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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

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Flaubert

In part 3 of Flaubert's Sentimental Education we see the utter chaos of the political scene in Paris ca 1848 w a political party representing every shade and nuance of political belief and every special interest group (e.g. A party of artists...). To his credit Frederic has become interested in the world around him and is encouraged to run for a seat in the legislature. Of course it's not clear what he believes is, if anything, but at least for the moment he has stopped obsessing about Mme Arnoux, about his "mistress " Rosannette and about spending his fortune on trivialities. Flaubert has some fun w a few comic scenes at political rallies - Frederic does not fit in at all w these lifetime political obsessives, figures entirely familiar at American universities in the late 20th century and probably today. We also get a delightful scene in which the self-centered and probably corrupt aristocrat Dambeuse (?) comes to Frederic for protection - uttering self-serving inanities such as "after all, all of us are workers" or "dammit Proudhon has some really fine ideas." In other words the world has turned upside down overnight and everyone is doing what he or she can to survive - there are dead bodies in the streets as a reminder

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