The Scent of Literature

09 Jul

odalisque – n.  female slave or concubine in a harem

Classical Usage:  Emma has Léon’s imagination running wild in Part Three Chapter V.  It seems she is acting out all those novels she’s read.  She was the amoureuse of all the novels, the heroine of all the plays, the vague “she” of all the poetry books.  Her shoulders were amber-tones, like the bathing odalisques he had seen in pictures; she was long-waited like the feudal chatelaines; she resembled Musset’s “pâle femme de Barecelone,” too: but at all times she was less woman than angel.

Classically Mad Usage:  Now that I know what a odalisque is and even the hue of their shoulders, what I really want to know is in those baths of theirs were they using ambergris body wash?

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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Madame Bovary


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One response to “The Scent of Literature

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