The Temptation of Saint Anthony
Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) was a French novelist and short story writer who is counted among the greatest Western writers. Flaubert was considered ... Show synopsis Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) was a French novelist and short story writer who is counted among the greatest Western writers. Flaubert was considered to be a master of style, obsessively devoted to finding the right word ("le mot juste"), in every piece of literature he produced. Solitary by nature and not of a happy temperament, Flaubert became absorbed with literature and history and early became aware of his vocation as a writer. He is known especially for his first published novel, "Madame Bovary" (1857). "The Temptation of Saint Anthony" is a book which the French author spent practically his whole life restlessly working on before publishing the final version in 1874. The story was based on the 4th century Christian anchorite, Saint Anthony the Great, who lived in the Egyptian desert and experienced philosophical and physical temptations. Its fantastic style and setting were inspired by the Brueghel painting which he saw at the Balbi Palace in Genoa.