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

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Flaubert

By the midpoint of Sentimental Education the protagonist, frederic, has touched the lower depths. He completely abandons his commitment to his lifelong friend, Deslaurier, after promising to give him a lot of money to back his political publication F changes his mind and gives the money to the insidious Arnoux to pay a creditor. Even F can't be stupid enough to believe A will ever pay him back. In fact he gives him the money so as to ingratiate himself in the eyes of Mme A whom he continues to pursue - at least in his mind. But despite his obsession w her he cannot bring himself to approach her directly and all of the "signals" she gives him suggest that she is virtuous and loyal to her husband - who is not faithful in kind. In short F is at this point in the novel completely feckless and immoral. At the same time his friends are becoming increasingly obsessed and bitter in fact Delaurieais seems to be a bipolar character talking feverishly about his political plans. Meanwhile the wealthy Desmaurier (?) has enticed F to buy shares in a coal scheme - another way in which F is throwing away his money to impress others - he cannot see how people are abusing him and takin advantage of him. One scene I particularly like is F'a visit to A's ceramics factory - which turns Out of course to be far less grand than he'd been led to believe. In fact if I could edit Flaubert for a moment the scene would have been even better is there were no manufacturing under way at all. Either way, F is a fool and we'll see what he learns in his "education "

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