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The Letters of Gustave Flaubert by Gustave Flaubert
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The Letters of Gustave Flaubert

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The Letters of Gustave Flaubert by Gustave Flaubert
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Sep 26, 2023 | ISBN 9781681377162

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“When I…read the Letters—brilliantly linked and edited by Steegmuller so that they still make Flaubert’s best biography—I found them untouched by time, written as if from the next postal district only yesterday.” —Julian Barnes

“That Flaubert, as a writer and as the kind of writer he was, was born rather than made is plainly indicated by the first few letters in Francis Steegmuller’s excellent new selection. . . . All Flaubert is in these first five pages of letters, in embryo.” —D.J. Enright, London Review of Books

“Steegmuller . . . is again a deft, witty and indefatigable commentator, stitching Flaubert’s correspondence together with all the background information we need in order to appreciate it. Among his many fine asides, Mr. Steegmuller tells us that Proust disliked the style of Flaubert’s letters even more than that of his novels; that Gide kept his volumes of them beside his bed like a bible.” —Anatole Broyard, The New York Times

“These letters have the same fascination and compelling narrative drive as those in the first volume. . . . We have, in the guise of letters, what comes close to being a full-fledged biography.” —Howard
Moss, The Washington Post Book World

“Steegmuller’s connecting narrative and his annotations make this second volume as rich and attaching as the first. And, for once, Flaubert is seen alive and enacting himself.” —V. S. Pritchett, The Atlantic

“[Steegmuller’s] ear is so keenly attuned to the modulations of this correspondence and his craft is so accomplished that the English text is, as it were, transparent and trans-vocal. It is the voice of Flaubert we hear or, more precisely, the oral qualities of his epistolary style. Steegmuller plays Flaubert for us the way a musician plays the music of a master.” —Victor Brombert, American Scholar

“Deserves to be reread and cherished by all admirers of the finest and most fastidious of French novelists. . . . The love-letters to Louise Colet are so packed with subtle observation and profound psychological insight that, despite their spontaneity, they are works of supreme literary art. Francis Steegmuller’s translations of these and of the letters from the Orient are beyond praise—as vivid in English as in the original French. His critical and historical text is extremely illuminating throughout, and I have been amazed and enthralled by this splendid contribution to our knowledge of a literary colossus, so completely objective in his other writings. Here we may see the total man . . . without his impassive mask.” —Harold Acton

“An enchanting book, one that combines so happily the art of the biographer and the art of the translator—and Francis Steegmuller is a master of both. Once one starts reading Flaubert’s love letters, it’s difficult to stop.” —Leon Edel

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