Σάββατο, 19 Νοεμβρίου 2011

A Gustave Flaubert 's quote and what we should Know about him

“To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.” 
― Gustave Flaubert



What you should know about Gustave Flaubert
  • He was born in France in 1821, roughly contemporary with Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, and Karl Marx
  • He claimed there was also an American Indian among the Normans in his family tree
  • His father was a very successful and wealthy surgeon who died when GF was 24
  • He grew up around the cadavers his father used to teach med students, which helps explain his extreme lack of sentimentality
  • He began his career as a writer at age nine, and wrote prolifically thruout his school years (dozens of early works survive)
  • From early youth he claimed to hate life and human stupidity
  • At 21 he dropped out of law school (which he hated) due to epilepsy, and never held a job
  • He lived with his mother until her death (when he was 50)
  • He was attracted mainly to women ten years older than him
  • He did his writing at home in Rouen (pop 120k), but made frequent trips to Paris for research and society
  • He had a long affair with one of France's most beautiful women, the poet Louise Colet
  • He preferred prostitutes (or abstention) as less distracting for a writer
  • It often took him all day to write a single sentence
  • He mostly wrote at night, and shouted out his sentences at top volume to listen for any false note
  • He never considered saleability when choosing the subjects of his novels
  • He was fascinated with the ancient world and preferred writing about it
  • He spent 18 months exploring Egypt and the middle east when he was 28/29 [map] and caught a lifelong dose of syphilis which he treated with mercury
  • It was during this trip that he began taking on his characteristic overweight
  • He died at age 58 of a stroke

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