A Simple Heart

A Simple Heart


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Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practice by literature's greatest writers. In the ART OF THE NOVELLA series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.

With an attention to the details of bourgeois life considered almost scandalous at the time, A Simple Heart will remind many why Gustave Flaubert was acclaimed as the first great master of realism. But this heart-breaking tale of a simple servant woman and her life-long search for love meant something else to Flaubert. Written near the end of his life, the work was meant to be a tribute to George Sand—who died before it was finished—and was written in answer to an argument the two were having over the importance of realism. Although the tale displays his virtuosic gift for telling detail, and is based on one of his actual servants, Flaubert said it exemplified his belief that "Beauty is the object of all my efforts." This sparkling new translation by Charlotte Mandell shows how impeccably Flaubert achieved his goal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780974607887
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Publication date: 09/28/2004
Series: Art of the Novella Series
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 285,482
Product dimensions: 5.01(w) x 6.98(h) x 0.26(d)

About the Author

GUSTAVE FLAUBERT was born in 1821 in Rouen, France, the son of a surgeon. He studied law but failed his exams and, after experiencing his first attack of what is thought to have been epilepsy—a condition he kept secret—he devoted himself to writing. His first novel, Madame Bovary, was published in 1857. It caused a scandal and led to Flaubert's prosecution on charges of immorality, but he was exonerated. His meticulous and realistic writing brought him continued recognition and esteem, although his subsequent books, such as A Sentimental Education and Salammbô, did not fare as well as Bovary, and he died in near-poverty in 1880.

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A Simple Heart 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
whitewavedarling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'd been meaning to read this one for some time, and it was perfect for what it is. It is beautifully written, and the characters feel frustratingly real. At the same time, I wanted to know more about what was going on in Felicite's head, and more about How she was the way she was. If I had, I feel as if I might have gotten more lost in the story. As is, it engaged me and interested me, but didn't drive home much emotion in any sense. For the most part, with the exception of LouLou, I feel as if this one wasn't particularly memorable. Still, it was an interesting story, and a nice way to pass a relaxing unstressed morning.