so Nabokov's father said. And I suppose he was right. This is a work with a simple plot - a beautiful farmer's daughter yearning to bust out of a boring marriage - that can be read on innumerable levels, which is one of the marks of genius.
Emma Bovary appears differently to everyone who reads about her: as a brutal narcissist, an artist without a medium, an early feminist, a clueless provincial, a great romantic, a unique lover. Perhaps the only thing that she could not be is a good wife and mother. I have read this novel many times, both in ENglish and French, and its layers and themes continue to peel away, always revealing something richer. The langugae is simply exquisite, perfectly articulated and as descriptive as Nabokov, yet spare and full of despair. It is a snapshot of one of the most realistic and complex characters in early modern lit.
A must read.
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