In his own words, the novel is "a kind of encyclopedia made into farce . . . A book in which I shall spit out my bile." At the center of this book are Bouvard and Pécuchet, two retired clerks who set out in a search for truth and knowledge with persistent optimism in light of the fact that each new attempt at learning about the world ends in disaster.
In the literary tradition of Rabelais, Cervantes, and Swift, this story is told in that blend of satire and sympathy that only genius can compound, and the reader becomes genuinely fond of these two Don Quixotes of Ideas. Apart from being a new translation, this edition includes Flaubert's Dictionary of Received Ideas.
Known for his scrupulous devotion to his art and perfectionist style, French writer Gustave Flaubert is counted among the greatest Western novelists, and influenced such writers as Franz Kafka and J. M. Coetzee. Flaubert is best known for Madame Bovary, for which he was prosecuted (and acquitted) for offending public morals. His other works of note include Memoirs of a Madman, November, Salammbô, Sentimental Education, and The Temptation of Saint Anthony. His work has been widely adapted for the stage and screen. Flaubert died in 1880.read more