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Art requires neither complaisance nor politeness; nothing but faith, faith and freedom. Options
Daemon
Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2011 12:00:00 AM
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Art requires neither complaisance nor politeness; nothing but faith, faith and freedom.

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)
Jean_extraterre
Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2011 6:35:35 AM
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L'Art ne réclame ni complaisance ni politesse, rien que la foi, la foi toujours et la liberté.

This is from a letter of October 2, 1856 that Flaubert wrote to Léon Laurent-Pichat. The latter, a writer, politician and the chief editor of the journal "Revue de Paris", had accepted to publish Laubert's novel "Madame Bovary" as a serial. In his letter, Flaubert thanks Laurent-Pichat for sending him a copy of the issue with the opening part of "Madame Bovary". He also defends the realistic style that he employed in his description of Emma et Charles Bovary, writing "...ai-je pris la chose d'une manière héroïque, j'entends minutieuse, en acceptant tout, en disant tout, en peignant tout, expression ambitieuse" ("... I adopted a heroic method, which is the fastidious observation of things and accepting everything, saying everything, painting everything").

Although in the journal a censured version of "Madame Bovary" appeared, Flaubert, Laurent-Pichat, and Auguste-Alexis Pillet (another editor) had to face a trial in 1857; public prosecutors accused them of obscenity ("délits d'outrage à la morale publique et religieuse et aux bonnes mœurs"). The process and the acquittal contributed significantly to the novel becoming widely known and its commercial success.
MTC
Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2011 9:10:12 AM
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That's very helpful, Jean.

You wonder what he meant by "faith?" Almost certainly not religious faith, but perhaps the faith or courage to follow your artistic convictions. Faithfulness to reality without the sugar-coating of "complaisance."
Hupomone
Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2011 12:36:06 PM
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Flaubert's faith and freedom: One eye sees while other one feels; and who knows what the hands are up to.
jcbarros
Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2011 12:59:07 PM

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Maybe the faith and credulity and trustfulness... of the public.
excaelis
Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2011 2:10:43 PM

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Oh God, more bloody Flaubert...tirez sur moi, je vous en prie !
GabhSigenod
Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2011 4:32:44 PM

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Joined: 12/22/2010
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Location: Mulroog, Connaught, Ireland
We've beeeeen Flaubertized agaaaain.
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