Last Saturday (December 12) was Flaubert's birthday. Garrison Keillor, in The Writer's Almanac for that day
, noted the anniversary and quoted Flaubert as having said:
I can imagine nothing in the world preferable to a nice, well-heated room, with the books one loves and the leisure one wants.
I always want to see chapter, verse, and the original language, which I found in a letter from Flaubert to Emmanuel Vasse (January 1845):
Je ne vois pas qu'il y ait au monde rien de préférable pour moi à une bonne chambre bien chauffée, avec les livres qu'on aime et tout le loisir désiré.
Keillor slightly truncated Francis Steegmuller's translation:
For me I can imagine nothing in the world preferable to a nice, well heated room, with the books one loves and the leisure one wants.
the leisure one wants." I'm sitting in such a room right now, with some leisure, but not all I want.Edgar Degas, Portrait of Edmond Duranty