An excerpt from

Voyage en Égypte: Journal entry of Sunday 2 December 1849

Gustave Flaubert

"J'ai pris Hadely (la seconde), elle a passé devant moi portant un flambeau a la main — ses chalouars ample trainaient par terre, et ses sandales claquaient sous ses pieds, à chacque pas — bruit d'étouffe et de vent — froufrou doux par terre — les piastres d'or de sa chevelure, en ligne au bout de fils de soie, bruissaient — c'était un bruit clair et lent — le clair de la lune passait par la fenêtre — je voyais le palmier, un coin de ciel avec du bleu et des nuages."

[" I took Hadely (the second one), she passed before me with a torch in her hand — her ample trousers dragged on the ground, and her sandals slapped under her feet with each step — sound of steam and wind — a soft swishing down below — the gold piastres of her hairdo, all in a line at the ends of silk threads, rustled — it was a light and clear noise —-- moonlight in the window — I could see the palm tree and a corner of the sky with some blue and some clouds."]

(Translated by Steve Street)

Gustave Flaubert (1811 - 1863)

. . . the author of Madame Bovary was "a galley slave of letters," in his own phrase, who stove ceaselessly for the right word, "le mot juste." One reason he travelled was for the nervous illness that turned him into an artist rather than the lawyer he'd studied to be. "I wanted to get away from my home. from myself," he wrote of his motive for this trip, though Edward Said might have explained it differently: "The Orient was almost a European invention," he writes in Orientalism, "and has been since antiquity a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences. . . ."
— S. S.