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Flaubert : Elisions/Inclusions

Flaubert : Elisions/Inclusions

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Published by Adam Fieled
A collection of notes around nineteenth century French novelist Gustave Flaubert, which attempt to reconcile his textual achievements with both the twentieth and the twenty-first century.
A collection of notes around nineteenth century French novelist Gustave Flaubert, which attempt to reconcile his textual achievements with both the twentieth and the twenty-first century.

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Published by: Adam Fieled on Apr 17, 2014
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05/19/2014

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Flaubert : Elisions Inclusions Adam Fieled
 
 
 
ntroduction
 
To start with
 the imperative these notes follow through
 to find, in a representative nineteenth century sensibility, a secure hinge to a possible twenty-first century sensibility, visibly and somewhat obstinately eliding the twentieth
 must needs be, it seems to me, a controversial and caustic one. To start again, the manifest superiority of the nineteenth to the twentieth as an art century, as a foundational supposition, marks the text as both extraordinarily exclusive and iconoclastic
 even as employing Derrida and Deconstruction as reference points makes clear that there is some flexibility and dynamism at work in creating aesthetic-temporal parameters. If there is a reason to adopt a hard-line stance, where fiction and poetry are concerned, and certainly in defense of an artist as distinguished as Gustave Flaubert, it is that twentieth century textuality (in the art sector) so quickly and thoroughly lost its sense of formal-thematic balance in pursuing a certain kind of avant-garde formality, occasionally breathtaking in its leaps and sense of daring, but also awkwardly angled against making the necessary inquiries and interrogations towards the construction and maintenance of texts whose use-value would increase with time.  Applying a Derridean/deconstructive approach to Flaubert is instructive on this level
 because
Flaubert’s semantic prerogative is to load his texts in favor of multiple significations, rather than
the twentieth century avant-
garde’s insistence on a singular, determinable “language/dialect of progress” against the balance found in textual multiplicity, less of Flaubert’s key texts have a
hinge to a sense of the arbitrary, as arbitrary innovations serving singular authorial intentions. A language or dialect of progress, in the twentieth century, had to be constituted by subjects determined to demarcate aesthetic ground against entire epochs in which their considered approach would be both antithetical to prevailing norms and, owing to its extremity and singularity, an anathema
 and a language/dialect of regression, in the twentieth century,  would be constituted by a sense of the superior magnetism and human/humanistic worthiness of artfully executed multiplicity. This
 artfully executed textual multiplicity
 is precisely
Flaubert’s strength against all that encroaches against him.
The confrontational chiasmus between Flaubert and Proust, for many reasons, cannot be a friendly one
 
Proust’s all
-encompassing textual narcissism, its singular insistence on jagged textual arrhythmic ruptures, abrasions, and imbalances, of both form and theme, which signify his language of progress
 
chafe against the solidity of Flaubert’s mandarin sense of textual balance (“art” in the general sense) which manifests a firmly embedded multiple dialect, functioning,
sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, to shuttle between sectors of expressed sensibility, understanding, and reason (principles). Epochs in literature are left to decide for themselves what constitutes progress
 what informs the collective decision, also, is an approach to previous socio-aesthetic epoch
s. My individual opinion, whose repercussions for the century’s literary/cultural
collectives are yet to be seen, is that multiplicity should occupy a vaunted space over singularity, owing to the perceptible fact that human consciousness is more multiple than it is singular, and that literature needs to demystify itself by embodying the most complexly accurate mirror of human consciousness as possible. What this collection of notes is meant to accomplish is an interrogation into what the most salient strain
s of multiplicity in Flaubert’s texts are, and why this
 
manner/form of signification still resonate to us as both profoundly true and profoundly useful today, after the intercession of a century which took pains to palimpsest over them .  Adam Fieled, 2014

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