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book cover of Flaubert\'s Dictionary of Accepted Ideas

Flaubert's Dictionary of Accepted Ideas

A non fiction book by

Jacques Barzun's masterful translation proves that Flaubert's Dictionary of Accepted Ideas - an acid catalogue of the cliches of 19th-century France - is as relevant today as ever.

Throughout his life Flaubert made it a game to eavesdrop for the cliche, the platitude, the borrowed and unquestioned idea with which the "right thinking" swaddle their minds. After his death his little treasury of absurdities, of half-truths and social lies, was published as a Dictionnaire des idees recues. Because its devastating humor and irony are often dependent on the phrasing in vernacular French, the Dictionnairewas long considered untranslatable. This notion was taken as a challenge by Jacques Barzun. Determined to find the exact English equivalent for each "accepted idea" Flaubert recorded, he has succeeded in documenting our own inanities. With a satirist's wit and a scholar's precision, Barzun has produced a very contemporary self-portrait of the middle-class philistine, a species as much alive today as when Flaubert railed against him.


Used availability for Gustave Flaubert's Flaubert's Dictionary of Accepted Ideas

Paperback Editions

January 1968 : USA Paperback

Title: Dictionary of Accepted Ideas
Author(s): Gustave Flaubert
ISBN: 0-8112-0054-X / 978-0-8112-0054-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: New Directions
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA