Friday, April 6, 2012
A to Z Blogging Challenge - F is for Flaubert and Fforde
If I ruled the world, everyone would have to read Madame Bovary before reading any novel that came after it. You'd also have to watch Citizen Kane before watching any film that came after it. To me, they're two works of art that have had such a profound influence in what comes after that it can be difficult not to see them as full of cliches. Two of my less popular ideas admittedly but there would be other good things if you put me into power.
I love all of Flaubert's work butMadame Bovary holds a special place. Although I don't love it because Emma was a "victim of the patriarchy". I actually don't think she was. She made a lot of bad choices on her own accord.
I love her because as Flaubert himself said, "Madame Bovary, c'est moi." She reads too much, a trope I love in novels. She's rather shallow. However, it's hard not to see yourself in her. There but for the grace of growing up go I, so to speak.
If you've never read it, I do occasionally make the offer to read the book that you love that no one else will read in exchange for you reading Madame Bovary. We'll come to two occasions of this as we go through the alphabet so feel free to leave a comment with your swap offer.
When I first read The Eyre Affair it was hard not to feel like Jasper Fforde looked at my bookshelves and decided to write a funny book just for me. It has classic literary allusions, bad puns, detective book themes and a bit of science fiction thrown in. Oh and it has a production of Richard III done in the manner of a Rocky Horror Picture Show event. The subsequent books in the series are a bit hit or miss but the first one is a classic.
This post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge, it might be too late for you to sign up but you can still tell me how you would handle the letters Q, X and Z.