Time-travel visit in attempt to learn from Gustave Flaubert

Time-travel visit in attempt to learn from Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert time travel

I took my time-travel machine to Paris 1855 and the home of writer Gustave Flaubert. He was in the midst of working on his first novel, Madame Bovary. He briefly looked up at me and the time-machine and went back to writing. That’s what I was hoping for. I’d heard that Gustave was a writer of amazing discipline, and I wanted to learn that skill from him.

See, I’m a lazy writer. Sure, I have a notebook and pens. But I’m more drawn to sitting under a tree in my backyard, or digging a hole in my yard until I strike an underground river. It’s only when I’m tired of being outside in these ways that I come inside and write.

I sat in a chair across from Gustave and watched him write with fury. He wrote as if the paper was certain to tear. He dabbed his pen in the ink well as if he were a diver coming to the surface of the water for a quick gasp of air before diving back under. I was inches from him, but for him I was not there. This was his pattern page after page.

Eventually Gustave passed out on his desk from exhaustion. I found a blanket and covered him. I mopped the sweat off his brow. I waited. A few hours later he awoke and attacked the paper, striking it with words at a rate faster than one could read them. I watched with equal intensity.

Hours later I got back in my time-machine and rode back to the present day with a new determination. But when I arrived, I went out to my backyard, got out the shovel, and began to dig.

2 Responses to “Time-travel visit in attempt to learn from Gustave Flaubert”

  1. Julia Mossbridge says:

    I am so glad you did. I love the hole you made!

  2. Brooks says:

    Thanks, it’s what I do best.

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