Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (7) | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 12 December 1821Rouen, France
Date of Death 8 May 1880Croisset, Seine-Inférieure, France  (cerebral hemorrhage)

Mini Bio (1)

Gustave Flaubert was born on December 12, 1821, in Rouen, Seine-Inférieure, France. His father was a Medical Doctor and practiced surgery in Rouen, in Hôtel-Dieu (where Flaubert was born). His mother was from an aristocratic Norman family. Young Flaubert received a good private education with emphasis on literature. In 1840 he went to Law School in Paris. There he met Victor Hugo and made his plan of becoming a writer. In 1846 he abandoned Paris and the study of law, after a probably nervous disease. From 1846-1854 he had an affair with the poet Louise Colet, which was his only relationship, and he never married. Flaubert traveled about several countries in Europe and in Africa. His travel experiences, especially those in Greece, Egypt, and Tunisia, gave him material for his writings.

Flaubert's first masterpiece, 'The Temptation of St. Anthony' (1849), was at first rejected by his friends Louis Bouilhet and Maxime du Camp and its publication was postponed. From 1850-1856 he was writing 'Madame Bovary', which was published in 1856. Flaubert and his publisher were charged of immorality in a law suit brought by the French government in 1957, but both were acquitted. In 1862 he published 'Salammbo', which became material for the eponymous opera by 'Modest Mussorgsky'. In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, Flaubert's home was occupied by Prussian soldiers, and he suffered from a nervous breakdown. In 1872 his mother died, which caused him a depression. At that time he was supported by his close friend Ivan Turgenev, a Russian writer of decent means, who lived in Europe. Flaubert also enjoyed a friendship by correspondence with George Sand. After the traumatic events of war and the death of is mother, Flaubert lived a life of an ascetic monk for the rest of his life. He rarely visited Paris, and his health deteriorated rapidly. He died on May 8, 1880, in his mother's home in Croisset, and was laid to rest in the Flaubert family vault in the cemetery of Rouen, France.

Flaubert's comprehensive biography by Jean-Paul Sartre is considered definitive. Flaubert's correspondence with George Sand and Ivan Turgenev has been studied ever since as an immensely valuable historic and literary material. His books has been translated in many languages and sold millions of copies around the world. Flaubert's classic novel 'Madame Bovary' was adapted for film and television more that ten times. The 1991 adaptation, starring Isabelle Huppert, was nominated for Oscar.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Trivia (7)

French novelist.
Was the best friend of Ivan Turgenev
First in his philosophy class at the College Royal.
At school he led an angry protest against a substitute teacher.
As a schoolboy, he was ordered to copy 1,000 lines of poetry as a punishment. He not only refused to do it, he passed a petition to protest it. The head of the school was not amused, and Flaubert and two others who signed his petition were expelled for their impertinence.
He once wandered into a hotel dining room and found a table laid for a meal. Thinking it was for him, he sat down and ate everything. The hotel management was aghast, and told him that the meal had been prepared for a party of four that had just arrived.
A noted gourmand.

Personal Quotes (6)

Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in.
Love art. Of all lies, it is the least untrue.
Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.
Do not read as children do to enjoy themselves, or, as the ambitious do to educate themselves. No, read to live.
Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough.
Human life is a sad show, undoubtedly; ugly, heavy and complex. Art has no other end, for people of feeling than to conjure away the burden and bitterness.

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