Gustave Flaubert, L'éducation sentimentale [Sentimental Education]

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On 6 October 1864, a month into the novel that he would complete in 1869, Flaubert explains to Mademoiselle Leroyer de Chantepie: “Je veux faire l'histoire morale des hommes de ma génération; ‘sentimentale' serait plus vrai. C'est un livre d'amour, de passion; mais de passion telle qu'elle peut exister maintenant” [“I want to write the moral story of my own generation; ‘sentimental' might be more accurate. It is a story of love and passion, but passion as it may exist nowadays”]. On a superficial reading,

L'Education sentimentale

might indeed be considered a love story, though it is hardly a conventional one, and the “passion” that Flaubert represents (not only romantic, but also artistic and political) is for the most part a weak, unfocussed and self-doubting sentiment.

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Citation: Unwin, Tim. "L'éducation sentimentale". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 April 2008 [, accessed 22 April 2024.]

4189 L'éducation sentimentale 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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