One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Monday, June 27, 2011

On Flaubert's "Madame Bovary": Leon's Allusions

First a good quote (what Leon saw in Emma):
She was the mistress of all the novels, the heroine of all the dramas, the vague "she" of all the volumes of verse.
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Following the above quote, Leon goes on to compare Emma to two paintings (at least seemingly from my Kindle version): "Odalisque Bathing" and "Pale Woman of Barcelona."

However, a quick Google suggests that Flaubert intentionally made Leon's allusions incorrect or vague.  The first may be an allusion to Ingres' La Grande Odalisque:

Ingres - La grande Odalisque Pictures, Images and Photos


The second allusion is apparently to a poem not a painting: Alfred de Musset's L'Andalouse (The Andalusian), which begins thus:

Have you seen in Barcelona
An Andalusian in brown?
Pale as a beautiful autumn evening!
It is my mistress, my lion!


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