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A disposition towards escapist day dreaming in which one imagines oneself as a heroine or hero of a romance and refuses to acknowledge everyday realities. This condition (a later version of Don Quixote's madness) can be found in fictional characters before Emma Bovary, the protagonist of Gustave Flaubert's novel Madame Bovary (1857), gave it her name: for example, Catherine Morland in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey (1818) makes similar confusions between fiction and reality. Novelists have often exposed bovarysme to ironic analysis, thus warning against the delusive enchantments of the romance tradition.

Subjects: Literature.

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