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The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitaller - cover

The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitaller

Gustave Flaubert

Publisher: Passerino

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Summary

"The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitalier", in French La légende de Saint-Julien l'hospitalier, is a story about Julian the Hospitaller.
He is predicted at birth to do great things. His father is told that he will marry into the family of a great emperor, while his mother is told he will be a saint. They dote on him. After Julian kills a mouse who interrupted his concentration in church, his cruelty towards animals grows and culminates into his massacre of an entire valley of deer. A stag curses him to kill his own parents. He almost brings the curse to fruition twice: he drops a sword while standing on a ladder near his father, and he pins his mother's white shawl against a wall with a javelin because it looked like a bird's wings. He leaves to escape his future (much like Oedipus).

Gustave Flaubert (12 December 1821 – 8 May 1880) was a French novelist. Highly influential, he has been considered the leading exponent of literary realism in his country. According to the literary theorist Kornelije Kvas, "in Flaubert, realism strives for formal perfection, so the presentation of reality tends to be neutral, emphasizing the values and importance of style as an objective method of presenting reality". He is known especially for his debut novel Madame Bovary (1857), his Correspondence, and his scrupulous devotion to his style and aesthetics. The celebrated short story writer Guy de Maupassant was a protégé of Flaubert.

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