The Family Idiot, Gustave Flaubert 1821—1857
A complete set in five volumes of Sartre's monumental novel / psychobiography of Flaubert
1981–1993. First thus, five volumes (complete). All are the first printings. Hardbacks, vol 1 with laminate boards, vols 2–5 clothbound with dustwrappers. Each 23.5 × 15.5cm, 627pp, 435pp, 644pp, 357pp, 621pp.
Jean-Paul Sartre spent the last ten years of his life writing a massive book about Gustave Flaubert, a writer he detested. The Family Idiot is at once a novel, a psychobiography, a literary study, and a Marxist dialectic. Sartre called it an attempt to synthesize what can be understood today about an individual life, given what we have learned from a century of work in psychoanalysis, social psychology, linguistics, anthropology and the symbolic analysis of culture and individual behaviour.
A very good set. There are light signs of wear: some faint dusting to the pages' top edge, some tanning to the wrapper's edges, minor bumping to the bottom corners of vols 2 & 4, a few small surface bumps and scuffs and the remnants of price stickers to the backs of vols 2 & 3. However, the pages are clean, the bindings are secure and quite a scarce set to find in one.