Spring is here, warm, sunny, happy. I went out and lay in the grass with two fascinating women, Emma Bovary and Eugenie Grandet. Word by word, they told me about their lives:
“And indeed, what is better than to sit by one’s fireside in the evening with a book, while the wind beats against the window and the lamp is burning? One thinks of nothing, the hours slip by. Motionless we traverse countries we fancy we see, and your thought, blending with the fiction, playing with the details, follows the outline of the adventures. It mingles with the characters, and it seems as if it were yourself palpitating beneath their costumes.” Flaubert, Madame Bovary.
“Financially speaking, Monsieur Grandet was something between a tiger and a boa-constrictor. He could crouch and lie low, watch his prey a long while, spring upon it, open his jaws, swallow a mass of louis, and then rest tranquilly like a snake in process of digestion, impassible, methodical, and cold.” Balzac, Eugenie Grandet.