Bouvard and Pécuchet
Preface by Raymond Queneau
Translated by Mark Polizzotti
Although unfinished during his lifetime, Bouvard and Pécuchet is now considered to be one of Flaubert's greatest masterpieces. 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.
Nb of pages 328 p.
Publication Date 01 March 2007
Nb of pages 328
Dimensions 5.5 x 8 in.
List Price $13.95
As the temperature that day had risen to ninety-two degrees, Boulevard Bourdon was completely deserted. Lower down, the Canal Saint-Martin, contained by a lock at each end, stretched its inky water in a straight line. In the middle was a barge loaded with wood, and on the bank were twin rows of barrels.
Past the canal, between buildings buttressed by scaffolding, emerged patches of clear blue sky, and beneath the sun’s rays the white facades, slate roofs, and granite quays shone brilliantly. An indistinct murmur rose far off in the sultry atmosphere, and everything seemed muted by the Sunday quiet, the melancholy of summer afternoons.
Among all the works of this brilliant writer, Bouvard and Pécuchet is definitely the deepest, the most thorough, the broadest. . . . It is the Tower of Babel of the sciences, where all the diverse, opposing, and absolute doctrines—each having its own language—demonstrate the powerlessness of effort, the vanity of affirmation, and the ever eternal 'misery of everything.' -Guy de Maupassant
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Genres : Fiction : Europe : Western Europe
Genres : Fiction : Classics and Modernism
Countries : France