|Flaubert in Egypt. Photograph by Maxime Du Camp|
As expected, Maxime Du Camp’s “Souvenirs littéraires” turned out to be a very interesting and entertaining read. Du Camp after all was witness and participant to a very fecund period in French letters and close friend to Théophile Gautier, Gerard de Nerval, Alfred de Musset and especially Gustave Flaubert.
Two chapters stand out : the one relating the tragic death of the unfortunate de Nerval, who hung himself in the darkest of the dark alleys of Paris but managed to keep his hat on his head and the one where Du Camp comfirms my opinion that Salammbô rather than Madame Bovary is Flaubert’s true masterpiece,