Flaubert’s cheat sheet

A new translation of Bouvard and Pécuchet includes the Dictionary of Received Ideas. An excerpt at Tingle Alley shows how little has changed since Flaubert’s day.

ACADEMY (French): Scoff at it but try to join if possible.

ACCIDENT: Add “deplorable” or “unfortunate” — as if misfortune could ever be cause for celebration.

ACHILLES: Add “fleet-footed”; it makes people think you’ve read Homer.


You might want to subscribe to my free Substack newsletter, Ancestor Trouble, if the name makes intuitive sense to you.