Gustave Flaubert, Salammbô

Laurence M. Porter (Michigan State University)
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Flaubert’s five published novels appear to alternate wildly between exotic, hysterical, sadistic, Romantic excess, and sober – even dreary – satiric realism, as if he were trying to release and then repress his exuberant imagination (Donato 1976). After mocking the stifling small town of “Yonville” in

Madame Bovary

(1857), Flaubert turned to ancient Carthage (near the present-day Bay of Tunis) around 241 B.C., just after Carthage’s defeat and retreat in the first Punic War against the Romans. After extensive research, with the Greek historian Polybius as his major source, Flaubert depicts Carthage as a commercial slave state that hires mercenaries from various countries to fight its wars. The Carthaginian religion worships the moon-goddess Tanit and the sun-god Moloch. In…

1870 words

Citation: Porter, Laurence M.. "Salammbô". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 August 2011 [, accessed 16 July 2024.]

2290 Salammbô 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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