No-one knows more about the process of rewriting a novel that Flaubert.
Gustave Flaubert spent five years writing and rewriting his most famous novel, Madame Bovary. He rewrote one scene 52 times. He agonised over every word, as his letters to his long-suffering friends clearly show.
Probably no-one suffered more than his lover, Louise Colet. He promised to show her the manuscript of Madame Bovary so she could understand “the complicated mechanism that leads me to make a sentence.”
Perhaps that’s what drove her into the arms of Alfred de Musset.
Astonishingly, Flaubert never threw any of his drafts away and now, thanks to the painstaking efforts of 130 Flaubert fans, we too can see his incredible manuscript and get a unique insight into the great man’s creative process.
Be warned, this is strong stuff. Dare you enter the mind of a genius?
If it’s too scary, there is help available.