Flaubert: Madame Bovary《包法利夫人》

福樓拜(Gustave Flaubert, 1821-1880)生於法國盧昂,父親是名醫。18 歲時到巴黎習法律,因與興趣不符而作罷。1844  年定居盧昂而終其一生,平日過著與世隔絕的生活。他專注寫作,每部作品均一再修改,往往一頁文字花上數日時間再三修改,力求完美無瑕。

《包法利夫人》連載期間(1856),被指控其中有色情之嫌,於是福氏遂遭逮捕。他的完美主義,對後來小說家影響深遠,許多作家都模仿他精確的寫實手法。然而,骨子裡他充滿浪漫思想。福樓拜其他較有名的著作有:The Temptation of Saint AnthonySentimental EducationThree Tales

Madame Bovary is the classic novel of the realist movement.1 It is also a farewell that Flaubert bade to romanticism, which he had once considered valid.2 The story is about a Norman country doctor who dies of despair over his wife's infidelity.3 But in his presentation of the story, Flaubert's aim was to show how the principles and emotions of romanticism bring about the ruin of an empty-headed woman who takes them seriously.4 In so doing he was exorcizing part of himself that indulged in romanticism.5

The place is Normandy and the time is the second quarter of the nineteenth century.6 Charles Bovary, the son of a retired army officer, comes to Rouen to attend school. Though he has no great ability, his mother pushes him hard.7 He finally manages to qualify as an officer of heath--an inferior grade of doctor.8 His mother arranges for him to practice in the small country town of Tostes, and even finds him a wife.9

Charles's wife has been a widow. She is much older than he: she is jealous and domineering.10 Charles escapes her demand and nagging by finding pleasure in the company of his patient named Rouault.11 Rouault is a prosperous farmer12 and has a pretty daughter Emma. Charles is attracted by Emma--her black hair, brown eyes, and her full lips fascinate him at once.13 Having enjoyed a convent-school education, Emma has pretensions to taste and genteel manners.14

Charles's wife becomes jealous. His problem, however, is solved when his wife dies unexpectedly. Her death removes her from the picture and leaves him free to marry Emma.15

Charles thinks that his marriage with Emma is a love match16 and feels very happy about it. Nevertheless, Emma is a romanticist. Her taste has been formed on the sentimental novels and poetry of the day.17 She imagines marriage to be some intense emotional fulfillment such as she has read of in books.18 After the honeymoon, she is bored.

She becomes moody and capricious.19 Her frustration develops into a nervous illness.20 She is pregnant later on. For the sake of her health, Charles decides on a change of air and moves his practice to the market town of Yonville l'Abbaye.21

At Yonville they meet Homais and Leon Dupis. Homais, the town chemist, has got into trouble for practicing medicine illegally.22 He is eager to impress Charles and win his support. Homais's boarder, Leon, is the notary's cherk.23 Leon tries to impress Emma by sharing her romantic fantasies.24 She indulges in dreams of love for Leon--a love which she never declares.25 When Leon leaves for Paris to complete his law studies, Emma is distressted.26 She goes extravagantly into debt with Lheureux, the village merchant.27

Then Rodolphe Boulanger, a well-to-do bachelor, buys the estate of La Huchette near the town and settles down.28 Emma becomes his mistress. Rodolphe considers the affair to be only a gallant diversion, but Emma looks at it differently, taking it to be the great passion she longs for.29

Meanwhile, Homais persuades Charles to attempt an operation on the clubfeet of a cripple.30 Emma joins the persuasion, thinking that perhaps he will at last make her proud of him.31 But the operation fails and Emma turns back to Rodolphe. In her contempt at Charles, she decides to elope with Rodolphe.32 Rodolphe, however, is bored with her and does not want to have any further relationship with her. He sends her a letter breaking off the affair.33

Emma falls into a long illness. She recovers very slowly. Then Charles takes her to the opera at Rouen to give her a change of scene.34 There they again meet Leon, now in a law office35 after three years of study.

Emma now starts an affair with Leon, and, on the pretext of taking music lessons, she is able to meet him once a week in Rouen.36 To finance these trips, she borrows further from Lheureux and persuades Charles to give her power of attorney to handle his accounts.37 This she uses to intercept payments from his patients and even to sell property without his knowledge.38 While Leon's love is running down as the novelty lessens, he resolves to break off with her.39

One day, after a quarrel with Leon, she returns home to find a court judgment against her.40 Lheureux has sold Emma's notes, whose total amounts to eight thousand francs, to another man, and this man obtains a judgment that this sum be paid within twenty-four hours.41

In desperation, Emma visits one moneylender after another, including her former lovers, but they all turn her away.42 Her memories and ideas are like fireworks exploding in her head.43 She feels that she has come near the point of madness.44 She runs to Homais's shop and asks the shop assistant for some rat poison. She pours the poison into her hand and begins eating as she walks home.

As her agony increases, her husband becomes paralyzed with panic.45 A doctor is summoned from another town, but he arrives too late to help.46

After Emma's death, Charles is sunk in an abyss of grief.47 Moreover, he is tormented by creditors demanding payment for debts that Emma has incurred.48

One day he opens a secret drawer of Emma's desk and finds there her love letters from Leon and Rodolphe.

Charles ceases to see his patients. He grows shabby day after day till one day his little daughter finds him sitting in the garden with his head thrown back.49 At first she thinks that he is asleep, but he is dead. No cause of death is discovered.50         


1 《包法利夫人》是寫實運動的經典小說。classic:古典,如 classic music:古典音樂;另當「經典之作」解。

2 《包法利夫人》也是福樓拜告別浪漫主義之作;他曾經認為浪漫主義是正確的。bade:為 bid 的過去式;致意,說。例:We bade him farewell:我們向他告別。

3 這個小說是關於一位諾曼第的鄉村醫生,他太太的不貞(infidelity)導致他絕望而死。

4 但是,寫這個故事的目的是要顯示(交代)浪漫主義的原則和情緒如何導致(bring about)一位沒有頭腦的婦人的毀滅;這位婦人把浪漫主義的種種看得太認真了。them 指 the principles 和 emotions。Take something seriously:把某事當真;以嚴肅正經的態度處理某事。

5 福樓拜這樣寫正好驅遣他自己過去對浪漫主義的沉溺。exorcize:驅邪。Indulge in:耽溺。

6 Normandy:法國諾曼第半島。The second quarter of the nineteenth century:19 世紀第二個 25 年,即 1826—1850 之間。

7 他雖然沒有什麼大才幹,但是他母親逼他逼得很緊(即望子成龍)。

8 他終於獲得衛生官(比醫師低一等)的資格。

9 母親為他安在 Tostes 區的一個小鄉鎮懸壺行醫(practice:開業),並且替他找到了一位太太。

10 他太太嫉妒心重,而且霸道(domineering)。

11 nagging:嘮叨。In the company of:和……在一起。

12 Rouault 是位富裕的農夫。

13 Emma 的黑髮、棕色眼睛,和豐滿的嘴唇立刻令他著迷(fascinate)。

14 Emma 受過女修院的正式教育,因此假裝頗有品味,舉止嫻雅。pretensions:矯飾。genteel:嫻雅的,有教養的。

15 她一死,使她丈夫得以娶 Emma。remove:除去,免除。The picture:此處指「競爭場面」。

16 love match:愛的結合。

17 Emma 是個浪漫主義者,她的品味得自當時流行的煽情小說和詩。

18 她想像(imagine)婚姻是激情的滿足,就如她在書中讀到的一樣。intense:烈的。fulfillment:滿足,實現。

19 她的情緒變得低沉、反覆無常(capricious:善變的)。

20 她的挫折感(frustration)演變成神經性疾病(即憂鬱、煩躁等精神官能症狀)。

21 為了她的健康,Charles 決定搬到市鎮行醫,換個不同的氣氛。注意 decide 之後的介詞 on。

22 鎮上的化學師 Homais 因違法行醫惹了麻煩(get into trouble)。

23 Homasis 的寄宿客 Leon 是證券行的職員。notary:公證人,在本文中指證券行。

24 Leon 為了加深 Emma 對他的好感,和她分享浪漫的奇思異想。

25 她盡情的夢想著她與 Leon 的情愛,但是從未公開表明(declare)這份愛意。

26 Leon 前往(leave for)巴黎攻讀法律,Emma 心情悲痛。

27 她向鎮上商人 Lheureux 借貸欠下大筆債款。Go into debt:欠債。extravagantly:過度地;奢侈地。

28 a well-to-do bachelor:一位有錢的單身漢。Rodolphe 買下城鎮附近 La Huchette 的地產(estate)定居下來。

29 Rodolphe 認為他與 Emma 之間的戀情只是排遣性質(diversion),但是 Emma 卻有不同看法,她認為那是她所渴望的偉大激情。affair:戀情。gallant:愛情的(如:gallant adventures);英雄的(a gallant soldier);慇懃的(特指對女人;He was very gallant at the ball:他在舞會中很會對女人獻慇懃)。

30 同時,Homais 勸誘 Charles 為一個跛子的畸形腳動手術。

31 Emma 也加入遊說:她認為或許他終究可以讓她引以為榮。persuasion 是 persuade 的名詞。

32 手術失敗,她鄙視 Charles,並決定和 Rodolphe 私奔。

33 然而,Rodolphe 已厭倦(to be bored with)她,不想繼續他們的關係。他寄給她一封信,中斷(break off)戀情。

34 Charles 帶她去盧昂看歌劇,讓她換換環境。

35 law office:律師事務所。

36 Emma 開始和 Leon 有了曖昧的關係,藉口(on the pretext of)上音樂課,她每週和他在盧昂約會一次。

37 為了負擔這些旅程的經費,她向 Lheureux 借了更多錢;她說服 Charles 給她委託書(power of attorney),讓她全權處理他的帳目。

38 她利用委託書欄截、挪用病人寄付的款,甚至於還出售財產而未讓他知道。intercept:攔截。例句:Our fighter planes intercepted the enemy's bomber:我們的戰鬥機欄截敵人的轟炸機。

39 當新鮮感(novelty)消減(lessen),Leon 的愛情也漸漸沒有了,他決心(resolve)和她分手。Run down:終止。
40 有一天她和 Leon 吵了一架之後,回到家,發現有一份對她不利的法院判決書。注意介詞 against。

41 Lheureux 把 Emma 的期票證券(共8000法郎)賣給另一個人,而這個人取得判決——總金額必須在 24 小時內付清。注意 that 子句的動詞用動詞原形 be (should省略)。

42 絕望之餘,Emma 拜訪一個又一個放利錢的人,包括她過去的情夫,可是他們都把她擯拒門外(turn her away)。

43 她的種種記憶和想法像火花般地在她腦海中爆炸(指她頭痛,傷腦筋)。

44 她覺得自己快發瘋了。

45 服毒後,她的痛苦不斷增加,她的丈夫卻驚愕(panic)得不知所措。paralyze:癱瘓;此處指做先生的慌得不知該怎麼辦,像癱瘓一般。

46 從鄰鎮召來(summon)一個醫生,可是他來遲了,救不了她。

47 Emma死後,Charles 陷入哀傷的深淵。abyss 重音在第二音節。

48 此外,債主逼得他痛苦不堪,他們要他償還 Emma 所積欠的債。To be tormented:受折磨,受苦。incur:1. 入;遭遇:to incur debts。2. 招惹:to incur hatred。

49 他一天比一天邋遢,直到有一天他的小女兒發現他坐在花園裡,頭向後仰。起初她以為他睡著了,其實,他已經死亡了。

50 死亡的原因不詳。(但其實,讀者知道,他是哀傷致死,因為他一直深愛 Emma。)

by Dr. Yuan-huang Tsai