Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert (12 December 1821 – 8 May 1880) was a French novelist. Highly influential, he has been considered the leading exponent of literary realism in his country. He is known especially for his debut novel Madame Bovary (1857), his Correspondence, and his scrupulous devotion to his style and aesthetics.

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There is no truth. There is only perception.

Style is as much under the words as in the words. It is as much the soul as it is the flesh of a work.

The true poet for me is a priest. As soon as he dons the cassock he must leave his family.

One never tires of what is well written style is life! It is the very blood of thought!

Exuberance is better than taste.

I have come to have the firm conviction that vanity is the basis of everything and finally that what one calls conscience is only inner vanity.

Happiness is a monstrosity! Punished are those who seek it.

Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in.

Poetry is as precise a thing as geometry.

The future is the worst thing about the present.

Woman is a vulgar animal from whom man has created an excessively beautiful ideal.

The artist must be in his work as God is in creation invisible and all-powerful, one must sense him everywhere but never see him.

There are neither good nor bad subjects. From the point of view of pure Art you could almost establish it as an axiom that the subject is irrelevant style itself being an absolute manner of seeing things.

I have the handicap of being born with a special language to which I alone have the key.

One must always hope when one is desperate and doubt when one hopes.

All one's inventions are true you can be sure of that. Poetry is as exact a science as geometry.

Reality does not conform to the ideal but confirms it.

Read in order to live.

You can calculate the worth of a man by the number of his enemies and the importance of a work of art by the harm that is spoken of it.

The deplorable mania of doubt exhausts me. I doubt about everything even my doubts.

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