Not much of a spoiler to indicate that towards the end of the novel there is a book burning which features a fire-retardant copy of Madame Bovary.
The sixth match dealt with Madame Bovary. But the flame refused to set fire to the page where Emma lies in bed with her lover in the hotel at Rouen, smoking a cigarette and murmuring “you’ll leave me …” This final match was more selective in its fury, choosing to attack the end of the book, where Emma, in the agony of death, fancies she hears a blind man singing:
The beat of the sun of a summer day
Warms a young girl in an amorous way.
This fine twist of incorporating an intertextual quotation into the heart of the diegesis is from Dai Sijie Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress.
And so for day 1623