O ingl s Geoffrey Braithwaite atravessa o Canal da Mancha e dirigese a Rouen, a terra natal de Gustave Flaubert A inten o a de ver o papagaio embalsamado que serviu de modelo a Flaubert durante a escrita de um dos seus livros Mas o que apenas uma viagem transforma se, lentamente, numa li o maravilhosa e genial sobre o autor de Madame Bovary o seu talento indiscut vel mas tamb m os seus defeitos, manias, tiques insuport veis, vaidades e medos , sobre literatura, sobre o amor entre ele mesmo e a sua mulher Helen, que morreu recentemente entre Flaubert e Louise Colet , sobre o que falha e o que n o tem sentido na vida, sobre os segredos que a rodeiam e lhe d o sentido Tudo para concluir que a vida verdadeira a vida que vem nos livros Porque a nica que se pode interrogar


10 thoughts on “O Papagaio de Flaubert

  1. Kalliope Kalliope says:

    This book is the biography of Gustave Flaubert written by the Francophile Julian Barnes.Or may be not, may be this is a pointless story of a widower and retired doctor, Geoffrey Braithwaite, who is as fascinated with Flaubert as is his creator.Or if we are to get intellectual, is this a satirical meditation on writing, on reading, on the possibilities of gaining a deeper insight into the literary output of an author by studying his life, or even on the irremediably fictional nature of being able This book is the biography of Gustave Flaubert written by the Francophile Julian Barnes.Or may be not, may be this is a pointless story of a widower and retired doctor, Geoffrey Braithwaite, who is as fascinated with Flaubert as is his creator.Or if we are to get intellectual, is this a satirical meditation on writing, on reading, on the possibilities of gaining a deeper insight into the literary output of an author by studying his life, or even on the irremediably fictional nature of being able to access another person at all Or is it the story of the whereabouts of Loulou, Flaubert s stuffed parrot that sat at his desk while he wrote Un Coeur simple So, how could I parrot Julian Barnes and write a review about my understanding of Flaubert s Parrot May be the parrots themselves would open up the key to my review.FACTUAL MIROThis stuffed parrot is, surprisingly, a Joan Mir work of art or part of one It belongs to the MoMa, and is a gift of Mr amd Mrs Pierre Matisse It is labeled as Stuffed Parrot on Wooden Perch, 1936 Miro s bird is part of an artistic concoction in which in addition to the stuffed bird he has also included a perch, a stuffed silk stocking with its garter, etc But I am not interested in this artifice I wanted to select only that which pertains to the bird I am sticking to the facts.Julian Barnes was born in 1946 and he wrote this book and it was published by Jonathan Cape in 1984 It was listed for the Booker Prize The first edition had 190 pages Sales Rank in .co.uk is 29,392 as of August 12th, 2013.BEAUTY The Flying WonderAnd it should not surprise us that there is also beauty in this book Barnes s writing in this work is not particularly florid but elegant it is I think he would agree, though, that the most beautiful passage in his book is his quote of Flaubert The following passage shares the abstract beauty of my Flying Parrot as well as its mysterious exotic quality Ahead of them lay the Nile, bathed in mist, like a white sea behind them lay the dark desert, like a petrified purple ocean At last, a streak of orange light appeared to the east and gradually the white sea in front of them became an immense expanse of fertile green, while the purple ocean behind them turned shimmering white. ARCHETYPAL PERFECTBarnes questions whether there is a perfect reader May be there isn t, but I hope there is an archetypal Parrot Does this one correspond to your idea of Parrot Or may be you prefer other colours depending on what you have seen or imagined For example, it could have a green body with a blue head and with a bit of pink at the end of its wings, and its neck could also have a touch of gold If so, this parrot would be, if not perfect, at least the one that Flaubert described,son corps tait vert, le bout de ses ailes rose, son front bleu, et sa gorge dor e .If it is difficult to find a perfect reader, or a perfect critic, what about a perfect Review for GR Can it be attempted, or should I stick with just this Perfect Parrot and continue looking for the Perfect Review FUNNY TOYThis being a book written by Barnes, it is peppered with his unmistakable clever witticism But as humour can only be triggered from its own context, examples or quotes will not do I would have to append a silly and ineffectual and this made me laugh to elicit the desired effect But I ll have to admit that I did laugh out loud several times.TRIPARTITE ChronologyMay be because he wants to cater for all tastes, Barnes, or is it Braithwaite, presents three different chronologies of Flaubert s life Of course I have my favourite Out of the two formulaic ones the pessimistic and the optimistic and the one constructed with quotes from Flaubert s diaries and letters, I pick the latter And should I choose the blue parrot MODERNIST MultiplicityThe three chronologies indicate that Barnes is aware of multiplicity of viewpoints This issue he addresses multiple times as well, both directly and indirectly What is Biography writing Multiple parrots or multiple personas The core of Modernism But I prefer not to post a photo of a Disembodied Parrot Not all Modernism is interesting.SELF REPRESENTATIONUnavoidably, even documents with direct utterances, such as letters and diaries are suspect Can we trust perception, and what about projections APOCRYPHAL In ShadowsBarnes explores even what it not there in Flaubert s life, or rather, what never became his literary output He could have written manyworks, but given his highly engaged way of labouring over his novels, and the huge amount of research he undertook for each, these ghosts of ideas had to remain just as shadows of never to be books.WHY the PARROT What I think Barnes does not address is why Flaubert had a stuffed parrot on his desk May be it was a culture thing, a nineteenth century French obsession with the eroticism of this very smart bird.Courbet and Delacroix had a similar interest in Parrots These paintings may give as an idea in which way they thought of them.Courbet s And Delacroix s In the end, though, with all my parroting, I do not think I have given you a real bird nor have you learnt much about parrots This whole effort will remain futile, as happens with a great deal of writing, unless you want to give meaning to it


  2. Dolors Dolors says:

    That I knew very little of Flaubert s life was an advantage for me to get a full immersion into this literary extravaganza One can tell that Barnes had fun writing this alternative biography of the famous French writer, using his stuffed parrot to concoct a colorful tapestry of interspersed anecdotes with metaliterary intention, ironic finesse and the savoir faire of a virtuous ventriloquist.The fictitious narrator Doctor Geoffrey Braithwaite scrutinizes the correspondence between Flaubert and That I knew very little of Flaubert s life was an advantage for me to get a full immersion into this literary extravaganza One can tell that Barnes had fun writing this alternative biography of the famous French writer, using his stuffed parrot to concoct a colorful tapestry of interspersed anecdotes with metaliterary intention, ironic finesse and the savoir faire of a virtuous ventriloquist.The fictitious narrator Doctor Geoffrey Braithwaite scrutinizes the correspondence between Flaubert and his net of acquaintances and a sample of pompous academic miscellania to mis construct his own theories about the writer s life, or rather, he presents the evidence and allows the reader to make his own assumptions in quite a burlesque style.The result of this rigorous exploration is the vivid image of an eccentric, stubborn, contradictory, scatological, decadent but fiercely intelligent artist, hungry for the hedonistic pleasures of life but sceptic about its purpose As a byproduct, the novel is this a novel works like a very entertaining diatribe against literary criticism, biographies and the railways Barnes plays tricks on the reader, crossing the hazy line between reality and fiction In Geoffrey, the reader can get a glimpse of the British writer and sense his deep admiration for Flaubert In the non biography of the French author, one can t help but wonder about the revelations discovered by the fictitious chronicler Would Flaubert s lover, the poet Louise Colet, bare her emotions and hurt pride with such honesty Was Flaubert literal when he described his turbid sexual life, his pure love for his mother or his flamboyant ideas about politics, religion and animals All in all, the book mystified and mesmerized me The lingering taste in my mouth after turning the last page is surprisingly sweet Because rising above the witticisms, the apparently detached and playful teasing love for words, love for literature and deep reflections of philosophical nature on the role of the artist and the timelessness of his creative output is what prevails in this original work.The glassy eyes of the stuffed parrot stare at the reader and imitating Flaubert s chirping voice, he singsLoulou c est moi Whatever the real identity of the parrot may be, Flaubert s essence shines in myriad colors in this homage to the writer and to his gift for elevating the imaginary to a reality greater than him, greater than us


  3. Fionnuala Fionnuala says:

    This book has been perched on my to read shelf for quite a few years, so that recently, fresh from reading Madame Bovary and


  4. Fabian Fabian says:

    Will be top contender for novel of the year for me Or, err anti novel It is intelligent literary analysis at its most intimate, at its most arrestingly brilliant this may be one of the best literary dissertations of all time the last time I had declared this so recalcitrantly, was for Mario Vargas Llosa s The Perpetual Orgy, another immersive lit paper of the 19th century Flaubert, and specifically on his megapopular diva M E Bovary.Barnes merges poetics a Will be top contender for novel of the year for me Or, err anti novel It is intelligent literary analysis at its most intimate, at its most arrestingly brilliant this may be one of the best literary dissertations of all time that is, well, bizarre the last time I had declared this so recalcitrantly, was for Mario Vargas Llosa s The Perpetual Orgy, another immersive lit paper of the 19th century Flaubert, and specifically on his megapopular diva M E Bovary.Barnes merges poetics and juggles myriad miracles in this, a satirical alchemy that hits you out of nowhere What a trick He takes the antiquated father of realism by the hand, and jolts him out into our modern day What fucking balls, this dude This is nothing short of madness Playful and overarticulate, Flaubert s Parrot is an out of this world experience, where fiction biography andfiction apocrypha interplays with history and the drama it all is to finally unravel it There is a certain V.I.P.ness to the whole endeavor, oh exalted reader You are being shown celestial things and the sky is a theater of possibilities 83 Flaubert s Parrot, I shit you not, LITERALLY grabs the reader by the lapels and yells brilliant miscellany right at his face This, to my knowledge, is the first novel to EVER do this to affect the brain and heart and lungs alike.And what, finally is Flaubert s Parrot This is NO SPOILER An elusive emblem of the writer s voice It s a search for art in objects which is what a novel actually is Shivers down the back EXTRA Here are just two of my favorite things maestro Flaubert once wrote and of course, they deal with class society The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletariat to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeoisie and The greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously Thanks Barnes dude Thanks for smashing Novel Conventions to smithereens further, for making me fall in love with the writing out of ideas, of the dissection of the anatomy of great art


  5. Jaline Jaline says:

    Geoffrey Braithwaite, a doctor with three children, takes a vacation to Rouen in France to pay homage to his literary hero, Gustave Flaubert, most famously known for his novel Madame Bovary On this pilgrimage, Dr Braithwaite is stimulated to think of the many arguments and critiques of his hero and we are drawn along with him An example of his arguments is in his response to critics who claimed Flaubert was not patrioticThe greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dis Geoffrey Braithwaite, a doctor with three children, takes a vacation to Rouen in France to pay homage to his literary hero, Gustave Flaubert, most famously known for his novel Madame Bovary On this pilgrimage, Dr Braithwaite is stimulated to think of the many arguments and critiques of his hero and we are drawn along with him An example of his arguments is in his response to critics who claimed Flaubert was not patrioticThe greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonourably, foolishly, viciously The writer must be universal in sympathy and an outcast by nature only then can he see clearly As he visits the points of interest in Rouen, he notices something strange In Flaubert s story, Un coeur simple there is a parrot It is said that Flaubert borrowed this parrot from the Museum so he could further study parrotism while he writes the story Yet, as Dr Braithwaite continues on, he discovers two parrots, in two different locations within the city both allegedly the parrot that inspired and annoyed Flaubert Now he is on a mission How do you compare two parrots, one already idealized by memory and metaphor, the other a squawking intruder Dr Braithwaite has this to say about the story with a parrot The control of tone is vital Imagine the technical difficulty of writing a story in which a badly stuffed bird with a ridiculous name ends up standing in for one third of the Trinity, and in which the intention is neither satirical, sentimental, nor blasphemous Imagine further telling such a story from the point of view of an ignorant old woman without making it sound derogatory or coy But then the aim of Un Coeur simple is quite elsewhere the parrot is a perfect and controlled example of the Flaubertian grotesque.While in a bookstore, Dr Braithwaite hears, through a fellow named Ed Winterton, of the existence of letters between Flaubert and a governess who had left France to live in England He envisions now a book, his bookJuliet Herbert A Mystery Solved, by Geoffrey Braithwaite , illustrated with one of those photographs in which you can t quite read the handwriting. And he muses, perhaps the sweetest moment in writing is the arrival of that idea for a book which never has to be written, which is never sullied with a definite shape, which never needs be exposed to a less loving gaze than that of its author In contrast to that thought, Flaubert saysI am bothered by my tendency to metaphor, decidedly excessive I am devoured by comparisons as one is by lice, and I spend my time doing nothing but squashing them Words came easily to Flaubert, but he also saw the underlying inadequacy of the Word Remember his sad definition from Madame Bovary Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity So you can take the novelist either way as a pertinacious and finished stylist, or as one who considered language tragically insufficient.This novel has so many quotable quotes So much to think about, to ponder, to jostle for priority I found myself, again and again, drifting off into my mind to think and reflect on what I had just read I had over 5 pages of highlights on my eReader Unfortunately, I could only include the few that would illustrate my own humble description of this incredible novel.I loved the way this book was laid out There is a section of brief biographical notes, a section of arguments with various points critics of Flaubert have made, a section of highlights A to Z in the life of Flaubert, and so many other little landscapes to discover.At one point Geoffrey Braithwaite statesWhat happened to the truth is not recordedFrom his vantage point of just over a hundred years after Flaubert s death, it is harder than ever to gather together facts from the sources remaining.Flaubert wrote to Du CampPride is one thing a wild beast which lives in caves and roams the desert Vanity, on the other hand, is a parrot which hops from branch to branch and chatters away in full view In reading his surviving letters and his books, are we truly any wiser about who the real Gustave Flaubert was Maybe he was a series of blank or partially painted canvases and we are left to paint them in as we choose If that is the case, Dr Braithwaite did such an excellent job that we can admire all of his canvasses for days and weeks and months We may never come closer to the truth than this.And lest we forget, accolades must be accorded to Julian Barnes for creating this amazing character, Dr Geoffrey Braithwaite, and the excursion we were able to share with him


  6. Jim Fonseca Jim Fonseca says:

    A novel that is largely a non traditional biography of Gustave Flaubert We get all the usual biographical info on Flaubert we expect, but it s organized in chapters such as one on the various colors of Madame Bovary s eyes in the novel Barnes threads the book with the fictitious biographer s concern for, and reflections on, his wife dying of an illness Spooky because Wiki tells us that Barnes s wife actually died of a brain tumor in 2008, but Parrot was written in 1986 One chapter is stru A novel that is largely a non traditional biography of Gustave Flaubert We get all the usual biographical info on Flaubert we expect, but it s organized in chapters such as one on the various colors of Madame Bovary s eyes in the novel Barnes threads the book with the fictitious biographer s concern for, and reflections on, his wife dying of an illness Spooky because Wiki tells us that Barnes s wife actually died of a brain tumor in 2008, but Parrot was written in 1986 One chapter is structured as a Glossary of odds and ends about Flaubert s life, his acquaintances and thoughts Another chapter tells of Flaubert s long term relationship with Louise Colet from HER perspective A chapter titled The Train Spotter s Guide to Flaubert features Flaubert s thoughts on trains, how they figured in his novels, and one house that he lived in, visible from the tracks The Flaubert Bestiary chapter features his pets, animals in is stories, and how they were connected to animals he owned, and the parrot The chapter called The Case Against features sixteen things count em his detractors say ranging from the cosmic he hated humanity to the mundane there are a lot of animals slaughtered in his books Barnes demolishes most, but not all, isn t that phrase redundant of these bad raps Flaubert at times claimed he was annoyed at the overbearing fame of Madame Bovary that overshadowed his other work All authors should be so lucky Barnes tells us we should take him a little seriously on this matter.Quotes I liked Books are where things are explained to you life is where things aren t I m not surprised some people prefer books Books make sense of life The only problem is that the lives they make sense of are other people s lives, never your own Flaubert believed in authorial absence He wrote I think that one must not show one s own, and that the artist must noappear in his work than God does in nature Of course times change, deconstruction arrived, and no one believes that an author can remain hidden now This book is a meta biography because Barnes offers his reflections on the why of a biography He starts with a discussion of the statue of Flaubert in Rouen in northern France above , just across the English Channel We love Madame Bovary but why can t we let it go at that Why the statue Why a museum Why a biography What do we expect to get out of wandering through Flaubert s home Why do we go to his grave he wasn t family This is where the book s title comes from Flaubert wrote with a brilliantly colored stuffed parrot on his desk to inspire him It could have been any one of a number or parrots lent out by the local museum at the time but for some reason we want to know WHICH ONE REALLY WAS his parrot A very good read it was short listed for the Booker Prize


  7. Ailsa Ailsa says:

    I attract mad people and animals Loved.A novelised biography of Gustave Flaubert But better than that sounds I get the feeling that while Julian Barnes was stalking his favourite author, he found so many oddities and pleasing coincidences les perroquets that he kept a journal entitled Cool shit I know about Flaubert and other musings which became this book.The obsession rubs off You re lying if you enjoyed this and didn t contemplate ordering A Simple Soul This quote cut too close I attract mad people and animals Loved.A novelised biography of Gustave Flaubert But better than that sounds I get the feeling that while Julian Barnes was stalking his favourite author, he found so many oddities and pleasing coincidences les perroquets that he kept a journal entitled Cool shit I know about Flaubert and other musings which became this book.The obsession rubs off You re lying if you enjoyed this and didn t contemplate ordering A Simple Soul This quote cut too close to home Even what art is escapes them They find the annotationsinteresting than the text They setstore by the crutches than the legs Gustave Flaubert via Julian Barnes, now via me in a goodreads review you are now reading Why does writing make us chase the writer Why can t we leave well alone Why aren t the books enough as for coincidences in books there s something cheap and sentimental about the device it can t help always seeming aesthetically gimcrack the common but passionate reader is allowed to forget he can go away, be unfaithful with other writers, come back and be entranced again the lazy rush to understand How do we seize the past We read, we learn, we ask, we remember, we are humble and then a casual detail shifts everything He finds himself by looking into the works of others you trust the mystifierif you know he s deliberately choosing not to be lucid You trust Picasso all the way because he could draw like Ingres Do the books that writers don t write matter perhaps the sweetest moment in writing is the arrival of that idea for a book which never has to be written which never needs to be exposed to a less loving gaze than that of its author Is your PhD from Bucharest haha pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory


  8. ·Karen· ·Karen· says:

    You might think this is a book about Flaubert s parrot The title would indicate that this is not such a preposterous assumption to make Or at least, if not the parrot, then about Flaubert himself, maybe the parrot is just a way in to a biography of the man Again, not entirely erroneous What we get, though, isn t really much of a biography at all,the musings of a man called Geoffrey Braithwaite, who has a long term obsession with the Frenchman and would like to write the definitive life You might think this is a book about Flaubert s parrot The title would indicate that this is not such a preposterous assumption to make Or at least, if not the parrot, then about Flaubert himself, maybe the parrot is just a way in to a biography of the man Again, not entirely erroneous What we get, though, isn t really much of a biography at all,the musings of a man called Geoffrey Braithwaite, who has a long term obsession with the Frenchman and would like to write the definitive life, but finds himself overwhelmed by the wealth of material, none of which is to be trusted When writing the biography of a writer, is his work a legitimate source of material to make assumptions about the man, even if he does famously, infamously say Madame Bovary, c est moi I d say no, definitely not, but then his letters Are they anyreliable as a key to The Real Flaubert He was a writer after all, so was he writing letters as a screen onto which he could project a better version of himself,virile,unconventional,charismatic,amusing, JustSo, it s not about parrots, or Flaubert, but about biographies and how to write them Well, it goes even further, I d go further, I d go a long way with Mr Barnes it s a biography that questions the whole dubious undertaking of writing a biography The initial choice of subject what questionable motives are involved there The crass mistakes that can be made because of the biographer s lack of understanding of a foreign language, or an alien culture or both Tendentiousness, bias, the biographer wanting to make some point about the past or the present that can best be proved by skewering a famous icon of an age Getting bogged down in futile searches for the genuine detail, the documented evidence which parrot does it matter at all How much of the biographer is allowed to be in there, anyway None Not possible then there would be no biography, the writer could just open the archives and ask the reader to get on with it There is a biographer behind every biography, duh giving it form, structure, shaping it, patting it and cutting bits off there and lopping a bit off here, and adding a comment here and a slightly disapproving intake of breath there how much is s he allowed to intrude So it goes further, again a book that isn t about parrots, or Flaubert, or his works, or Geoffrey Braithwaite, or the art of biography, or writing generally, but in fact manages to tell you an awful lot about all of those things, within 190 pages You know what I think this is about It s about irony


  9. Bianca Bianca says:

    Is it splendid, or stupid, to take life seriously When I began listening to this audiobook, I wasn t in the right state of mind, as I was distracted and couldn t concentrate, so I was about to give up on it I m glad that I stuck it out, because, it turned out to be brilliant, delightful, surprising, and altogether original I shouldn t be surprised, after all, the previous six Barnes books I listened to this year were of the highest quality always extremely eloquent I am awed by BarnesIs it splendid, or stupid, to take life seriously When I began listening to this audiobook, I wasn t in the right state of mind, as I was distracted and couldn t concentrate, so I was about to give up on it I m glad that I stuck it out, because, it turned out to be brilliant, delightful, surprising, and altogether original I shouldn t be surprised, after all, the previous six Barnes books I listened to this year were of the highest quality always extremely eloquent I am awed by Barnes brilliance and literary prowess The way his mind works How he takes some obscure fact Flaubert s parrot and then constructs such an interesting book, part biography part novel, a very interesting concoction that melds fact with fiction in a very original way It is mainly about Flaubert I knew almost nothing about the famous French writer, although I promised myself that this is the year I finally read Madame Bovary It s also about art, personality, fame, critics, and relationships All the biographical details about Flaubert s life are delivered via our narrator, a retired British doctor, who s a Flaubert amateur scholar Many of the biographical entries are from correspondence to and from Flaubert or his journal entries.I ve come to the conclusion thatoften than not we shouldn t know too much about geniuses or prestigious artists, scientists, writers etc Their human selves areoften than not quite disappointing, with their human failings, proclivities and other unsavoury traits How dare they It s probably my fault for putting people whose works creations I admire on a pedestal It should be interesting to find out how all the things I ve learnt about Flaubert and Madame Bovary will affect influence my reading of his masterpiece I can t wait to find out for myself Anyway, I should stop my ramblings If you re looking for proper,articulate reviews, there are plenty on GR My love affair with Barnes continues and it stays interesting and challenging but in a good kind of way.NB Richard Morant, the narrator of this audiobook, was excellent


  10. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    This was a giant gimmick of a novel and I thought the gimmick just worked so well I understand some readers disagree I m not going to say that them s fightin words and I m going to have to ask you to step outside I m just annoyingly, irritatingly going to tell you that I thought this was like a gloved hand on the back of your neck which inches its way round to your windpipe What happens is that a dull kind of guy mooches about France collecting biographical data about the sainted Flaubert, This was a giant gimmick of a novel and I thought the gimmick just worked so well I understand some readers disagree I m not going to say that them s fightin words and I m going to have to ask you to step outside I m just annoyingly, irritatingly going to tell you that I thought this was like a gloved hand on the back of your neck which inches its way round to your windpipe What happens is that a dull kind of guy mooches about France collecting biographical data about the sainted Flaubert, one of the handful of authors about Not One Bad Word Has Ever Been Spoken As he muses and mumbles and huffs and puffs his way about France, gradually little fragments of his own life bob to the surface and are quickly shoved back down He doesn t want to think about that stuff he s over in France on this Flaubert tour to get away from all that But back they come and gradually you get this feeling of dread creeping over the somewhat amusing observations about Flaubert and his life and times, and his gentle monologue becomes like trying to focus your eyes on something below the water and realising it might be something reallygruesome