Lot n° 76
1500 - 2000
Result with fees
: 2 108EUR
FLAUBERT Gustave (1821-1880).
L.A.S. "Gve Flaubert", [Paris about March 1, 1857], to Jules MICHELET; 3 and a half pages in-8 on blue paper.
Very beautiful letter as he begins to work on Salammbô, after the trial of Madame Bovary.
He will go to see his "dear master": "I appeal once again to your complaisance. The modern novel seems to me to be forbidden for the moment. St Antoine would make me go to court of assizes or at least murdered by some shepherd. Two or three book plans I had are impossible for the same reasons. So I'm going to do a little history for a moment. It is a large shield under which one can shelter many things.
Now I believe that there is much material for style in the most exact & most colorful painting of the Mercenary War. I do not know yet if I will treat the thing as a historian or as a novelist. To introduce a small plot in such a large fact seems to me a petty idea, on the other hand it is the only way to give myself up to descriptions which could be grandiose etc.! we will discuss it. I only know about Carthage a dissertation by Dureau de la Malle that I have not read. As for the architecture, it will be necessary to make it with the Phoenician architecture on which one has some data. But the interior life of the Carthaginians, the constitution of the mercenaries, their costume, the military tactics etc.! that is what I ask. Do you think that there are enough documents for me to be able to imagine something clear-cut?
As for religion, Guignaut will be useful to me; for trade, there is sufficient information in Heeren? - Hasn't Hannon's journey been published? Perhaps I am talking nonsense? Wasn't it Mr. Vallon who wrote a great thesis on slavery? You were involved in this subject, if I remember correctly. Please think a little about it, my dear master. I need to wash away all the contemporary turpitudes in which I have been made to wade this winter, and to stop thinking about the bourgeois, to stop painting them and to stop seeing them. I am thirsty for a higher environment. Give me your hand to go up there"...
Correspondence (Pléiade), t. II, p. 680.
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