The Best Gustave Flaubert quotes

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A French novelist, Gustave Flaubert was born on December 12, 1821. He is most known for his book Madame Bovary which depicts the story of Emma Bovary and her adulterous affairs. This novel examines the life of a bored bourgeois wife who devotes herself to endless romantic fantasies that she believes will give her happiness but ultimately lead to tragedy. Flaubert’s work went against established conventions in its refusal to judge or condemn adultery and its condemnation of social hypocrisy. It also broke with literary tradition by presenting an unlikable protagonist as the center of attention rather than someone more heroic or virtuous.

We are glad to present you the most known phrases from Gustave Flaubert.

Discover the deepest Work, Doubt, Stupidity, Love, Books, Life, Believing, Heart quotes from Gustave Flaubert, and much more.


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About Gustave Flaubert

birth of the author

12 December 1821

death of the author

8 May 1880

occupation of the author


genre of the author

Fictional Prose

movement of the author

Literary Movement:
Realism, Romanticism

award of the author

Notable Works:
Madame Bovary Sentimental Education Salammbรด Bouvard Et Pรฉcuchet Three Tales


Isn’t โ€˜not to be bored’ one of the principal goals of life? โ€” Gustave Flaubert

The writer must wade into life as into the sea, but only up to the navel. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

But, in her life, nothing was going to happen. Such was the will of God! The future was a dark corridor, and at the far end the door was bolted. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Man lives in his dreams, that is where he gets his only reward and receives his only pleasure. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

isn t not to be bored one of the principal goals of life Gustave Flaubert quote

Be orderly and disciplined in daily life, like a good bourgeois, so that I might be wild and violent in my art. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

A child of my own! oh, no, no, no! let my flesh perish with me, And let me not trAnsmit to Anyone the boredom And ignominiousness of life. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Writing is a dog’s life, but the only life worth living. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Caught up in life, you see it badly. You suffer from it or enjoy it too much. The artist, in my opinion, is a monstrosity, something outside of nature. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Life is so horrible that one can only bear it by avoiding it. And that can be done by living in the world of art. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

the writer must wade into life as into the sea but only up to the navel Gustave Flaubert quote

Life must be a constant education; one must learn everything, from speaking to dying. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Do not imagine you can exorcise what oppresses you in life by giving vent to it in art. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

One never tires of what is well written, style is life! It is the very blood of thought! โ€” Gustave Flaubert

What an awful thing life is, isn’t it? It’s like soup with lots of hairs floating on the surface. You have to eat it nevertheless. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

And so I will take back up my poor life, so plain and so tranquil, where phrases are adventures and the only flowers I gather aremetaphors. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

writing is a dog s life but the only life worth living Gustave Flaubert quote

Love, to her, was something hat comes suddenly, like a blinding flash of lighteningโ€“a heavenโ€“sent storm hurled into life, uprooting it, sweeping every will before it like a leaf, engulfing all feelings. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

She did not believe that things could remain the same in different places, and since the portion of her life that lay behind her had been bad, no doubt that which remained to be lived would be better. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Exuberance is better than taste. โ€” Gustave Flaubert


Everything is there: the love of Art. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

There are three thing in the world I love most: the sea, Hamlet, and Don Giovanni. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

everything is there the love of art Gustave Flaubert quote

I love good sense above all, perhaps because I have none. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

What baffled him was that there should be all this fuss about something so simple as love. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Love art. Of all lies, it is the least untrue. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

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’sโ€“monotonous, sensible, stupid. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Love is a springtime plant that perfumes everything with its hope, even the ruins to which it clings. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

there are three thing in the world i love most the sea hamlet and don giovanni Gustave Flaubert quote

The denigration of those we love always detaches us from them in some degree. Never touch your idols: the gilding will stick to your fingers. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Casting aspersions on those we love always does something to loosen our ties. We shouldn’t maltreat our idols: the gilt comes off on our hands. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Of all the icy blasts that blow on love, a request for money is the most chilling. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

But the disparaging of those we love always alienates us from them to some extent. We must not touch our idols; the gilt comes off in our hands. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Each dream finds at last its form; there is a drink for every thirst, and love for every heart. And there is no better way to spend your life than in the unceasing preoccupation of an ideaโ€“โ€“of an ideal. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

i love good sense above all perhaps because i have none Gustave Flaubert quote

My kingdom is as wide as the universe and my wants have no limits. I go forward always, freeing spirits and weighing words, without fear, without compassion, without love, without God. I am called science. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

One mustn’t ask apple trees for oranges, France for sun, women for love, life for happiness. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

She would have liked not to be alive, or to be always asleep. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

If you knew all the dreams I’ve dreamed! โ€” Gustave Flaubert


The public wants work which flatters its illusions. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

the public wants work which flatters its illusions Gustave Flaubert quote

The author, in his work, must be like God in the Universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

The artist must be in his work as God is in creation, invisible and allโ€“powerful; one must sense him everywhere but never see him. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Put all your rage and madness into your work and live as orderly a life as possible. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Be steady and wellโ€“ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

One must laugh and weep, love, work, enjoy and suffer, in short vibrate as much as possible in all his being. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

put all your rage and madness into your work and live as orderly a life as possible Gustave Flaubert quote

The better a work is, the more it attracts criticism; it is like the fleas who rush to jump on white linens. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

I love my work with a frenetic and perverse love, as an ascetic loves the hair shirt which scratches his belly. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

The finest works of art are those in which there is the least matter. The closer expression comes to thought, the more the word clings to the idea and disappears, the more beautiful the work of art. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Concern for morality makes every work of the imagination false and stupid. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

You can calculate the worth of a man by the number of his enemies, and the importance of a work of art by the harm that is spoken of it. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

concern for morality makes every work of the imagination false and stupid Gustave Flaubert quote

Style is as much under the words as in the words. It is as much the soul as it is the flesh of a work. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Redundant Thematics

In Gustave Flaubert Statements


Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

We swung between madness and suicide … it was beautiful! โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Everyone became brave from excess of terror. โ€” Gustave Flaubert


Here is true immorality: ignorance and stupidity; the devil is nothing but this. His name is Legion. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

earth has its boundaries but human stupidity is limitless Gustave Flaubert quote

Earth has its boundaries, but human stupidity is limitless. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Stupidity lies in wanting to draw conclusions. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletariat to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeoisie. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Stupidity is something unshakable; nothing attacks it without breaking itself against it; it is of the nature of granite, hard and resistant. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Stupidity is an immovable object: you can’t try to attack it wiithout being broken by it. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Stupidity consists in wanting to reach conclusions. We are a thread, and we want to know the whole cloth. โ€” Gustave Flaubert


The heart, like the stomach, wants a varied diet. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Boredom, that silent spider, was spinning its web in the darkness in every corner of her heart. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

For a long time now my heart has had its shutters closed, its steps deserted, formerly a tumultuous hotel, but now empty and echoing like a great empty tomb. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

the heart like the stomach wants a varied diet Gustave Flaubert quote

After the pain of this disappointment her heart once more stood empty, and the succession of identical days began again. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Only three things are infinite. The sky in its stars, the sea in its drops of water, and the heart in its tears. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Years passed; and he endured the idleness of his intelligence and the inertia of his heart. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Her heart remained empty once more, and the procession of days all alike began again. So they were going to follow one another, like this, in line, always identical, innumerable, bringing nothing! โ€” Gustave Flaubert

How we keep these dead souls in our hearts. Each one of us carries within himself his necropolis. โ€” Gustave Flaubert


One must always hope when one is desperate, and doubt when one hopes. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

It is necessary to sleep upon the pillow of doubt. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

The deplorable mania of doubt exhausts me. I doubt about everything, even my doubts. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Doubt โ€ฆ is an illness that comes from knowledge and leads to madness. โ€” Gustave Flaubert


I don’t believe that happiness is possible, but I think tranquility is. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

i don t believe that happiness is possible but i think tranquility is Gustave Flaubert quote

I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

He had the vanity to believe men did not like himโ€“while men simply did not know him. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

One mustn’t always believe that feeling is everything. In the arts, it is nothing without form. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Judge the goodness of a book by the energy of the punches it has given you. I believe the greatest characteristic of genius, is, above all, force. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

i believe that if one always looked at the skies one would end up with wings Gustave Flaubert quote


Me and my books in the same apartment, like a gherkin in its vinegar. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

An author in his book must be like God in the universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Sentences must stir in a book like leaves in a forest, each distinct from each despite their resemblance. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

She was the amoureuse of all the novels, the heroine of all the plays, the vague ‘she’ of all the poetry books. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

Writing this book I am like a man playing the piano with lead balls attached to his knuckles. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

me and my books in the same apartment like a gherkin in its vinegar Gustave Flaubert quote

And indeed, what is better than to sit by one’s fireside in the evening with a book, while the wind beats against the window and the lamp is buring? โ€” Gustave Flaubert

They took each other’s advice, opened one book, went over to another, then did not know what to decide when opinions diverged so widely. โ€” Gustave Flaubert

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