Flaubert: Real Fame? To Please Oneself

'To be known' is not my chief concern: that can give complete gratification only to the very mediocre vanities. Besides, is there ever any certainty about this? Even the greatest fame leaves one longing for more, and seldom does anyone but a fool die sure of his reputation. Fame, therefore, can no more serve you as a gauge of your own worth than obscurity. I am aiming at something better - to please myself. Success seems to me a result, not the goal.

- Flaubert, in a letter to Maxine DuCamp, June 26, 1852