Gustave Flaubert is one of the major figures of French literature. He was known for his scrupulous devotion to his style, sometimes working for a whole week to achieve a single page; he was made famous by his first novel, Madame Bovary.
A Simple Soul, sometimes translated as A Simple Heart, is a short story containing a lifetime of human emotions. After her one and only love purportedly marries a well-to-do woman to avoid conscription, the simple servant Félicité picks up work in a widow's house.
There, she lives a lifetime of servitude, rarely leaving the home and devoting herself to others; but despite her life being seemingly pointless, her selflessness lead her to almost angelic heights. It has been said that no other author has imparted so much beauty and integrity to so modest an existence. This short story is utterly poignant and will change your definition of what it means to be simple.
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