Friday, September 30, 2011

Madame Pocket Pacy (#6)

Other than Joan of Arc and having a bookstore with MY book, Rouen is known as the birthplace of Gustave Flaubert, the author of the classic work Madame Bovary.

I remember feeling slightly ambivalent about the book when I read it in high school, but upon rereading I found myself rather enjoying the romanticism of it. Regardless, Flaubert was a superb author whom I was pleased to find out had a museum dedicated to him. Voila la Musee Flaubert!

I have to admit, I was a bit surprised when touring the museum. I thought it would be about Flaubert, Madame Bovary and his writing. Instead it focused on lots of archaic and rather gruesome medical history. It seems Gustave Flaubert's father was a rather famous doctor and this museum is a record of  his practice.

I've declined to show the photos of the more unsettling images (let's just say medicine has come a long way!) but the museum did show how Gustave Flaubert grew up with the harsh realities of life and death around him. Perhaps that explains the naive, extremely romantic character of Madame Bovary, he may have written it as a direct reaction to his surroundings.

apothecary jars of Gustave Flaubert's father, one of  the more attractive  of the displays in the museum...

However, interesting Gustave Flaubert quotes  adorned the museum:

Literature. The occupation of the idle.
This quote was very apropos, considering the medical history surroundings:
I have a style abscess and a phrase itch
In the courtyard of the museum, there was a statue memorializing Madame Bovary. I thought she could use the company of a Pocket Pacy:

C'est Madame Pocket Pacy!