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Gustave Flaubert (1844 - 1880)  
Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen, the son of a doctor. He briefly studied law in Paris but in 1844 he had a seizure. Flaubert was recognized from suffering a nervous disease - it could have been epilepsy. The diagnosis changed Flaubert's life. He failed his law exams and decided to devote himself to literature. His father bought him a house at Croisset, on the River Seine between Paris and Rouen.
In 1846 Flaubert met the writer Louise Colet, who became his mistress and published in Lui (1859) her account of their relationship. Flaubert's relationship with Collet ended in 1855. From November 1849 to April 1851 he travelled with the writer Maxime du Camp in North Africa, Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. On his return Flaubert started Madame Bovary, which appeared first in the Revue (1856) and in book form next year. Madame Bovary relates, against a French provincial-town background, the romantically motivated adulteries of a married woman whose pathetically overblown love affairs end in her suicide. The realistic depiction of adultery was condemned as immoral. Flaubert was procecuted, though he escaped conviction.
His last years were shadowed by financial worries - he helped with his modest fortune his niece's family after their bankruptcy. In the 1870s Flaubert's work were highly appreciated by the new school of naturalistic writers, and his narrative approach, that the novelist should remain neutral, was widely adopted.
Among Flaubert's later major works is Salambo (1862); L'education sentimentale (1869); La tentation de Saint Antoine (1874). Flaubert's long novel, Boulevard et pécuchet, was left unfinished at his death.
Flaubert died of a cerebral haemorrhage on May 8, in 1880.

 - Flaubert web site (english)
 - Palabras y vacío: Lenguaje y tópico en Gustave Flaubert (en espanol)

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