Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Pornosophy: Was Madame Bovary a Nyphomaniac?

Nymphomania and satyriasis may not make strange bedfellows. However, when these two paraphilias are addressed they're generally dealt with as deviations in behavior brought about by psychological issues. Parents who compete with or over-stimulate their children have an undeniable effect on the formation of these kind of symptoms. But insatiable sexual urges may also be regarded as perverse form of romanticism. Couldn’t Flaubert’s Madame Bovary be understood as a classic case of nymphomania? Bovarysm, the literary term used to describe Emma’s condition is usually regarded as an expression of the romantic agony?  If Emma had been able to make a life with Rodolfe, her wealthy lover, iplain she would likely have become bored. She’s filled with an insatiable longing that also extends to material things (she gets into debt with a manipulative businessman, Lheureux). As a classic romantic Emma Bovary is more in love with the potentiality of what has yet to be than the stolid intractable nature of that which already exists. Of course Bovary is a literary creation, but her promiscuity, existing as it does on both a psychological and esthetic level, opens a window both on the nature of her sexuality and her imaginative yearnings and life.

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