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.

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!

Post a Comment