Approaches to Teaching Flaubert’s Madame Bovary

  • Editors: Laurence M. Porter, Eugene F. Gray
  • Pages: xv & 167 pp.
  • Published: 1995
  • ISBN: 9780873527293 (Cloth)
  • ISBN: 9780873527309 (Paperback)
Approaches to Teaching Flaubert's Madame Bovary Cover

Approaches to Teaching Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is an insightful overview of the current critical scene and contains a rich array of stances toward Flaubert’s work. The general level of discourse is high, serious, and engaging, and some of the individual essays are brilliant. Those of us who teach Madame Bovary will benefit greatly from this Approaches volume.”

—Sandy Petrey, author of Realism and Revolution: Balzac, Stendhal, Zola, and the Performances of History

According to the editors of this collection of essays, Madame Bovary is “arguably the greatest novel of nineteenth-century France.” It “raises key issues in human relations, ethics, and social justice, as well as problems concerning the use and misuse of language, novelistic structure, tone, and figurative expression in literature.” Twenty Flaubert scholars show how they present this rich material to students in a variety of courses and settings, using methods that balance aesthetic (text-centered) and cultural (society-centered) studies.

The volume, like others in the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. The first part, “Materials,” reviews French and English editions of Madame Bovary and background materials useful to students and teachers. In the second part, “Approaches,” teachers examine the novel’s social milieu; offer course plans based on a variety of methodologies (including thematic, feminist, traditional humanistic, and deconstructionist approaches); and describe how to teach Madame Bovary in courses on film studies, world literature, and writing.