Flaubert: A Biography

Herbert R. Lottman, Author Little Brown and Company $24.95 (396p) ISBN 978-0-316-53342-3
Lottman's considerable reputation as a chronicler of French literary and intellectual lifehe has published an admired study of Camus and a book about Parisian intellectuals in the 1930s and '40s ( The Left Bank )will be further enhanced by this superb biography. Working with materials only recently made available, including the novelist's uncensored letters, Lottman painstakingly reconstructs Flaubert's strange and meticulous life in vivid detail. He demolishes several well-established myths, including those that the writer's celebrated slowness was linked to epilepsy, or alternatively to medications taken to control it. He was in fact a prolific writer, who was so self-critical that everything he produced had to be pondered and rewritten a dozen times. Flaubert emerges as one of the most remarkably dedicated writers ever, a man seemingly content with a life of solitude far from the mainstream of Parisian life, but with an extraordinary gift for friendshipexcept with women, who were lovers only. Lottman's biography is more than just a study of a man's life; as any good biography should, it evokes, with unfailing skill and with wit, an entire era. Illustrated. (Feb . )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 396 pages - 978-0-88064-120-3
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