The First Installment of Madame Bovary Published
Remember how you felt a couple of nights ago while waiting for the finale of Breaking Bad? That's how readers felt about Gustav Flaubert's Madame Bovary. Today, Bovary is one of those books people say they've read but haven't. That's because it's a classic now and has been relegated to mandatory reading in too many boring classrooms. An argument could be made that Madame Bovary was the Fifty Shades of Grey of its day. It is not an argument that could be sustained on the basis of language or literary invention, but the "scandalous" subject matter certainly put the book on everyone's lips. And imagine having to wait for monthly installments to find out what would happen next! I've always been drawn to that old way of releasing a story. I remember how excited we all were back in the 1970's when Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City was published one piece at a time in the San Francisco Chronicle. You got your newspaper, and unless there was an earthquake on page one, you rushed to the front page of section two to get your fix. What was it Freud said about delayed gratification? No matter. It's hat's off time to the lady of the day, the one, the only, Emma Bovary. Here's the trailer from the 1949 movie version.