Pronounced: ep-uh-thuh-LAY-mee-on (alt: ep-uh-thuh-LAT-mee-uhn), noun
Notes: I have run across this word in reading
The word bovarism is “a romanticized, unrealistic view of oneself”
This word came into English in the first decade of the 1900s
Background / Comments
People with a well-read background might see bits of “Bovary” in the word, and that is correct; the word came the character Emma Bovary in the book Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, published in 1857. I have heard of the book, but I’ve not read it. I’m not sure that everyone doesn’t have, in some way, an unrealistic view of himself. In the Terry Brooks first work The Sword of Shannara, he elaborates on this idea that we all have a somewhat idealized vision of ourselves: he writes of our “carefully nurtured illusions” and that the reality of our existence does has “no soft dreams colored its view of life, no wishful fantasies clothed the harshness of its self-shaped choices, no self-conceived visions of hope softened the rawness of its judgments”. He mentioned “the vision of self” that always sustains us; the “limited image of the person” we have “always believed” our self to be. I had to look up those quotes, but I’ve not forgotten that interesting concept.