Tuesday, January 1, 2013

JANUARY, 2013 / books

FLAUBERT IN EGYPT     ★★★★☆
Gustave Flaubert; ed. Francis Steegmuller, 1972, Penguin Classics (USA, 1996)

          Steegmuller pieces together a fortunately documented stylistic epiphany, in a journey      into the exotic. The well-timed inclusions of Flaubert’s pre-heartbreak immature romantic      tendencies seem hilariously quaint knowing the linguistic gutting he gives his later works.      The whole account reads like a disgusting voyeuristic window into the life of a crass punk,      a proto-Miller smut fest, funny and sad and beautiful anecdotes found in filth. Poor      Maxime, who Steegmuller embarrasses continuously, by surrounding his perfectly      competent passages with those of a far more adroit observer.

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