Madame Bovary

“Emma Bovary was apparently a grand self-medicator. Like others before her, she experienced the dangers of a belle ame: raptures that cut her off from reality, hallucinated plenitude and pure communication, a kind of hinge on transcendental telepathy. Everything she tried out – religion, reading, love rushes, getting dressed in the morning, had hallucinogenic, analgesic, stimulating, or euphorizing effects upon her. She would also experience tremendous crashes. The peak of drugs, as of love, was for her telepathy, a communication over distance….Shit was happening. God’s fundamental breakdown, His out-of-serviceness and withdrawal from the scene, meant she had to replace the emptiness with a symbolic authority. That’s when the panic set in, the emergencies that invaded the entire scene. Nothing else mattered; she needed her dose, and she started responding like an addict to the alarm signals proliferating around her, She didn’t care what she took.”

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