Madame Bovary, En Bande Dessinee

Here’s something different. Gemma Bovery, a comic book by British writer Posy Simmonds, is largely based on Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.

Originally published as a comic strip in the Guardian, it’s the story of Gemma Tate, a London magazine illustrator who marries a man named Charlie Bovery and moves with him to a village in Normandy. Gemma and Charlie have just enough money to drop out of the corporate grind and style themselves as “creative,” but she soon grows bored with the aimlessness of their lives.

The narrator of “Gemma Bovery” is Raymond Joubert, another dropout from the rat race, an intellectual who has chosen a “simpler” life as an artisan – the village baker. But being a very good baker is not enough to occupy his mind, for Joubert grows obsessed with Gemma – in part because her name and her evident marital frustration and boredom with provincial life remind him of Flaubert’s Emma Bovary. And his obsession with this parallel between literature and life contributes to the calamity that overtakes Gemma and Charlie Bovery.

Sounds like fun.

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