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

To read about movies and TV shows I'm watching, visit my other blog: Elliot's Watching

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Left off at a dramatic point in Flaubert's Sentimental Education last night as Frederic prepares to duel Cisy, his pretentious and insecure aristocratic friend, in a matter of so-called honor. C at a dinner of other young aristos is made increasingly uncomfortable as the others insult him and it's obvious he's the least sophisticated and worldly in the group. Trying to sound tough and experienced he says something insulting about Arnoux; F steps up to A's defense. C stupidly says the one good thing about A is his sexy wife - at which point F gets enraged and throw a plate at C. I love that Flaubert slyly notes that as the drinking boys try to sort out this affair of honor the waiters clean up the mess. Anyway: a duel. Even in this comic duel, which reminds me of augucheek's duel in 12th Night, it's obvious that this behavior w all of the attendant code - the seconds, the choice of weapons, and so on - show the 19th c aristocracy at its most barbaric. This novel continues to bring Frederic deeper into the lower depths and what we have to wonder is will he ever become educated about feelings and responsibilities and if he ever does will there be anything left of his life to save.

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