Bouvard and Pecuchet

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Overview

Bouvard and Pecuchet are two Chaplinesque copy-clerks who meet on a park bench in Paris. Following an unexpected inheritence, they decide to give up their jobs and explore the world of ideas.

In this, his last novel, unfinished on his death in 1880, Flaubert attempted to encompass his lifelong preoccupation with bourgeois stupidity and his disgust at the banalties of intellectual life in France. Into it he poured all his love of detail, his delight in the life of the mind, his ...

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Bouvard and Pecuchet

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Overview

Bouvard and Pecuchet are two Chaplinesque copy-clerks who meet on a park bench in Paris. Following an unexpected inheritence, they decide to give up their jobs and explore the world of ideas.

In this, his last novel, unfinished on his death in 1880, Flaubert attempted to encompass his lifelong preoccupation with bourgeois stupidity and his disgust at the banalties of intellectual life in France. Into it he poured all his love of detail, his delight in the life of the mind, his despair of human nature and his pleasure in passionate friendship. The result is 'a kind of encyclopedia made into farce,' wholly grotesque and wholly original, in the spirit of Gargantua and Pantagruel, Don Quixote or Ulysses.

This edition includes the Dictionary of Received Ideas, which was intended to follow Bouvard and Pecuchet as part of a second volume.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Among all the works of this brilliant writer, Bouvard and Pecuchet is definitely the deepest, the most thorough, the broadest.... It is the Tower of Babel of the sciences, where all the diverse, opposing, and absolute doctrines -- each having its own language -- demonstrate the powerlessness of effort, the vanity of affirmation, and the ever eternal 'misery of everything.'" --Guy de Maupassant

Dalkey Archive Press

"Flaubert inspires in me an affection that I don't feel for any other writer." --Jean Echenoz

Dalkey Archive Press

"In Bouvard and Pecuchet, Flaubert created an encyclopedia of the sciences in a way that emphasizes all the laws and failures of knowledge, and at the same time, he did so in a way that breaks the forms of literature itself." --Claudine Cohen, Alliage

Dalkey Archive Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781432612986
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Gustave Flaubert (1821-80) is considered to be one of the most important French novelists of the nineteenth century. He's most well-known for his novel Madame Bovary, and for his desire to write "a book about nothing," a novel in which all external elements, especially the presence of the author, have been eliminated, leaving nothing but style itself.

Often considered a member of the naturalist school, Flaubert despised categorizations of this sort, and in novels like Bouvard and Pecuchet demonstrates the inaptness of this label. In addition to these two novels, he is also the author of A Sentimental Education, Salambo, Three Tales, and The Temptation of Saint Anthony.

Dalkey Archive Press

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