Studies of Gustave Flaubert have explicated his representations of boredom as a malady of the modern subject and, as in Jacques Rancière’s essay, “Why Emma Bovary Had to Be Killed,” have often interpreted Emma Bovary’s ennui as a sign of her addictive, inartistic personality. Meanwhile, studies of Flaubert’s orientalism have analyzed his peculiar rendering of North African places as both mysterious and over-mediated by prior texts. This article juxtaposes Madame Bovary (1856) with Flaubert’s account of his journey to Egypt (1849–1850). Resonances across these texts allow me to read Emma as the foil to the oriental traveler who bears the burden of his displaced sensory alienation and ennui while also being linked to him by a profound affinity. Second, I argue that Flaubert transposes sensory images from his travel writing into the novel form, thus distancing them from the mediating discourses of orientalism that inhere in the travelogue.


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pp. 259-278
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