Arnon Grunberg



After a delightful event in De Balie in Amsterdam about René Girard I had a conversation with a woman in her thirties about Madame Bovary.
At a certain point she said that Emma Bovary had lived a ‘fake life’ – I answered that this was rather hard criticism and unnecessarily moralistic.
Briefly we discussed the question whether novels should tell the reader how they should live.
In a way I do believe that novels should answer this question, but by nature their answers will always be ambiguous, will never be as straightforward as a self-help book.
We ended the conversation with the conclusion that people should open up to Emma Bovary.
She might not lead the way, but she definitely discloses something about ourselves to us.

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