Friday, July 20, 2012

July Prompt - A Classics Challenge

This month, November's Autumn has suggested that we choose one of the classics that we have read recently that has left a lasting impression.

My most recent classic was Madam Bovary. The lasting impression, other than the selfish, shallow, materialistic and immature character of Madam Bovary herself, the biggest impression in this book is the agonisingly slow suicide. It's about the longest lasting and drawn out suicide in literature, I think.

This is not really as I picture Madam Bovary, because she had dark hair and was probably stunning, even as she was dying. 'She rolled her head with a gentle, anguished movement, trying to open her jaws all the while as though she had a heavy weight on her tongue. At eight o'clock the vomiting began again ... she began to groan, feebly at first. A violent shudder went through her shoulders, she turned whiter than the sheet she was clutching in her fingers. Her wavering pulse could hardly be felt at all now ... drops of sweat stood on her blue-veined face, which looked as if it had been petrified by exposure to some metallic vapour. Her teeth chattered, her pupils were dilated, her eyes stared vaguely about her ... little by little her groans grew louder. A muffled scream broke from her ... she was seized with convulsions ...' This goes on for 12 pages!
I've said it before: this story was certainly not what I was expecting!

1 comment:

  1. I just downloaded the book and I planned to read it for the Classics Challenge as well. A twelve page death scene, very operatic.
    But to be fair: dying by arsenic poisoning is certainly not the quick affair many crime novelist would have us believe. It takes ages and it's agonizing, so Flauberts got it right.