Bouvard and Pecuchet

Bouvard and Pecuchet : A Novel

3.86 (2,836 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by  , Preface by 

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Although unfinished during his lifetime, Bouvard and P?cuchet is now considered to be one of Flaubert's greatest masterpieces. In his own words, the novel is "a kind of encyclopedia made into farce... A book in which I shall spit out my bile." At the center of this book are Bouvard and P?cuchet, two retired clerks who set out in a search for truth and knowledge with persistent optimism in light of the fact that each new attempt at learning about the world ends in disaster.In the literary tradition of Rabelais, Cervantes, and Swift, this story is told in that blend of satire and sympathy that only genius can compound, and the reader becomes genuinely fond of these two Don Quixotes of Ideas. Apart from being a new translation, this edition includes Flaubert's Dictionary of Received Ideas.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 328 pages
  • 139.7 x 198.12 x 22.86mm | 453.59g
  • Dalkey Archive Press
  • Normal, IL, United States
  • English
  • Translation
  • 1564783936
  • 9781564783936
  • 198,811

Review quote

In Bouvard and Pecuchet, Flaubert created an encyclopedia of the sciences in a way that emphasizes all the laws and failures of knowledge, and at the same time, he did so in a way that breaks the forms of literature itself. --Claudine Cohen
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About Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert (1821-80) is considered to be one of the most important French novelists of the nineteenth century. He's most well-known for his novel "Madame Bovary," and for his desire to write "a book about nothing," a novel in which all external elements, especially the presence of the author, have been eliminated, leaving nothing but style itself.

Often considered a member of the naturalist school, Flaubert despised categorizations of this sort, and in novels like "Bouvard and Pecuchet" demonstrates the inaptness of this label. In addition to these two novels, he is also the author of "A Sentimental Education," "Salambo," "Three Tales," and "The Temptation of Saint Anthony."
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Rating details

2,836 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 32% (921)
4 35% (989)
3 22% (627)
2 8% (216)
1 3% (83)
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