I have three favorites, who are very different: Flaubert, Eliot, and Proust.
I asked if he meant George Eliot, and mentioned not having read Proust.
Yeah, George Eliot in Middlemarch. She has all of Flaubert’s tools, but an infinitely greater capacity for sympathy.
I thought it would be easy to have a greater capacity for sympathy than Flaubert….
It’s hard if you can see, see through, & disintegrate like Flaubert & Eliot can.
Proust is… Well, nothing is like Proust. Imagine a blend of Flaubert, Kierkegaard, and Wilde.
A human being compelled to identify the nuances of small moments and big ideas in a withering yet charming style.