Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) was a French writer who is counted
among the greatest Western novelists. He is known especially for
his first published novel, Madame Bovary (1857), and for his
scrupulous devotion to his art and style, best exemplified by his
endless search for "le mot juste" ("the precise word"). In
September 1849, he completed the first version of a novel, The
Temptation of Saint Anthony. In 1858, he travelled to Carthage to
gather material for his next novel, Salammbo (1862). It is now
commonly admitted that he was one of the greatest writers who ever
lived in France and his greatness principally depends upon the
extraordinary vigour and exactitude of his style. His private
letters show that he was not one of those to whom easy and correct
language came naturally; he gained his extraordinary perfection
with the unceasing sweat of his brow. Many critics consider
Flaubert's best works to be models of style. His other works
include Over Strand and Field: A Record of Travel Through Brittany
(1904), Herodias (1877) and A Simple Soul (1877).
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