About the author: Paul Andrew Tipper is Associate Dean of Arts in the University of Leicester. A PhD in Modern French Literature (University of Hull), Dr. Tipper has published on Flaubert’s symbolism, most notably in Madame Bovary and L’Éducation sentimentale. His monograph, The Dream Machine: Avian Imagery in ‘Madame Bovary’ was published by the University of Durham (1994).
2003 0-7734-6728-9 This study explores in detail the suggestive patterns of imagery generated by the flower figure across the complete works of Gustave Flaubert. The approach is chronological, as it charts Flaubert’s growing stylistic sophistication as he develops from adolescent imitator of the Romantic School to a writer whose highly personalized style hallmarks him as a precursor of the Modernist movement. While the exploration is text-based, mention is made of the cultural phenomenon that was le langue des fleurs in 19th-century France. The study proposes a methodology for the decipherment of this private ‘language’ used by Flaubert, revealing ways in which his flower poetics underpins character development, guarantees thematic coherence and ultimately proffers a system of signification producing overall aesthetic cohesiveness.