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A daily record of what I'm thinking about what I'm reading

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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Flaubert

In part 2 of Sentimental Education Flaubert sets up a contrast between the two social milieux that pull Frederic on opposite directions. He goes to a social gathering at the dwelling of the prosperous high-ranking businessman Desmaurier (?) where the conversation is insipid and politically reactionary - and later F has a gathering of his friends from the old days before he was wealthy and they have a lively debate about art and politics, leaning to the left of course. His friends begin to emerge as distinct characters and we esp focus on Deslaurier, his best friend fro youth, who becomes increasingly angered by political injustice. His goal is to run a newspaper that will espouse views of the left and he and another of the crowd out the squeeze on F - he at first says he's a little strapped, which stirs D'a anger: it's ok for you to live in a mansion while others are on the street. Guilt-tripped, F comes thru w a large contribution, realizing that he is already running thru his vast inheritance. Meanwhile, he is trying to make the flirtatious (at best) Roseannette (?) aka The Marshall, his mistress - not clear how this fits in w his obsession about Mme Arnoux except that maybe he is afraid of winning her. He develops a ridiculous plan to have one of his crowd paint R's portrait and to be present at each sitting. In sum, he thinks he's a great lady's man, a great schemer, a great friend, and a great patron - but he is none of these. He's a shallow and ignorant young man who treat women and his male friends badly and his heading toward a fall.

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