When you reduce a woman to writing, she makes you think of a thousand other women.
When you are some-'one', why would you wish to be some-'thing'?
When she was taken too bad she went off quite alone to the sea-shore, so that the customs officer, going his rounds, often found her lying flat on her face, crying on the shingle. Then, after her marriage, it went off, they say." "But with me," replied Emma, "it was after marriage that it began.
When she had thus for a while struck the flint on her heart without getting a spark, incapable, moreover, of understanding what she did not experience as of believing anything that did not present itself in conventional forms she persuaded herself without difficulty that Charles's passion was nothing very exorbitant.
When one does something, one must do it wholly and well. Those bastard existences where you sell suet all day and write poetry at night are made for mediocre minds – like those horses that are equally good for saddle and carriage, the worst kind, that can neither jump a ditch nor pull a plow.
What’s improper about it? retorted the clerk. Everybody does it in Paris! It was an irresistible and conclusive argument.
What! said he. Do you not know that there are souls constantly tormented? They need by turns to dream and to act, the purest passions and the most turbulent joys, and thus they fling themselves into all sorts of fantasies, of follies.
What wretched poverty of language! To compare stars to diamonds!
Not a lawyer but carries within him the debris of a poet.
No, read in order to live.
No one, ever, can give the exact measure of his needs, his apprehensions, or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked cauldron on which we bang out tunes that make bears dance, when we want to move the stars to pity.
Never have things of the spirit counted for so little. Never has hatred for everything great been so manifest – disdain for beauty, execration of literature. I have always tried to live in an ivory tower, but a tide of shit is beating at its walls, threatening to undermine it.
My soul has been haunted by something like those forgotten melodies that come back to us at twilight, during those slow hours in which memory, like a ghost among ruins, stalks our thoughts.
My novel is the rock to which I cling and I know nothing of what is taking place in the world.
My life which I dream will be so beautiful, so poetic, so vast, so filled with love will turn out to be like everybody else's - monotonous, sensible, stupid.
My foregrounds are imaginary, my backgrounds real.
Motionless we traverse countries we fancy we see, and your thought, blending with the fiction, playing with the details, follows the outline of the adventures. It mingles with the characters, and it seems as if it were yourself palpitating beneath their costumes.
Melancholy is a sensual pleasure that is deliberately provoked. How many people shut themselves away to make themselves sadder, or to weep beside a stream, or choose a sentimental book! We are constantly building and unbuilding ourselves.
Maybe happiness too is a metaphor invented on a day of boredom.
Madame Bovary is myself.