by Herbert Lottman. Little, Brown, $24.95. Mr. Lottman is the kind of biographer who sticks to documentable fact and avoids, except in one reasonable instance in this book, any resort to guesswork or postmortem psychologizing. It is a sound method but in Flaubert’s case leads to an odd effect. On the one hand, the author clearly presents the self-styled “bear” holed up in Normandy and slowly creating his meticulously crafted fiction. On the other hand, there is the noisy provincial with a taste for dirty words, whose forays into Paris were recorded by the Goncourt brothers with prissy disapproval. Mr. Lottman describes both these characters well, but there is no discernible connection between them. One is left with the feeling that there was a third Flaubert, who has remained unreachable by even the most thorough research.