Saturday, December 11, 2010

Something more solid than love

First of all sorry for the long time between my last post and this. I moved and am now in Ohio, and am trying to get used to sharing a computer with someone else since mine crapped out on me.

I have not read a lot of French fiction and as this one is pretty famous I gave it  a whirl.

Charles Bovary is an ordinary man who is a doctor of no real skill and has no real big dreams. After the death of his first wife (whom he married basically for her money) he marries Emma. Madame Bovary spends her time trying to be in love with Charles, but feels as if love has fallen so short of what she expected from reading. She wants passion and never ending poetry in life, while Charles would be happy with just a good dinner and a pipe. In order to keep herself from going crazy, Emma throws herself into reading all about Paris and the society there, buying the popular clothes, furnishings and foods that Parisians buy.

"But she, her life was chill as an attic with a northern skylight, and ennui, the silent spider, spun its web in the shadow in every corner of her heart."

She has flashes of romances that burst into her heart and fade away, only to be brought back to flame by the next gentleman who smiles at her and seems to be more in-tuned to emotions than her husband. Nothing comes of these romances at first and Emma has a child with her husband who she is not interested in at all.

"It was the first time that Emma had such things said to her, and her pride, like one reclining in a vapour-bath, stretched itself out languidly, yielding itself wholly to the fervor of the speech."

She falls in love, or at least thinks she does with a man who seems to genuinely care for her, but does not act upon those feelings. However, he leaves and she falls prey to a gentleman who uses her and plays all kinds of games on her emotions. He promises to run away with her, but then doesn't because ew, commitment.

"She was the sweetheart of all the novels, the heroine of all the plays, the vague she of all the poetry books."

She falls ill, and her inept husband fails to see what her real problem is and falls into deeper debt trying to buy things to please her. In the end, like most women characters who have a book named after them, she ends her life.The real sad thing about it though is that her poor daughter has just a shit life because of this woman's selfishness.

I don't know about this book. I felt like I was reading about a modern housewife who religiously reads US Weekly and buys the same Prada bag that Angelina Jolie has while ignoring her mounting credit card bills. I was disappointed that she didn't get more comeuppance and never seemed to learn anything, but I kept reading until the end.

In other news, I am almost 800 pages through War and Peace! Also I am reading a couple of other little books because I can't seem to limit myself to just one.