Sunday, April 14, 2013

164 Quiz Answer


Here's the answer to this week's quiz.

"Madame Bovary" is the story of a woman caught in the dull and stultifying country life of the 19th century that she leads with her equally dull husband.  Written with a detached irony and beautiful wit, and playing on the audience's affection for its central character as well as showing up her desires and hopes, Gustave Flaubert's book is listed as one of the world's great novels.

(Also submitted to Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "N" is for "Newt")
Here’s this week’s Berownial quiz question.
Since Magpie Tales is a writers’ blog, I thought folks might be familiar with a certain highly acclaimed book.  Published way back in 1856 by a guy named Flaubert, it has long been established as one of the greatest novels ever written.  Six movies were made of it.
So, without apology, I submit the following, which I thought might possibly suggest the original.  Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is: name the novel.

Dear Mom:

Always a real pleasure hearing from you.  How are things out there in the wild West? 

As for us, we’re okay here.  We had lots of snow, but that’s gone now.  You asked about my friend Elsa.  Believe me, you open a can of worms, or a Pandora’s box, or whatever, when you ask that question.

You know how much I hate gossip, so I’ll tell you only the basic facts – along with anything else I can think of.

One thing is certain.  As you know, Elsa lived for quite a while rather high on the hog.  Upper East Side in Manhattan; shops, restaurants, theatre.  Then she marries this fellow named Newt (just like that guy Gingrich).  He is from a town in the Midwest named Tipover Junction or something like that.

So, amor vincit omnia (assuming I have that spelled right); she moved out there for the start of a new, or Newt, life. 

In a way it was kind of a “Green Acres” rerun.  She soon learned she had a hard time enduring small-town life.  As for local entertainment her attitude is, if you’ve seen one tractor-pull you’ve seen them all.  She coped with boredom by doing a lot of shopping - not always a wise idea - but basically she figured she didn’t have things too bad.  She was married to a doctor, after all.

Well, this is where things turned sour.  She wrote me that in New York she had originally been introduced to a man (Newt) as a doctor visiting the Big City from the great Midwest.  Having put her trust in this introduction she was to learn, once she got out thataway, that ol’ Newt wasn’t really a doc; he was his town’s “Health Officer.”  His job, among other similar things, was to travel about checking dumpsters and such to see they were closed properly.

Soon after she got established in the place, she learned that her husband worked hard to get the citizenry there to think that the phrase “Health Officer” actually meant a type of MD – though he had little medical training – and believe it or not he had actually operated on the lame leg of some poor farmer.

Talk about destruction; the operation had turned out badly.  As did the leg.  As did the farmer.  As did Newt - he is being sued.

In short, Elsa now feels that no Newt is good Newt and she wants out.  Know of any inexpensive apartments to rent out your way?

My love to all, Sylvia

(Also submitted to Sunday Scribblings)  

 

34 comments:

rel said...

Madame Bovary

Heidi said...

Madame Bovary

Berowne said...

Heidi and rel start things off with a bang; both gave the right answer.

Altonian said...

Try and keep my 'run' going - signing in with 'Madame Bovary'.
Your little clue stories are 'gems' in themselves.

Kathe W. said...

Madame Bovary?? Peut-etre ?
Happy week to you!

Berowne said...

Just joining the winners circle: Kathe W and Altonian - both with the correct answer.

Bee's Blog said...

Madame Bovary.

gsb said...

Old Grizz will roar across the mountains..."madame Bovery"

Berowne said...

Flash - Bee's Blog and gsb have both coughed up the right answer; congrats.

DCW said...

Be careful. The original almost resulted in obscenity charges. Nothing Newt under the sun.

Tess Kincaid said...

I don't know...Meet Me in St. Louis?

Tess Kincaid said...

I guess that's not a novel, is it...

Berowne said...

To DCW: From what you write it looks like you know the answer, but you didn't name the novel. Please give us the title of the book.

oldegg said...

Some thought this the best French novel of all time...Flaubert's "Madame Bovary". I read somewhere he agonised over every word he wrote.

John said...

It couldn't possibly be Madame Bovary, could it?

Berowne said...

Chalk up two more. John and oldegg both gave us the correct answer.

Susan Lindquist said...

I always think I know the answer, but then you confound me ...Madame B perhaps?

ninotaziz said...

I must have read Madame Bovary more that a dozen times - and there are at least three copies in the house. I should really try to read it in French!

Roger Owen Green said...

D'oh. I didn't get it. I mean I know what it is, but I cheated, so I'll try next week.

Berowne said...

Susan Lindquist and ninotaziz have both checked in with the correct answer. Who's next?

Trellissimo said...

Madame Bovary?

Lyn said...

Naughty Flaubert...only one that comes to mind..Madame Bovary!
Hmmm?

Doctor FTSE said...

C'est Madam Bovary, n'est ├že pas? Perhaps the "Readers' DIgest" version?

Berowne said...

Trellissimo, Doctor FTSE and Lyn have joined our merry group with the correct answer. (Someone send out for pizza.)

Robyn Greenhouse said...

I'm always so impressed how you do these quizzes. Someday I'm actually going to even guess the answer!

Dave King said...

I'm sure Madame Bovary is the only one that has made it to six films.

Kutamun said...

Hmm , reminds me of "Revolutionary Road"

Berowne said...

Dave King has just joined us with the right answer...

Leslie: said...

Sounds like Madame Bovary.

Karen S. said...

Madame Bovary .......Oh my, I'm thinking you made this super easy (with hints) ! Well done- as far as I was pretty much rolling on the floor with laughter the way you wrote this!

Berowne said...

Karen S and Leslie are the latest to present us with the correct answer.

Sheilagh Lee said...

Madame Bovary

sharplittlepencil.com said...

Too late to enter; however, your mention of Flaubert was a giveaway! My favorite cinematic rendition was the Vincente Minnelli classic, which was the first to have a revolving shot (the ball scene), where you never see the camera but all whirls about. I've never forgotten that scene. I'll try and be prompt for the next one! Amy

mywordwall said...

Interesting. I read Madame Bovary when I was quite young and perhaps because of that, I missed its greatness.

 
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