Emma’s POV:

It was about this time, that is to say, the beginning of winter, that I seemed seized with great musical fervor.

One evening when Charles was listening to me, I began the same piece four times over, each time with much vexation.

“Bravo! Very good! You are wrong to stop. Go on,” He cried.

“Oh, no; it is execrable! My fingers are quite rusty.”

The next day he begged me to play him something again.

“Very well; to please you,” I said.

Charles confessed I had gone off a little. I played wrong notes and blundered; then, stopping short–

I bit my lips and then said, “Ah! It is no use. I ought to take some lessons; but twenty francs a lesson, that’s too dear!”

“Yes, so it is–rather,” he said to me after giggling stupidly. “But it seems to me that one might be able to do it for less; for there are artists of no reputation, and who are often better than the celebrities.”

“Find them!” I said.

The next day when he came home he looked at me shyly, and said, “How obstinate you are sometimes! I went to Barfucheres today. Well, Madame Liegard assured me that her three young ladies who are at La Misericord have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and that from an excellent mistress!”

I shrugged my shoulders and did not open my piano again. But when I passed by it, I thought of Bovary and sighed–

“Ah! My poor piano!”

And when anyone came to see me, I did not fail to inform them I had given up music, and could not begin again now for important reasons. One person said to me, “What a pity! You had so much talent!”

Some even spoke to Bovary about it. They put him to shame, and especially the chemist.

“You are wrong. One should never let any of the faculties of nature lie fallow. Besides, just think, my good friend, that by inducing Madame to study; you are economizing on the subsequent musical education of your child. For my own part, I think that mothers ought themselves to instruct their children. That is an idea of Rousseau’s, still rather new perhaps, but that will end by triumphing, I am certain of it, like mothers nursing their own children and vaccination.”

So Charles returned once more to this question of the piano. “It will be better to sell it,” I replied in a bitter tone. This poor piano that had given me vanity and so much satisfaction. “To see it go is like the indefinable suicide of a part of yourself,” Bovary told me.

“If you liked,” Charles said, “a lesson from time to time, that wouldn’t after all be very ruinous.”

“But lessons,” I replied, “are only of use when followed up.”

And thus it was I set about obtaining my husband’s permission to go to town once a week to see my lover. And I made considerable progress by the end of the month…

Charles’ POV

It was about this time, that is to say, the beginning of winter, that she seemed seized with great musical fervor.

One evening when I was listening to her, she began the same piece four times over, each time with much vexation, while I, not noticing any difference, cried–

“Bravo! Very good! You are wrong to stop. Go on!”

“Oh, no; it is execrable! My fingers are quite rusty,” she said.

The next day I begged her to play me something again.

“Very well; to please you,” she said.

“Well, you gone off a little, played the wrong notes.”

“Ah! It is no use. I ought to take some lessons; but–” She bit her lips and added, “Twenty francs a lesson, that’s too dear!”

“Yes, so it is–rather,” I said, giggling stupidly. “But it seems to me that one might be able to do it for less; for there are artists of no reputation, and who are often better than the celebrities.”

“Find them!”

The next day when I came home I looked at her shyly, and at last could no longer keep back the words.

“How obstinate you are sometimes! I went to Barfucheres to-day. Well, Madame Liegard assured me that her three young ladies who are at La Misericord have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and that from an excellent mistress!”

She shrugged her shoulders and wouldn’t open her piano again. But I noticed her sighs when she passed by it.

“Ah! My poor piano,” she would say.

She never informed our guests that she had given up music. “I cannot begin playing again now for important reasons, she explained

I heard others tell her that it was a pity she gave up music because she had so much talent.

It was when a friend advised me to induce Emma to study as it will economize on the subsequent musical education of my child. And mothers should instruct their children.

So I returned once more to this question of the piano. But in a bitter tone, she replied, “It would be better to sell it.”

The poor piano gave her vanity, so much satisfaction. And to her, it was like giving away a part of herself.

“If you liked,” I said, “a lesson from time to time, that wouldn’t after all be very ruinous.”

“But lessons,” she replied, “are only of use when followed up.”

Thus I gave her my permission to go to town once a week to continue her lessons. And, by the end of the month she was considered to have made considerable progress.

Instructor Response

Very good work!

Emma’s POV:

It was about this time, that is to say, the beginning of winter, that I seemed seized with great musical fervor.

One evening when Charles was listening to me, I began the same piece four times over, each time with much vexation.

“Bravo! Very good! You are wrong to stop. Go on,” He cried.

“Oh, no; it is execrable! My fingers are quite rusty.”

The next day he begged me to play him something again.

“Very well; to please you,” I said.

Charles confessed I had gone off a little. I played wrong notes and blundered; then, stopping short–

I bit my lips and then said, “Ah! It is no use. I ought to take some lessons; but twenty francs a lesson, that’s too dear!”

“Yes, so it is–rather,” he said to me after giggling stupidly. “But it seems to me that one might be able to do it for less; for there are artists of no reputation, and who are often better than the celebrities.”

“Find them!” I said.

The next day when he came home he looked at me shyly, and said, “How obstinate you are sometimes! I went to Barfucheres today. Well, Madame Liegard assured me that her three young ladies who are at La Misericord have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and that from an excellent mistress!”

I shrugged my shoulders and did not open my piano again. But when I passed by it, I thought of Bovary and sighed–

“Ah! My poor piano!”

And when anyone came to see me, I did not fail to inform them I had given up music, and could not begin again now for important reasons. One person said to me, “What a pity! You had so much talent!”

Some even spoke to Bovary about it. They put him to shame, and especially the chemist.

“You are wrong. One should never let any of the faculties of nature lie fallow. Besides, just think, my good friend, that by inducing Madame to study; you are economizing on the subsequent musical education of your child. For my own part, I think that mothers ought themselves to instruct their children. That is an idea of Rousseau’s, still rather new perhaps, but that will end by triumphing, I am certain of it, like mothers nursing their own children and vaccination.”

So Charles returned once more to this question of the piano. “It will be better to sell it,” I replied in a bitter tone.  This poor piano that had given me vanity and so much satisfaction. “To see it go is like the indefinable suicide of a part of yourself,” Bovary told me.

“If you liked,” Charles said, “a lesson from time to time, that wouldn’t after all be very ruinous.”

“But lessons,” I replied, “are only of use when followed up.”

And thus it was I set about obtaining my husband’s permission to go to town once a week to see my lover. And I made considerable progress by the end of the month…

Great. The ironies just flow through this one. I’ve recently watched two French film versions of this novel. Nowhere did I get the humor and the irony that is in the prose. For me, the assignment emphasizes the value of fiction for great storytelling and characterization.

Charles’ POV

It was about this time, that is to say, the beginning of winter, that she seemed seized with great musical fervor.

One evening when I was listening to her, she began the same piece four times over, each time with much vexation, while I, not noticing any difference, cried–

“Bravo! Very good! You are wrong to stop. Go on!”

“Oh, no; it is execrable! My fingers are quite rusty,” she said.

The next day I begged her to play me something again.

“Very well; to please you,” she said.

“Well, you gone off a little, played the wrong notes.”

“Ah! It is no use. I ought to take some lessons; but–” She bit her lips and added, “Twenty francs a lesson, that’s too dear!”

“Yes, so it is–rather,” I said, giggling stupidly. You probably have to delete this when in this POV. “But it seems to me that one might be able to do it for less; for there are artists of no reputation, and who are often better than the celebrities.”

“Find them!”

The next day when I came home I looked at her shyly, and at last could no longer keep back the words. This is awkward in this POV and could be changed to make the POV more believable. Try to see what you can do with it. It might go something like: “The next day when I came home, she was sitting at the piano with the lid closed, looking forlorn, and at last I could not keep back my words.”

“How obstinate you are sometimes! I went to Barfucheres to-day. Well, Madame Liegard assured me that her three young ladies who are at La Misericord have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and that from an excellent mistress!”

She shrugged her shoulders and wouldn’t open her piano again. But I noticed her sighs when the next time she passed by it.

“Ah! My poor piano,” she would say said.

She never even informed our guests that she had given up music. “I cannot begin playing again now for important reasons, she explained

I heard others tell her that it was a pity she gave up music because she had so much talent.

 It was when a friend advised me to induce Emma to study as it will economize on the subsequent musical education of my child. And mothers should instruct their children.

So I returned once more to this question of the piano. But in a bitter tone, she replied, “It would be better to sell it.”

The poor piano gave her vanity, so much satisfaction. And to her, it was like giving away a part of herself.

“If you liked,” I said, “a lesson from time to time, that wouldn’t after all be very ruinous.”

“But lessons,” she replied, “are only of use when followed up.”

Thus I gave her my permission to go to town once a week to continue her lessons. And, by the end of the month she was considered to have made considerable progress.

Yes!  Here the dramatic ironies are working. But for me I think her point of view is more enjoyable. What do you think? The exercise demonstrates how the right POV for the right story is so important. In Flaubert’s scene, the characterization, I think, is just great and at the right time in the story.

All the best in your writing, and thanks for the submission.
WHC

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

© 2020 Literary Fiction Workshop