommend that to me, and then insist it was so great that I had to keep reading it? It was torture! Endless torture!). If you don't have it, don't spend it.

Secondly, poor Monsieur Bovary! He is nothing but a loving husband, albeit a bit lacking in the passion department. He does not deserve a wife like Emma.

Thirdly, romance novels are not real life, Madame Bovary. If only you had realized this, life would have been much better for you. Even your lovers (of which there was a disappointing grand total of two) cannot meet your insane need to achieve the pinnacle of romantic relationships, whatever that is.

Fourthly, the only part that moved me toward pity for Madame Bovary was her method of suicide described in all its glorious detail. Do not ingest arsenic. It is not pleasant. If you must kill yourself, Emma, you would be wise to pick something quicker. Of course, drawing out your death did have the affect of making your husband feel even worse. Lovely.

Perhaps it's just me. Lots of readers on Amazon rave about this book. However, I found Emma to be a character with whom I simply could not sympathize.

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posted by Kate at 5:11 PM


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