One-Minute Book Reviews

March 14, 2011

Like ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Madame Bovary’ Is ‘About Nothing’

Filed under: Quotes of the Day — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:27 pm
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Jerry Seinfeld joked that his long-running NBC sitcom was “a show about nothing.” Did Madame Bovary inspire the words that became one of the best-known catchphrases in television? Consider this passage from One-Hundred Great French Books (BlueBridge, 2010), by Lance Donaldson-Evans, a professor of romance languages at the University of Pennsylvania:

“Flaubert once described Madame Bovary as a work ‘about nothing,’ a curious description for a book in which a great deal happens. What he really meant was that he had deliberately selected a trite subject in order to show that even banality could be redeemed by art. “

July 11, 2008

Are Novels the Private Histories of Nations? Quote of the Day (Flaubert via Dinitia Smith)

Filed under: Quotes of the Day — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 2:34 am
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Many of the quotes of the day on this site have dealt directly or indirectly with the purpose of fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Dinitia Smith suggested one of the many functions of novels when she wrote in a recent review of Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture (Viking, 300 pp., $24.95) in the New York Times:

“Flaubert once wrote that novels are the private histories of nations.”

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

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