The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters

CCLXII. To George Sand Croisset, Friday, 5th September, 1873

On arriving here yesterday, I found your letter, dear good master. All is well with you then, God be praised!

I spent the month of August in wandering about, for I was in Dieppe, in Paris, in Saint-Gratien, in Brie, and in Beauce, hunting for a certain country that I had in mind, and I think that I have found it at last in the neighborhood of Houdan. But, before starting at my terrifying book, I shall make a last search on the road that goes from Loupe to Laigle. After that, good night.

The Vaudeville begins well. Carvalho up to now has been charming. His enthusiasm is so strong even that I am not without anxieties. One must remember the good Frenchmen who cried “On to Berlin,” and then received such a fine drubbing.

Not only is the aforesaid Carvalho content with the le Sexe faible, but he wants me to write at once another comedy, the scenario of which I have shown him, and which he would like to produce a year from now. I don’t think the thing is quite ready to be put into words. But on the other hand, I should like to be through with it before undertaking the story of my good men. Meanwhile, I am keeping on with my reading and note-taking.

You are not aware, doubtless, that they have forbidden Coetlogon’s play formally, BECAUSE IT CRITICISED THE EMPIRE. That is the censorship’s answer. As I have in the le Sexe faible a rather ridiculous general, I am not without forebodings. What a fine thing is Censorship! Axiom: All governments curse literature, power does not like another power.

When they forbade the playing of Mademoiselle La Quintinie, you were too stoical, dear master, or too indifferent. You should always protest against injustice and folly, you should bawl, froth at the mouth, and smash when you can. If I had been in your place with your authority, I should have made a grand row. I think too that Father Hugo was wrong in keeping quiet about le Roi s’amuse. He often asserts his personality on less legitimate occasions.

At Rouen they are having processions, but the effect is completely spoiled, and the result of it is deplorable for fusion! What a misfortune! Among the imbecilities of our times, that (fusion) is perhaps the greatest. I should not be surprised if we should see little Father Thiers again! On the other hand many Reds, from fear of the clerical reaction, have gone over to Bonapartism. One needs a fine dose of simplicity to keep any political faith.

Have you read the Antichrist? I find that indeed a beautiful book, aside from some faults of taste, some modern expressions applied to ancient things. Renan seems to me on the whole to have progressed. I passed all one evening recently with him and I thought him adorable.

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