I’m champagne taste on a beer budget incarnate, but it’s never led me to cheat on and bankrupt an adoring spouse. I am bougie as hell in some ways but I’m not about to let my kid go without so I can have luxury. I may have debt but I’m not about to turn a blind eye to it by paying off credit with more credit. I love a good fantasy but I know where reality’s hard border is. Fuuuuuuck you, Emma Bovary.
I get why this was banned, even if it’s hilariously tame to the modern reader. I get why Flaubert won the trial, Emma is punished for her indulgences. What I don’t get is why this book is still considered a classic. It’s good, not great. I felt like the first quarter could’ve been condensed significantly, and the end drags.
Credit where due, Flaubert makes Emma’s love affairs seem understandable from both sides, and has a keen understanding of how ardor spoils or becomes prosaic, how the things that drew you to a person become the very things that repel you. And he’s not shy about taking his adored protagonist down a peg when needed; Emma’s (spoiler) death isn’t graceful or pretty.
But god damn have I met too many selfish people in real life, and seen the real life consequences of their selfishness, to sympathize with this character, regardless of how understandably Flaubert writes her desires. Jes suis most definitely fucking not madame Bovary.