Gustave Flaubert was an influential novelist who had both the characteristics of a romanticist and a realist. The short stories in this collection put that dichotomy on display.
Flaubert wrote the first story, “The Dance of Death” when he was only 17 years old. It is written in a play format—though sometimes referred to as a prose poem—and features a conversation between Death, Satan and Nero. “The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitaller” is a story about Julian the Hospitaller, a man who shares some similarities with Oedipus; “A Simple Soul” tells the story of a servant girl named Felicité; and lastly “Herodias” retells the beheading of St. John the Baptist.
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