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The Family Idiot: Gustave Flaubert, 1821-1857, Volume 3
     

The Family Idiot: Gustave Flaubert, 1821-1857, Volume 3

by Jean-Paul Sartre, Carol Cosman (Translator)
 

Seen by many as the culmination of Sartre's thought and project, and viewed by Sartre himself as an attempt to answer the question, "What, at this point in time, can we know about a man?" this monumental work continues to perplex its fascinated critics and admirers, who have argued about its precise nature. However, as reviews of the first volume in this

Overview

Seen by many as the culmination of Sartre's thought and project, and viewed by Sartre himself as an attempt to answer the question, "What, at this point in time, can we know about a man?" this monumental work continues to perplex its fascinated critics and admirers, who have argued about its precise nature. However, as reviews of the first volume in this translation agreed, whatever The Family Idiot may be called—"a dialectic" (Fredric Jameson, New York Times Book Review); "biography, philosophy, or politics? Surely . . . all of these together" (Renee Winegarten, Commentary); "a new form of fiction?" (Victor Brombert, Times Literary Supplement); or simply, "mad, of course" (Julian Barnes, London Review of Books)—its prominent place in intellectual history is indisputable.

Volume 3 consists of "School Years" and "Preneurosis," which are the second and third books of part 2 of the original French work. In vivid detail, Sartre renders Flaubert's secondary-school experiences and relationships: his part in a student rebellion against the faculty, his teenage infatuation with Romantic literature, his friendships and rivalries with his classmates, and the ironies inherent in the schoolboys' bourgeois existence. Sartre then discusses Flaubert's years at law school, where he studied at his father's insistence. This volume also contains Sartre's most sustained analysis of Madame Bovary. Sartre's approach to his complex subject, whether jaunty or judicious, psychoanalytical or political, is captured in all of its rich variety in Carol Cosman's translation.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this second in a proposed five-volume translation of Sartre's biographical magnum opus, Sartre traces the psychosocial development of Flaubert from childhood through young adulthood. The philosopher's excursuses on such topics as comedy as a social agency and aesthetic theory realized through the life of Flaubert are relevant and provocative inclusions in a text already made engrossing by the facts of the novelist's development (from ``imaginary child'' to actor to writer) and Sartre's psychoanalytical insights. As she did in Volume 1, Cosman has rendered the text both faithfully and readably. A necessary addition to philosophy and literature collections, along with Volume 1 and Hazel Barnes's commentary, Sartre and Flaubert (both LJ 9/1/81).Francisca Goldsmith, Golden Gate Univ. Lib., San Francisco
Booknews
Originally published in Paris as part two, books two and three, of L'idiot de la famille... (Editions Gallimard, 1971). This is the third of a projected five-volume translation of Sartre's 1971 novel/biography/ secondary school, his rebellion against the faculty, attraction to Romantic literature, friendships and rivalries; and through law school. Includes Sartre's most sustained analysis of Flaubert's novel Madame Bovary. Perhaps an index is planned for the whole set. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226735160
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
09/28/1989
Series:
The Family Idiot Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
652
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 1.90(d)

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