The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

CXXXV. To George Sand

Dear good master,

Your old troubadour is vehemently slandered by the papers. Read the Constitutionnel of last Monday, the Gaulois of this morning, it is blunt and plain. They call me idiotic and common. Barbey d’Aurevilly’s article (Constitutionnel) is a model of this character, and the good Sarcey’s, although less violent, is in no way behind it. These gentlemen object in the name of morality and the Ideal! I have also been annihilated in le Figaro and in Paris, by Cesana and Duranty. I most profoundly don’t care a fig! but that does not make me any the less astonished by so much hatred and bad faith.

La Tribune, le Pays and l’Opinion nationale on the other hand have highly praised me . . . As for the friends, the persons who received a copy adorned by my hand, they have been afraid of compromising themselves and have talked to me of other things. The brave are few. The book is selling very well nevertheless, in spite of politics, and Levy appears satisfied.

I know that the bourgeois of Rouen are furious with me “because of pere Roque and the cancan at the Tuileries.” They think that one ought to prevent the publication of books like that (textual), that I lend a hand to the Reds, that I am capable of inflaming revolutionary passions, etc., etc. In short, I have received very few laurels, up to now, and no rose leaf hurts me.

I told you, didn’t I, that I was working over the fairy play? I am doing now a description of the races and I have cut out all that seemed to me hackneyed. Raphael Felix didn’t seem to me eager to become acquainted with it. Problem!

All the papers cite as a proof of my depravity, the episode of the Turkish woman, which they misrepresent, naturally; and Sarcey compares me to Marquis de Sade, whom he confesses he has not read!

All that does not upset me at all. But I wonder what use there is in printing my book?

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:54