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Gustave Flaubert
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Author
    (December 12, 1821-May 8, 1880)
    Wrote 'Madame Bovary (1857),' 'Salammbô (1862),' 'Sentimental Education (1869),' 'The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1874),' 'Three Tales (1877)' and 'Bouvard and Pécuchet (1881)'
    He never had to earn a living.
    As a young man, to impress his fellow debauchees, he would hook up with the oldest, ugliest harlots.
    He suffered from syphilis.
    He was morbidly perfectionist.
    Each of his books demanded years of cautionary research and exhausting work. His some 2,000 published pages conceal about 30,000 pages of drafts.
    At night, he would read very loudly what he had written that day.
    He sided with Pouchet, defender of spontaneous generation, against Pasteur.
    Like Henry James, his attempts at theatrical success failed.
    He bittered with age, and loathed his contemporaries.
    He died of a stroke, leaving his final novel uncompleted.
    He was kicked out of high school for irreverence.
    He lived in accordance with his 'art for art's sake' ideal.
    His work was not recognized at the time. Romantics regarded him as a realist, realists, as a romantic, and both camps scorned him.
    His later years were dark.
    Most of his friends had died, and money had become a problem - he had sacrificed his small fortune to help a ruined niece.
    His novels were to be a major reference for many avant-garde writers.
    Today, he is considered one of the great masters of French prose.

Credit: Sviatoslav Mixer


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