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Bouvard and Pecuchet: With the Dictionary of Received Ideas
     

Bouvard and Pecuchet: With the Dictionary of Received Ideas

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by Gustave Flaubert, A. J. Krailsheimer (Translator)
 

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Bouvard and Pécuchet are two Chaplinesque copy-clerks who meet on a park bench in Paris. Following an unexpected inheritance, 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

Overview

Bouvard and Pécuchet are two Chaplinesque copy-clerks who meet on a park bench in Paris. Following an unexpected inheritance, 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 banalities 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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Released in 1881, this comedic novel capped Flaubert's career. It follows the title characters as they abandon their clerkships in the city to try country life and fail at every turn. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140443202
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/28/1976
Series:
Penguin Classics Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
308,541
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are Saying About This

Guy de Maupassant
"Among all the works of this brilliant writere Bouvard and Pécuchet is definitely the deepeste the most thoroughe the broadest. . . . It is the Tower of Babel of the sciencese where all the diversee opposinge and absolute doctrines--each having its own language--demonstrate the powerlessness of efforte the vanity of affirmatione and the ever eternal 'misery of everything."
Claudine Cohen
"In Bouvard and Pécuchete Flaubert created an encyclopedia of the sciences in a way that emphasizes all the flaws and failures of knowledgee and at the same timee he did so in a way that breaks the forms of literature itself."--(Claudine Cohene Alliage)
Jean Echenoz
"Flaubert inspires in me an affection that I don't feel for any other writer."

Meet the Author

Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen in 1821, the son of a prominent physician. A solitary child, he was attracted to literature at an early age, and after his recovery from a nervous breakdown suffered while a law student, he turned his total energies to writing. Aside from journeys to the Near East, Greece, Italy, and North Africa, and a stormy liaison with the poetess Louise Colet, his life was dedicated to the practice of his art. The form of his work was marked by intense aesthetic scrupulousness and passionate pursuit of le mot juste; its content alternately reflected scorn for French bourgeois society and a romantic taste for exotic historical subject matter. The success of Madame Bovary (1857) was ensured by government prosecution for “immorality”; Salammbô (1862) and The Sentimental Education (1869) received a cool public reception; not until the publication of Three Tales (1877) was his genius popularly acknowledged. Among fellow writers, however, his reputation was supreme. His circle of friends included Turgenev and the Goncourt brothers, while the young Guy de Maupassant underwent an arduous literary apprenticeship under his direction. Increasing personal isolation and financial insecurity troubled his last years. His final bitterness and disillusion were vividly evidenced in the savagely satiric Bouvard and Pécuchet, left unfinished at his death in 1880.

Dr. A.J. Krailsheimer was born in 1921 and was Tutor in French at Christ Church, Oxford, from 1957 until his retirement in 1988. His publications are Studies in Self-Interest (1963), Rabelais and the Franciscans (1965), Three Conteurs of the Sixteenth Century (1966), Rabelais (1967), A. J. de Rancé, Abbot of La Trappe (1974), Pascal (1980), Conversion (1980), Letters of A. J. de Rancé (1984), Rancé and the Trappist Legacy (1985) and Correspondance de Rancé (1993). He has also translated Flaubert’s Bouvard and Pécuchet and Salammbo and Pascal’s The Provincial Letters for the Penguin Classics.

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Bouvard and Pecuchet: With the Dictionary of Received Ideas 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For lovers of Flaubert this is a must read. The book, despite its mammoth undertaking of being a sort of History of Western Thought, is really a light, almost comical read. These two dottering men make the topics of agronomics and philosophy almost fun! Put into the perspective of his life's work, this book reads like a last symphony - full of sound and color, with a soft ending. A requiem in print.