A Simple Heart Criticism

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Although Three Tales (Trois Contes), the collection which includes "A Simple Heart," was written more quickly than any of Flaubert's other known works, it is generally considered most exemplary of his mature style. Flaubert began writing the piece in 1875, attempting a more gentle and humanitarian literature, and he completed the three tales in 1877, just three years before his death. In 1878, in the Fortnightly Review, English critic George Saintsbury claimed that "A Simple Heart" "displays exactly the same qualities of minute and exact observation, the same unlimited fidelity of draughtsmanship, which distinguish Madame Bovary and L'Education Sentimentale [Sentimental Education]." Commenting on Flaubert's realism, Saintsbury remarked, "There are few things more curious than the combination of such an imagination with the photographic clearness of observation and reproduction."

The book's moral character, unlike that of Madame Bovary, has never been in question. The obscenity trial and notorious controversy surrounding the publication...

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This section contains 704 words
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Short Stories for Students
A Simple Heart from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.