Category Archives: Week 7 reviews: Flaubert, Temptation of Saint Anthony

La tentation de saint Antoine-Presentation Handout

LA TENTATION DE SAINT ANTOINE de GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

Introduction

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) finally publishes his Tentation de saint Antoine in 1874. Flaubert has made a stylistic break from his former works, into a more ascetic or nihilistic text.

  • “Historical figure born around 251 and was said to have died in 365. Saint Anthony withdrew from society to the solitude of the Thebaid. For the first fifteen years, he was reportedly tempted by what are generally taken to be hallucinations engendered by fasting and lack of sleep.” (Flaubert Encyclopedia 8).
  • La tentation de saint Antoine “[…] falls between genres. In terms of content, one could call it an “anatomy” in Northrop Frye’s sense—an encyclopedic compendium of information, this instance, involving the heresies of the early Christian period. In terms of form, it blends two genres.” (Flaubert Encyclopedia 325)
  • The work demonstrates by his very eccentricity, not to say absurdity, the way writing for Flaubert was, for all its obvious external concerns, a profoundly personal enterprise. Both can be seen to reflect their creator’s struggle between his commitments to Art his acknowledgement of the monstrosity of the products of both the imagination and the intellect. Not for nothing did Henry James describe Flaubert as ‘almost insanely excessive’” (Flaubert Encyclopedia 16).

Contemporary and Critical Reception

Flaubert’s Saint Anthony is a removal from his previous realistic style into the realm of asceticism. Flaubert calls The Temptation of Saint Anthony the work of his life” as we had previously mentioned in class, Flaubert has worked and re-worked this piece from the 1840s all the way through its publication date in 1874. This step some said, was perceived as a “titubation” of sorts, or a stumbling for the great realist. In other words the book was badly received and quickly put to pieces by its critics.

  • La tentation de saint Antoine, finally published in 1874, was the last full-length work to appear during Flaubert’s lifetime. In it, critics believed, he seemed to have slid back into the incoherent, excessively bookish exoticism of Salammbô, depicting a limp-wristed saint, passively watching a parade of visions. Henry James condemned the work for consisting entirely of ‘a strangely artificial and cold-blooded picturesque—abounding in the grotesque and the repulsive…’” (Flaubert Encyclopedia 79).
  • Barbey d’Aurevilly (who had formerly revered Madame Bovary) spoke of La Tentation as incomprehensible, undecipherable, and found it “un ennui implacable, un ennui qui n’est pas Français, un ennui Allemand, l’ennui du second Faust de Goethe… An overwhelming boredom, a boredom which is not French, a German boredom, the boredom of the second Faust of Goethe(Barbey d’Aurevilly)Flaubert’s Influence on Wilde

For Wilde, like many others, Flaubert represented a sort of antidote, or a liberation from this Victorian literature that Wilde so despised. Wilde idolized Flaubert above many British writers of his time. Wilde uses Flaubert to create an artistic form that is his own by detaching himself from the British preconceived Victorian thought. This artistic trend as we have often seen it realizes itself in a decadent fashion without morality and relishes in impersonality. He finds his voice and pleasure in the new French culturally decadent and obscene.

  • In the Artist as Critic, Wilde says, “It is considered as an instrument of thought, the English spirit is coarse and undeveloped. The only thing that can cure it is the growth of the critical instinct.”
  • In a discussion with Max Beerbohm: “Of course I plagiarize. It is the privilege of the appreciative man. I never read Flaubert’s Tentation without signing my name at the end of it.”
  • Writing to W.E. Wenley in 1888: “Yes! Flaubert is my master, and when I get on with my translation of the Tentation I shall be Flaubert II, Roi par la grâce de Dieu, and I hope something else beyond.”
  • And finally “Setting aside the prose and poetry of Greek and Latin authors, the only writers who have influenced me are Keats, Flaubert, Walter Pater, and before I came across them I had already more than half-way to meet them. Style must be in one’s soul before one can recognize it in others.”

3 Themes and Close-Readings

False Ascetic Discourse

An interesting disjuncture happens here, Flaubert who is striving to establish an ascetic character, does so by using a des Esseintes-like descriptive discourse.

-How can an ascetic lifestyle be described in such lavish terms?

-What do you guys make of this? How can the text be ascetic if it is written so similarly to the complex descriptions in À Rebours?

-Also, what do you make of this all of a sudden nihilistic ending?

Close reading

-Prophet Manes intricate description of asceticism pp. 102-103 in La tentation.

-Also Anthony’s nihilistic discussion with Satan in which there is no top or bottom etc. 290-293 in La tentation.

  •  “Flaubert had a lifelong fascination with sainthood: for him, the saint who chooses the unending martyrdom of an ascetic, lonely life was analogous to the dedicated artist, who likewise must struggle with doubt and despair” (Flaubert Encyclopedia 10)
  •  “Flaubert’s literary endeavors creates a durable image of an author torn between two opposite extremes, yielding first to one and then to the other, binging and then fasting like an anorexic.” (ibid 79)
  • “Jean-Paul Sartre who reads the suggestion in La tentation de saint Antoine that suicide’s creation of nothingness is equivalent to the nothingness from which god creates the world. If Being is suffering, Nothingess is Better, writes Sartre of Flaubert’s nihilism.”

Haunting and Madness

The book is riddled with mournful voices without faces that call out Antoine’s name, hauntings, illusions, visual objects that undergo transformations, a “silence” that separates Antoine from the world, being as if in a trance, and of course when he contemplates suicide at the end. Flaubert too is haunted, in part by his epileptic episodes during his youth, but also during most of his life.

-What do we make of this madness, by detaching it from this religious frenzy could we simply say that Anthony has been along too long and has fallen victim to the effects of asceticism the way des Esseintes did?

-Has his health been so affected that he can no longer function in what one considers the normal world (much like des Esseintes who is forced to regain Paris in the end)?

– I learned that Flaubert’s goal in his work was what he called “psychological realism”, or “psychic projection”, which is that of being outside oneself. What can we make of this?

Close Reading

-On page 49 and 50 in La tentation, Saint Anthony goes on a mad killing spree of his enemies. He later drinks their blood.

  • “Every other setting that appears in the novel, and every one of the hundred of characters who appear singly, in groups, or in processions come from the saint’s memories, readings, or imaginings. Every word they speak derives from the same sources. […] we may appropriately choose to believe that all the other characters are hallucinations and dreams” (Flaubert Encyclopedia 8-9)
  • On psychological realism, it is “a defense mechanism that attributes one’s own shameful feelings to beings outside oneself. The devils and monsters that beset Antoine in his hallucinations and dreams are extensions of his own personality, embodiments of his memories.” (Flaubert Encyclopedia 79)
  • “In January 1844 Flaubert suddenly lost consciousness while he was driving the family cabriolet at night. As he describes it, he felt as if he were being carried off by a torrent of flames. […] He felt discomfort and saw streams of light, like fireworks passing before his eyes. […] the fits were brought on by any sort of nervous tension. […] Jean-Paul Sartre claimed that Flaubert’s problem was hysteria. […] Saint Anthony’s life may have been inspired by the author’s lived experience.” (Flaubert Encyclopedia 118)
  • Maxime Du Camp too describes Flaubert as being “permanently in a daze and “not quite there”, and Flaubert himself admits to a habitual state of mind resembling that of somebody who has had too much to drink. While for the former this state is negative, for the latter it is clearly something positive, involving a conscious enjoyment of the ability to experience life as a dream.”

Women as a World

While looking at the Queen of Sheba’s exclamation that she is a world, we can say that religion or a connection to religious euphoria IS her. She is no longer a woman, she is a tool to attain a higher state of being. The woman is therefore “dewomanized” in Flaubert’s work for a higher purpose. This reminded me also of des Esseinte’s locomotive woman. Woman as a powerful, steel, machine, as opposed to a personified human being. Women then are discrete forces that work towards enigmatic allusions, even women described as animals are replaced by metaphors.

-What does this dehumanized woman represent? To Flaubert, to the reader?

-What higher spirituality is one to attain through these women?

-What do awe and fear of a woman create, as opposed to lust and desire?

Close reading

-The Queen of Sheba exclaims she is not a woman but a world on page 78 in La tentation.

-The Prostitute of all Nations or Helen of Troy on pages 164-165 in La tentation.

-Atys who mutilates himself out of mad desire to become a woman on page 233 in La Tentation.

  • “Flaubert’s queen of Sheba represents lust-luxuria She offers Antoine unimaginable wealth and endless sexual delight.” (The Three Daughters of Lust 56)
  • “All three allegorical figures represent the daughters of the personified sin Luxure or the Queen of Sheba: Adultère (aldultery), Fornication (fornication) and Immondicité (immondicity)”. (Ibid)
  • “It will also be shown that these same images, in a remarkable continuity of vision, are associated with the female figure throughout Flaubert’s novels.” (Ibid 57)
  • “Echoes contemporary medical discourse on the physical manifestations of hysteria.” (Ibid 58)
  • “The bold lines of these three portraits are assimilated into the powerfully seductive vision of a single figure la Reine de Saba.” (Ibid 61)
  • “Masculinity […] sexual ambiguity and indeed hermaphrodism are repeated in the description of the queen.” (Ibid)

Bibliography

Flaubert, Gustave. The Temptation of St. Anthony. Chicago, IL: M. Walter Dunne, 1904.

Mikhail, E. H., Oscar Wilde. Interviews and Recollections, vol. I. London: Macmillan, 1979.

Tilby, Michael. “Flaubert’s place in literary history,” The Cambridge Companion to Flaubert. T. Unwin, ed. Cambridge UP, 2004.

James, Henry. “Flaubert’s Temptation of Saint Anthony,” Critical Essays on Gustave Flaubert. Laurence M. Porter. Boston, MA, 1986.

Reik, Theodore. “Flaubert and His Temptaion of Saint Anthony.” Critical Essays on Gustave Flaubert. Laurence M. Porter. Boston, Mass, 1986.

Knight, Diana. Flaubert’s Characters, the Language of Illusion. Cambridge UP, 1985.

Neiland, Mary. “The Three Daughters of Lust: from Allegory to Ambiguity in Flaubet’s La tentation de saint Antoine.” Romance Studie, vol. 31. Minogue, Valerie, 1998.

Porter, Laurence M. A Gustave Flaubert Encyclopedia. Westport, CT, 2001.

Websites:

Flaubert-Revues critiques et génétiques: http://flaubert.revues.org/1226

-MCR

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L’art pour l’art in The Temptation of St. Anthony

“Then the stars multiply, scintillate…[Anthony] fills his eyes with their light; he overburthens his mind with calculation of their distances: then, bowing his head, he murmurs:

‘What is the purpose of all that?’”

-Flaubert, The Temptation of St. Anthony, pgs 164-165

 

In The Temptation of St. Anthony, Flaubert re-imagines the life of the titular saint. Anthony undergoes a series of fantastic hallucinations that try his will, test his fate, and ultimately challenge his conception of existence. The above quotation comes from the scene in which Anthony is tempted by the Devil. After experiencing the immensity of the universe, Anthony questions its purpose: why is there existence? Anthony struggles with this concept throughout the book, which is evident in his continual subversion of the self.  This reflects the tension between mysticism and asceticism that we discussed in class—both are attempts to annihilate the self. This is most apparent when he contemplates suicide. Anthony, nevertheless, withstands the temptation.  

Despite the fact that he is able to reject the Devil, this does not mean that he understands why his position is correct, nor does it answer his questions about existence. As the Devil remarks during this scene, “Ascend skyward forever and ever—yet thou will not attain the summit” (166). While this superficially describes the universe, it also reveals an almost Sisyphean attitude to existence: we can continually struggle towards, but never achieve, our goals.

This reiterates and underscores Anthony’s main question; what is the point? To this the Devil replies, “There is no purpose! How can God have a purpose?” (165). This is eerily reminiscent of the Decadent tenet of art for art’s sake; life, art, etc. has no prescriptive value beyond its existence. Essentially, it exists to exist.

The conclusion of The Temptation of St. Anthony leaves us left with the same questions. After witnessing a menagerie of phantasmagorical creatures, Anthony remarks upon “the birth of life” and the joyous new day that awaits him (190). He gives no indication as to the metaphysical struggles that besieged him the previous night. This dismissal is deeply unsatisfying—we are left wanting to know what is the purpose of this exercise and what we should learn. “L’art pour l’art” does not begin to explain this, just in the same way the Devil’s response to Anthony, while powerful, is not sufficient. This amorality, however, may be the very point. 

 

Thoughts?

 

Alcibiades.

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Flaubert: The Sublime and a Terrifying God

For this blog post, I will choose to analyze the presentation of the relationship between God and St. Anthony in the novel, as it could be argued that this relationship lends itself to a Burkeian interpretation of God. In the philosopher Edmund Burke’s essay, ‘A Philosophical Inquiry in to our Ideas of the Beautiful and Sublime’ (1756), Burke wrote that ‘we have a tendency to shrink away from a power which falls above or beyond humanity’s conceptions.’ This essay is credited with developing the notion that God could be rendered terrifying and mysterious purely through the acceptance that we can only define God by the way in which he is omnipotent and omniscient. Crucially, however, this theory of philosophy differs from the traditional Christian theological interpretation in that God’s relationship to humanity is distant because we can never hope to understand God’s decisions or power, constricted as we are by humanity’s impermanence. Burke wrote that the imagination is stirred to a dangerous mixture of awe and horror by what is ‘dark, mysterious or uncertain’, resulting in the simultaneous dual qualities of fear and attraction on the part of the human that comes into contact with God. In the context of ‘The Temptation of St. Anthony’, then it is clear that this theory of philosophy has a clear effect on the ways in which the story can be interpreted.

For example, many of Anthony’s confrontations with Hilarion only function because the Devil seeks to pray on the fact that, for all his piety and devotion to God, Anthony can only ever serve God, remaining separated from him by the impermanence of humanity. Even Anthony himself wonders whether ‘my sobs, my groans, the sufferings of my flesh… have all these things gone out to a lie’, suggesting that Anthony’s faith is entirely dependent on God existing, and more importantly, rewarding him for his faith. It is idea of a Burkeian distant God which terrifies Anthony, as indicated by the phrase ‘there must be a paradise for the good, as there is a hell for the wicked.’ Here, it is clear that what is the temptation to Anthony is the idea that God could purely be observing the world, rather than participating in its workings.  Anthony must fight off the temptations, not because he wishes to prove his faith to God, but because surviving the temptation is an indication that God exists and is willing to protect his chosen few. What is ‘dark, mysterious and uncertain’ is the feeling that ‘I roll in the immensity of darkness’, and so it could be argued that this novel is an exercise for Anthony in attempting to find proof in his conception of God. Doubt is something that cannot be fathomed in this novel, and this is why so much of Hilarion’s dialogue focuses on challenging the pre-established notions of Christianity and religion. – DF

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A Conversation between Death and Lust

It is dark outside, with a juicy red sun just set in the distance.  Death flies down and lands on the edge of a cliff.  Lust climbs out of the ground to greet her.  They sit apart, legs dangling off the side of the cliff.

DEATH: What do you do to men?

LUST: The same as you, I consume them.

DEATH: Do they seek you more than me?

LUST: No.  They seek you through me.  They seek escape, surrender –

DEATH: A loss of self.  Where do they go?

LUST: Into me, into woman, into God.

DEATH: Into God, though I have never seen a God.  Men come to me thinking they’ll find him, but they find only what they find with you – everything without the self, nothing within.

LUST: They find God with me.  God is me, is you, is the ones we tempt and the ones we take.  God is the everything beyond and the nothing within.

DEATH: Then the devil is the suggestion that all you say is true, the suggestion that the God we promise is dissipative, no more with us than with them.  But that isn’t so.  If the devil speaks true that God is everything – thus hardly anything – than at least God is more concentrated in you and I.  If men go to God for peace or acceptance or epiphany, they might as well come to us.

LUST: They go to God for punishment and redemption.  So they come to us for an excuse to give themselves what they seek from God.

DEATH:  We grant them the selfishness in which they revel by affecting disdain.  We have great power over them.

Lust stands as the distant red fades to gray.  She hugs her shoulders. 

LUST: I sometimes find it a superficial power, which would disappear in a moment if men opened their eyes.

DEATH: (Twisting around to watch Lust) Which I ensure they cannot do.

LUST: But they are the ones that grant us our power.  If we were to remove our mysterious facades they would not fear us.  Their desire would persist, but it would be calm and accepting, and they would look upon us as equals.  The taboo upon us lends us power.

DEATH: But we will always remain mysterious.  They cannot know us any better than they can know God.  What they desire is not merely us, but what they want to find through us, and whether that’s God or themselves or Truth –

LUST: Or escape from the desire to seek those things –

DEATH:  Yes, but either way, it is what their minds invent beyond us that gives vitality to our allure.

Death stands up and makes a move as if to wrap her arm around Lust, but Lust begins to pace.

LUST: I feel used.  Is it not me but epiphany, or escape from desire for epiphany, that they want?

DEATH: Of course they still desire you, dear, but there is no doubt that their own minds add to your mysteriousness.  Take for example, St. Anthony.  He created you as his temptation.  And perhaps his eyes wandered across your full breasts and down your curves

LUST: Perhaps!

DEATH: Of course.  But he did not move toward you.  But think then what he created from you, and beyond you, beyond both of us.  Monsters and the devil!  It is through you and I that men meet their greatest fears and temptations.

LUST: You suggest that we ourselves are not the temptation, but the gateway to them.

DEATH: And what gateways!

LUST: St. Anthony did not move toward you either.  You speak as if we are the same.  But men can live through me, and only up to you.

DEATH: Time is the only thing that separates us.  The wild freedom and fear and obsession they find in you is no different from the same feelings they anticipate through me.

LUST: But you disappoint, and I do not. (A pause.) I long for you, for your graceful, terrible escape.

DEATH: I would take you, embrace your luscious curves, feel your hot breath.

(The two draw nearer, eyes locked.)

LUST: If we could unite, I envelop you, and you whirl us beyond tedious life.  Come to me!

DEATH: You tempt me –

LUST: You tempt me!

(Death and Lust embrace tightly, and intimately entwined, fall off the edge of the cliff.)

– YG

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Women and Religion in “The Temptation of St. Anthony”

As someone who had only been previously exposed to the realist novel Madame Bovary, I have to say that Gustave Flaubert’s decadent style The Temptation of St. Anthony took me by an enormous surprise. After I got over the initial shock, however, I began to appreciate the unique characteristics that this book has, perhaps most especially the ambiguous role that women take in the book. In the Temptation of St. Anthony, it seemed to me that women had a special connection with religion. For example, the Queen of Sheba describes herself as a “world” to St. Anthony (42).  To me she represents sexual temptation, along with death, lust, and material beauty, even though interestingly enough she was not all that tempting to Anthony. The passage describing their encounter is laden with obvious religious references, intertwined with sensual imagery and description. For example, the Queen of Sheba tempts Anthony three times–a significant number in the bible—just as he rebuffs her each time. The whole encounter had strong parallels to a particular story in the bible, where the Devil approaches a fasting Jesus and shows him the kingdom that could be his if Jesus were to team up with him. The Queen of Sheba does essentially the same with Anthony, showing him everything that could be his if he gives in to her. I was also very fascinated by the description of the queen because it seemed to me as somewhat of a paradox; she is female, sexual, womanly, yet she is also a “world”, “not a woman”, described in places as very mechanical and powerful, a harsh, hermaphroditic machine. She projects this paradox onto Anthony; we see this in his sometimes “hysterical” and sometimes passive reaction to temptations, keeping in mind that “hysteria” means “wandering womb” and is almost exclusively used to describe females. Clearly, this scene serves as an important tool in establishing the sensuality of religion, a theme that we see over and over again in decadent literature. -MG

 

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The Drama of St. Anthony

The Temptation of Saint Anthony, Gustave Flaubert’s imagining of an episode from the late, third-century saint, experiments with form, incorporating elements of both the novel and drama. Although the majority of the work is formatted according to dramatic conventions, the imagery, perspective, and descriptions point to the form of a novel.

The opening of the work recalls both the opening paragraph of a novel and stage directions. After locating us in the Thebaid, Flaubert notes that “the Hermit’s cabin appears in the background” (9). The use of the word “appears” indicates a dramatic rather than novelistic convention. One easily imagines a spotlight slowly illuminating the cabin to create the illusion that it has appeared out of nowhere. The same paragraph catalogues items in St. Anthony’s cabin in the typical format of a play. The opening description, however, also creates problems of perspective. This opening frequently uses relative space, without orienting the reader. Flaubert refers to “some ten paces from the hut” (9). Whose ten paces are these? He describes the view “to the right and left” (9). To the right and left in relation to what? The stage would create spatial restraints for a drama. Each object would have to be in relation to another. This lack of orientation places the reader within the work—a reader might imagine his or her own paces and a view to his or her own right and left. In the final sentence of this opening, “the shrubs, the pebbles, the earth, all now seem hard as bronze” (10). The word “seem,” like “appears” forces a perspective that the stage directions in a conventional drama would not.

St. Anthony often speaks aloud in monologue form. If much of the narrative is focalized through him and his thoughts, why not use the form of a novel? This monologue forces St. Anthony to speak out loud to himself, perhaps emphasizing his lonely, isolated, and ascetic life. He is the only concrete human in the vicinity, but his speech may express a desire to communicate with others. Instead, illusions visit him, respond, and torment his thoughts. The form of drama also allows other characters to express their own philosophies without causing a change in the perspective of the work. This could also be done through the use of dialogue in a novel, prompting the conclusion that the dramatic form, specifically the monologue component, may benefit St. Anthony more than his temptations.

Finally, at times, the drama has its limits, not only in the sense of stage directions, which read like prose descriptions stocked with provocative imagery throughout the work, but also in the sense of the dialogue. Flaubert cannot control the delivery of actors on stage, so he provides more direction, like the way dialogue would be described in a novel. Hilarion “solemnly exclaims” (126) and Anthony delivers a question “ironically” (127). At one point a “SHE” simply “replies” (174). Although directions for the actors might appear in a play, the simple “replies” likely would not. When drama reaches its limitations, Flaubert turns to prose form.

This mixture of the forms of drama and the novel allow Flaubert the most expressive and unconventional way to show St. Anthony’s unconventional story. Although the overall narrative might better lend itself to the novel, the dramatic form allows St. Anthony to engage in extensive dialogue with his tormentors and speak out loud to himself, underlining his loneliness and isolation. In addition to the injection of perspective, lenthy prose descriptions, and dialogue indicators that appear throughout the work, the use of the dramatic form may also be a reflection of the historical moment of St. Anthony—a time before prose fiction when drama reigned. -KJO

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Flaubert’s Mad Saints: the Blood Lust of Saint Antoine and Saint Julien l’Hospitalier

I’d like to compare two hagiographic-esque Flaubert tales and their main characters. There is of course Saint Antoine and his temptation that we read in class, but there is also another saint that Flaubert describes in similar terms: Saint Julien. Although La légende de saint Julien l’hospitalier and La tentation de saint Antoine vary completely in style from each other, there is one instance that is eerily reminiscent of the other. The legend of Saint Julien represents an extremely problematic young man; cursed at a young age by an Oedipal prophecy; Julien leaves his family home for fear of killing his parents. Julien is psychologically unstable and dangerous, however there is no mention of this in the original hagiography of the saint. Flaubert assigns Julien (a true historical figure but also his character) an insatiable blood lust. Julien hunts animals with fury, and is famously represented in Flaubert’s climactic scene surrounded by “trembling [animals] with a look of appeal in their eyes, they gathered around Julian, but he did not stop slaying them; and so intent was he on stretching his bow, drawing his sword and whipping out his knife, that he had little thought for aught else.” (Saint Julien). We can juxtapose this with Antoine who meets “[…] all of his enemies one after another. He recognizes people whom he had forgotten.  Before killing them, he outrages them. He rips them open, cuts their throats, knocks them down, drags the old men by their beards, runs over children, and beats those who are wounded.” After Antoine has gone on a sickening killing spree we then see him gruesomely “steeped [in blood] up to his middle. He steps into it, sucks it up with his lips, and quivers with joy at feelings it on his limbs and under his hard, which is quite wet with it.” (Saint Antoine). What can we make of these mad saints?

We spoke today in class of Flaubert’s “psychological realism” or what he calls “psychic projection”, in other words the state of being outside of oneself. It is a “a defense mechanism that attributes one’s own shameful feelings to being outside oneself.” (Flaubert Encyclopedia 79) We can then attribute to both Antoine and Julien instances of psychic projections—hallucinations and behaviors that are extensions of their own personalities. Flaubert is exploring his characters unconscious as he is so famously known for doing. Can we attribute Flaubert’s own psychological issues to the way his characters act? Do these episodes of fury and madness derive from his own epileptic episodes, which some scholars determined were hysteric? One thing is sure, Flaubert represents saints in a totally backwards way than what a modern Christian society would expect. This is obviously Flaubert’s personal dialectic choice within his text and pertaining to his characters, but why make such a choice? Why take men of god and make them psychologically deranged?

-MCR

The stained glass window in the Cathédrale de Rouen that inspired Flaubert to write his “Trois Contes” This one specifically is St. Julien:

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