Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 378 pages of information about The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters.

You always astonish me with your painstaking work; is it a coquetry?  It does not seem labored.  What I find difficult is to choose out of the thousand combinations of scenic action which can vary infinitely, the clear and striking situation which is not brutal nor forced.  As for style, I attach less importance to it than you do.

The wind plays my old harp as it lists.  It has its high notes, its low notes, its heavy notes—­and its faltering notes, in the end it is all the same to me provided the emotion comes, but I can find nothing in myself.  It is the other who sings as he likes, well or ill, and when I try to think about it, I am afraid and tell myself that I am nothing, nothing at all.  But a great wisdom saves us; we know how to say to ourselves, “Well, even if we are absolutely nothing but instruments, it is still a charming state and like no other, this feeling oneself vibrate.”

Now, let the wind blow a little over your strings.  I think that you take more trouble than you need, and that you ought to let the other do it oftener.  That would go just as well and with less fatigue.

The instrument might sound weak at certain moments, but the breeze in continuing would increase its strength.  You would do afterwards what I don’t do, what I should do.  You would raise the tone of the whole picture and would cut out what is too uniformly in the light.

Vale et me ama.

XXXIV.  TO GEORGE SAND Saturday morning

Don’t bother yourself about the information relative to the journals.  That will occupy little space in my book and I have time to wait.  But when you have nothing else to do, jot down on paper whatever you can recall of ’48.  Then you can develop it in talking.  I don’t ask you for copy of course, but to collect a little of your personal memories.

Do you know an actress at the Odeon who plays Macduff in Macbeth?  Dugueret?  She would like to have the role of Nathalie in Mont-reveche.  She will be recommended to you by Girardin, Dumas and me.  I saw her yesterday in Faustine, in which she showed talent.  My opinion is that she has intelligence and that one could profit by her.

If your little engineer has made a vow, and if that vow does not cost him anything, he is right to keep it; if not, it is pure folly, between you and me.  Where should liberty exist if not in passion?

Well! no, in my day we didn’t take such vows and we loved! and swaggeringly.  But all participated in a great eclecticism and when one strayed from ladies it was from pride, in defiance of one’s self, and for effect.  In short, we were Red Romantics, perfectly ridiculous to be sure, but in full bloom.  The little good which remains to me comes from that epoch.

XXXV.  TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT Palaiseau, 30 November, 1866

Follow Us on Facebook