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This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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Classic Recordings
Robert Altman Week

Saturday
Aug222009

« In Which We Write To The Ones We Love »

Lovers of the Page

The correspondence of George Sand and Gustave Flaubert, if approached merely as a chapter in the biographies of these heroes of nineteenth century letters, is sufficiently rewarding. In a relationship extending over twelve years, including the trying period of the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune, these extraordinary personalities disclose the aspects of their diverse natures which are best worth the remembrance of posterity.

Flaubert may have been a better disputant; he had a talent for writing. George Sand may have chosen her side with a truer instinct; she had a genius for living. This faith of hers sustained well the shocks of many long years, and this sentiment made life sweet.

TO GEORGE SAND

Dear Madam, I am not grateful to you for having performed what you call a duty. The goodness of your heart has touched me and your sympathy has made me proud. That is the whole of it.

Your letter which I have just received gives added value to your article and goes on still further, and I do not know what to say to you unless it be that I QUITE FRANKLY LIKE YOU.

It was certainly not I who sent you in September, a little flower in an envelope. But, strange to say, at the same time, I received in the same manner, a leaf of a tree. As for your very cordial invitation, I am not answering yes or no, in true Norman fashion.

Perhaps some day this summer I shall surprise you. For I have a great desire to see you and to talk with you. It would be very delightful to have your portrait to hang on the wall in my study in the country where I often spend long months entirely alone. Is the request indiscreet? If not, a thousand thanks in advance. Take them with the others which I reiterate.

TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

Paris, 15 March, 1864

Dear Flaubert, I don't know whether you lent me or gave me M. Taine's beautiful book. In the uncertainty I am returning it to you. Here I have had only the time to read a part of it, and at Nohant, I shall have only the time to scribble for Buloz; but when I return, in two months, I shall ask you again for this admirable work of which the scope is so lofty, so noble.

I am sorry not to have said adieu to you; but as I return soon, I hope that you will not have forgotten me and that you will let me read something of your own also. You were so good and so sympathetic to me at the first performance of Villemer that I no longer admire only your admirable talent, I love you with all my heart.

George Sand

TO GEORGE SAND

Paris, 1866

Why of course I am counting on your visit at my own house. As for the hindrances which the fair sex can oppose to it, you will not notice them (be sure of it) any more than did the others.

My little stories of the heart or of the senses are not displayed on the counter. But as it is far from my quarter to yours and as you might make a useless trip, when you arrive in Paris, give me a rendezvous. And at that we shall make another to dine informally tete-a-tete.

I sent your affectionate little greeting to Bouilhet. At the present time I am disheartened by the populace which rushes by under my windows in pursuit of the fatted calf. And they say that intelligence is to be found in the street!

TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

Paris, 10 May 1866

M. Flobaire, you must be a truly dirty oaf to have taken my name and written a letter with it to a lady who had some favors for me which you doubtless received in my place and inherited my hat in place of which I have received yours which you left there. It is the lowness of that lady's conduct and of yours that make me think that she lacks education entirely and all those sentiments which she ought to understand.

If you are content to have written Fanie and Salkenpeau I am content not to have read them. You mustn't get excited about that, I saw in the papers that there were outrages against the Religion in whose bosom I have entered again after the troubles I had with that lady when she made me come to my senses and repent of my sins with her and, in consequence if I meet you with her whom I care for no longer you shall have my sword at your throat.

That will be the Reparation of my sins and the punishment of your infamy at the same time. That is what I tell you and I salute you. They told me that I was well punished for associating with the girls from the theatre and with aristocrats.

TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

Palaiseau, 14 May 1866

Dear friend, I must tell you that I want to dedicate to you my novel which is just coming out. But as every one has his own ideas on the subject — as Goulard would say — I would like to know if you permit me to put at the head of my title page simply: to my friend Gustave Flaubert.

I have formed the habit of putting my novels under the patronage of a beloved name. I dedicated the last to Fromentin. I am waiting until it is good weather to ask you to come to dine at Palaiseau with Goulard's Sirenne, and some other Goulards of your kind and of mine. Up to now it has been frightfully cold and it is not worth the trouble to come to the country to catch a cold.

I have finished my novel, and you? I kiss the two great diamonds which adorn your face. 

TO GEORGE SAND

Don't expect me at your house on Monday. I am obliged to go to Versailles on that day. But I shall be at Magny's.

A thousand fond greetings from your G. Flaubert 

TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

Paris, 4 Aug. 1866

Dear friend, as I'm always out, I don't want you to come and find the door shut and me far away. Come at six o'clock and dine with me and my children whom I expect tomorrow. We dine at Magny's always at 6 o'clock promptly. You will give us 'a sensible pleasure' as used to say, as would have said, alas, the unhappy Goulard. You are an exceedingly kind brother to promise to be at Don Juan. For that I kiss you twice more. 

TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

It is next THURSDAY, I wrote you last night, and our letters must have crossed.

Yours from the heart, G. Sand

TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

Paris, 22 August, 1866

My good comrade and friend, I am going to see Alexandre at Saint- Valery Saturday evening. I shall stay there Sunday and Monday, I shall return Tuesday to Rouen and go to see you. Tell me how that strikes you. I shall spend the day with you if you like, returning to spend the night in Rouen, if I inconvenience you as you are situated, and I shall leave Wednesday morning or evening for Paris. A word in response at once, by telegraph if you think that your answer would not reach me by post before Saturday at 4 o'clock. I think that I shall be all right but I have a horrid cold. If it grows too bad, I shall telegraph that I can not stir; but I have hopes, I am already better. I embrace you.

G. Sand

TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

Saint-Valery, 26 August 1866 Monday, 1 A.M.

Dear friend, I shall be in Rouen on Tuesday at 1 o'clock, I shall plan accordingly. Let me explore Rouen which I don't know, or show it to me if you have the time. I embrace you. Tell your mother how much I appreciate and am touched, by the kind little line which she wrote to me.

G. Sand 

TO GUSTAVE FLAUBERT

Croissset Paris, 31 August, 1866

First of all, embrace your good mother and your charming niece for me. I am really touched by the kind welcome I received in your clerical setting, where a stray animal of my species is an anomaly that one might find constraining. Instead of that, they received me as if I were one of the family and I saw that all that great politeness came from the heart. Remember me to all the very kind friends. I was truly exceedingly happy with you. And then, you, you are a dear kind boy, big man that you are, and I love you with all my heart. My head is full of Rouen, of monuments and queer houses. All of that seen with you strikes me doubly. But your house, your garden, your citadel, it is like a dream and it seems to me that I am still there. I found Paris very small yesterday, when crossing the bridges.

George Sand and Gustave Flaubert are contributors to This Recording.

"A Forest" — British Sea Power (mp3)

"Boys Don't Cry" — Lostprophets (mp3)

"Love Song" — The Big Pink (mp3)

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love

August 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteryvonne
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February 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSam

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