60 Gustave Flaubert Quotes Celebrating Travel, Life and Writing

Our latest collection of Gustave Flaubert quotes on Everyday Power.

Gustave Flaubert was a French novelist, story writer and a playwright who is regarded as the leading exponent of literary realism in his country.

A highly influential writer, he is best known for his masterpiece, Madame Bovary, a classic tale of romance and retribution, and which led to his trial on the ground of the novel’s alleged immorality.

Flaubert was born on December 12, 1821, in Rouen, France in a family of doctors.

His mother, the daughter of a physician, was one of the most influential people in his life and works.

He began writing at an early age and published his first novella in 1842.

Known for his lean and precise writing style, Flaubert’s work had a large influence on 20th-century writers.

He devoted himself to writing and published over ten novels in his life.

Flaubert died on 8th May 1880, at the age of 58.

In honor of this great literary figure, below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and thought-provoking Gustave Flaubert quotes.

Gustave Flaubert Quotes Celebrating Travel, Life and Writing

1. ”The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” – Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert Quotes Celebrating Travel, Life and Writing

2. ”Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live. Like, Yourself.” – Gustave Flaubert

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3. ”There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it.” – Gustave Flaubert

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4. ”Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert Quotes Celebrating Travel, Life and Writing

5. ”It is always sad to leave a place to which one knows one will never return. Such are the melancholies du voyage: perhaps they are one of the most rewarding things about traveling.” – Gustave Flaubert

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6. ”You must write for yourself, above all. That is your only hope of creating something beautiful.” – Gustave Flaubert

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7. ”An author in his book must be like God in the universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere.” – Gustave Flaubert

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8. ”The most glorious moments in your life are not the so-called days of success, but rather those days when out of dejection and despair you feel rise in you a challenge to life, and the promise of future accomplishments.” – Gustave Flaubert

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9. ”It’s a delicious thing to write. To be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating.” – Gustave Flaubert

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10. “Life must be a constant education; one must learn everything, from speaking to dying.” – Gustave Flaubert

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11. ”One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.” – Gustave Flaubert

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12. ”Of all possible debauches, traveling is the greatest that I know; that’s the one they invented when they got tired of all the others.” – Gustave Flaubert

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13. ”Read in order to live.” – Gustave Flaubert

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14. ”Everything depends on the value we give to things. We are the ones who make morality and virtue. The cannibal who eats his neighbor is as innocent as the child who sucks his barley-sugar.” – Gustave Flaubert

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15. ”Isn’t ‘not to be bored’ one of the principal goals of life?” – Gustave Flaubert

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16. ”Sentences must stir in a book like leaves in a forest, each distinct from each despite their resemblance.” – Gustave Flaubert

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17. ”To be simple is no small matter.” – Gustave Flaubert

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18. ”God is in the details.” – Gustave Flaubert

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19. “Me and my books in the same apartment, like a gherkin in its vinegar.” – Gustave Flaubert

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20. “He loved a book because it was a book; he loved its odor, its form, its title. What he loved in a manuscript was its old illegible date, the bizarre and strange Gothic characters, the heavy gilding which loaded its drawings. It was its pages covered with dust — dust of which he breathed the sweet and tender perfume with delight.” – Gustave Flaubert

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21. ”Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” – Gustave Flaubert

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22. ”The faster the word sticks to the thought, the more beautiful is the effect.” – Gustave Flaubert

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23. ”One mustn’t look at the abyss, because there is at the bottom an inexpressible charm which attracts us.” – Gustave Flaubert

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24. ”It’s hard to communicate anything exactly and that’s why perfect relationships between people are difficult to find.” – Gustave Flaubert  

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25. ”The cult of art gives pride; one never has too much of it.” – Gustave Flaubert

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26. ”Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough.” – Gustave Flaubert

27. “Art requires neither complaisance nor politeness; nothing but faith, faith and freedom.” – Gustave Flaubert

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28. ”Everything one invents is true, you may be perfectly sure of that. Poetry is as precise as geometry.” – Gustave Flaubert

29. ”One must always hope when one is desperate, and doubt when one hopes.” – Gustave Flaubert

30. ”One never tires of what is well written, style is life! It is the very blood of thought!” – Gustave Flaubert

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31. ”What an elder sees sitting; the young can’t see standing.” – Gustave Flaubert

32. ”You can calculate the worth of a man by the number of his enemies, and the importance of a work of art by the harm that is spoken of it.” – Gustave Flaubert

33. “The writer must wade into life as into the sea, but only up to the navel.” – Gustave Flaubert

34. ”A superhuman will is needed in order to write, and I am only a man.” – Gustave Flaubert

35. ”Writing is a dog’s life, but the only life worth living.” – Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert quotes celebrating life and writing

36. ”Art requires neither complaisance nor politeness; nothing but faith, faith and freedom.” – Gustave Flaubert

37. ”Poetry is as precise a thing as geometry.” – Gustave Flaubert

38. ”Do not read as children do to enjoy themselves, or, as the ambitious do to educate themselves. No, read to live.” – Gustave Flaubert

39. ”(Egypt) is a great place for contrasts: splendid things gleam in the dust.” – Gustave Flaubert

40. ”One’s duty is to feel what is great, cherish the beautiful, and to not accept the conventions of society with the ignominy that it imposes upon us.” – Gustave Flaubert

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41. ”What a heavy oar the pen is, and what a strong current ideas are to row in!” – Gustave Flaubert

42. ”The finest works of art are those in which there is the least matter. The closer expression comes to thought, the more the word clings to the idea and disappears, the more beautiful the work of art.” – Gustave Flaubert

43. ”I am a man-pen. I feel through the pen, because of the pen.” – Gustave Flaubert

44. ”I know nothing more noble than the contemplation of the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

45. ”What is beautiful is moral, that is all there is to it.” – Gustave Flaubert

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46. ”Each dream finds at last its form; there is a drink for every thirst, and love for every heart. And there is no better way to spend your life than in the unceasing preoccupation of an idea–of an ideal.” ~ Gustave Flaubert

47. ”One arrives at style only with atrocious effort, with fanatical and devoted stubbornness.” – Gustave Flaubert

48. ”Talent is a long patience, and originality an effort of will and intense observation.” – Gustave Flaubert

49. ”You’ll always have to deal with bastards, being lied to, deceived, slandered and ridiculed, but that’s to be expected and you must thank heaven when you meet the exception.” – Gustave Flaubert

50. ”By working one can bend fortune. She is fond of crafty men.” – Gustave Flaubert

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51. “There is no truth. There is only perception.” – Gustave Flaubert

52. “I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings.” – Gustave Flaubert

53. “Success is a consequence and must not be a goal.” – Gustave Flaubert

54. “The principal thing in this world is to keep one’s soul aloft.” – Gustave Flaubert

55. “Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times.” – Gustave Flaubert

56. “You need a high degree of corruption or a very big heart to love absolutely everything.” – Gustave Flaubert

57. “I have dreamed much and have done very little.” – Gustave Flaubert

58. “My foregrounds are imaginary, my backgrounds real.” – Gustave Flaubert

59. “Through small apertures we glimpse abysses whose sombre depths turn us faint. And yet over the whole there hovers an extraordinary tenderness.” – Gustave Flaubert

60. “We must laugh and cry, enjoy and suffer, in a word, vibrate to our full capacity … I think that’s what being really human means.” – Gustave Flaubert

Did you enjoy these Gustave Flaubert quotes?

Flaubert was a highly influential writer who continues to appeal to other writers because of his devotion to style and his deep commitment to aesthetic principles.

He has been recognized by almost every major literary personality of the 20th century

One of France’s most important writers, Flaubert will always be remembered for his influence on literary realism and for his debut novel Madame Bovary.  

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