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Thread: Lhereux

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Lhereux

    Just finished chapter 6 in part 3. Lheureux, the draper and money lender, presents Madame Bovary a massive bill. Maybe I will find out soon, but I wonder why he lent her all that money when he knows she cannot pay him back. I suppose he expects her husband will be forced to pay, but then Lheruex threatens her with showing him a receipt for something she sold behind his back. There was a time in England when a husband was legally responsible for any debts his wife ran up, but I don't know if it was the same in France in the mid C19th. If Charles Bovary is legally responsible for his wife's debts, then why didn't Lheureux send the court order to him?
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Well, I finished it. It left me a bit cold. The cynics thrived and the good suffered. I wonder what the bankruptcy laws were in France at the time.

    SPOLIER: Personally, I thought Flaubert was a bit lazy killing off Charles at the end. He was only in his mid-thirties at most and not suffering any illness.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev67 View Post
    Well, I finished it. It left me a bit cold. The cynics thrived and the good suffered.
    As Miss Prism says, the good ended happily and the bad unhappily: that is the meaning of fiction.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev67 View Post
    Well, I finished it. It left me a bit cold. The cynics thrived and the good suffered. I wonder what the bankruptcy laws were in France at the time.

    SPOLIER: Personally, I thought Flaubert was a bit lazy killing off Charles at the end. He was only in his mid-thirties at most and not suffering any illness.
    "The cynics thrived and the good suffered"
    I think you have summed up one aspect of French realism here. It´is less manicheistic, more implacable and closer to real life than English fiction.
    But I personally feel better with "the good end happily and the bad unhappily". One get´s the feeling that justice is done, at least in fiction. One only can´t forget how much of
    wish fulfillment is contained in happy endings.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    I haven't read Madame Bovary for years and I don't have any great yen to do so.

    I suspect part of Flaubert's great appeal is his prose style, which you just don't get in translation.

    The most recent French classic I read was Balzac's La Cousine Bette, and I found it rather boring and repetitive. I'd have been interested in Bette herself, but the principal interest was this dirty old man who just can't help himself having it away with younger women of a slightly lower social class.

    Presumably there is mileage in comparing Madame Bovary with Anna Karenina, both being studies of a woman in an adulterous relationship with which she get bored. English readers of the period could not cope with such a situation -adultery is an appalling sin, full stop, and however sympathetic the author is to the women's married state, once she goes with another man, she cannot be described - I'm thinking of Edith Dombey.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Richardson View Post
    I haven't read Madame Bovary for years and I don't have any great yen to do so.

    I suspect part of Flaubert's great appeal is his prose style, which you just don't get in translation.

    The most recent French classic I read was Balzac's La Cousine Bette, and I found it rather boring and repetitive. I'd have bs basically.een interested in Bette herself, but the principal interest was this dirty old man who just can't help himself having it away with younger women of a slightly lower social class.

    Presumably there is mileage in comparing Madame Bovary with Anna Karenina, both being studies of a woman in an adulterous relationship with which she get bored. English readers of the period could not cope with such a situation -adultery is an appalling sin, full stop, and however sympathetic the author is to the women's married state, once she goes with another man, she cannot be described - I'm thinking of Edith Dombey.
    I suspect there was something lost in translation. Flaubert spent five years polishing every sentence, always searching for le mot juste. I doubt any translator would be prepared to spend five years translating it. Flaubert kept a diary of received ideas, clichés basically. I suspect he made M. Homais say many of them, but I doubt these would come across is C21st English very well.

    I was thinking of starting Anna Karenina next, but maybe I'll do Moby Dick.
    Last edited by kev67; 08-01-2016 at 05:15 PM.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    I read Moby Dick yonks ago and sometimes think I must give it another go and maybe see what all the fuss is about. It is one of those works that if you haven't read, you will feel you've missed out.

    Anna Karenina (or Anna Karenin as Penguin used to call the book) is far more worth the effort. And the extraordinary thing to my mind is the way the "good" couple (Kitty and Levin) are just as interesting as the "bad" threesome (Anna, Karenin and Vronsky).
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I have started Moby Dick (I am alarmed by the number of chapters - 135). I'll do Anna Karenina next.

    One thing that struck me about Lhereux was that he was rather like the devil in Faust/Dr Faustus legend. Was it Mephistopheles who was the particular fallen angel story in that story? He keeps tempting Mme Bovary and M Bovary too with loans which are continually rolled over until eventually they are called in. The surety is all their property rather than their souls, but since one dies through suicide and the other from heartbreak, it works out pretty much the same. Being an adulteress who commits suicide would not stand Mme Bovary in good stead for the afterlife. M Bovary would be alright we hope (he says he hates Bournisen the priest's God). I cannot remember where Lhereux is based. Rouen is quite a big town or city, but Yonville seems pretty small. In a place where everyone knows each other, wouldn't a loan-shark like him soon get exposed?
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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