This new translation by Lydia Davis makes a great novel even greater. What a tragic story. And it is as close to the perfectly written novel as a human being can achieve. Davis's translation is, apparently, much closer to Flaubert's intent than preceding translations that padded the text with explanations that were never in the original. This translation flows beautifully and the spare wording creates its own pathos without a shred of narrative intrusion. What a beautiful book.