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Guy de Maupassant
publisher: , 1887-1891

translated as:
Mademoiselle Fifi and Other Stories
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1993
translation: David Coward

refered to by:
Madame Bovary: Patterns of Provincial Life
Gustave Flaubert

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the ledge - flash version*


For Maupassant, existence is what happens to us between two events which we cannot avoid: birth and death. The space between is filled with a compulsory programme of rituals which merely pass the time. But mankind cannot bear too much truth, and we turn mating to Love, dignify war by calling it Patriotism, subscribe to morality, and generally delude ourselves that we are not animals acting upon instinct but rational creatures capable of idealistic beliefs and actions. We survive only on the drug of self-deception. Maupassant, whose disgust with creation was only equalled by his contempt for human hypocrisy, takes a scalpel to our illusions and cuts to the bone. He operates without anaesthetic and his tales are not redeemed by a sense of the absurd and a warmer compassion for `humanity bleeding'. Unsentimental but always honest, he persuades us that life is an incomprehensible, cosmic farce. This collection of twenty tales shows Maupassant at his bitter, bawdy, chilling best. It features some of his grimmest and most famous stories like 'A Vendetta' and 'The Grove of Olives', but it also reflects both his moods and his mastery of the short story. 'The Little Keg' is rich in comic invention, while the disturbing 'Who Can Tell?' draws its power from the strange forces which drove its author into madness.


[Boule de suif]

The Horla
This chilling tale chronicles one man's terrifying descent into paranoia and madness as seen through the increasing intensity of his spell-binding journal entries.
Mademoiselle Fifi and Other Stories
Twenty stories: Shepherd's Leap; Mademoiselle Fifi; Call It Madness?; Two Friends; At Sea; The Tribulations of Walter Schnaffs; Miss Harriet; A Duel; A Vendetta; The Model; Mother Savage; The Little Keg; The Dowry; The Bequest; Monsieur Parent; This Business of Latin; Madame Husson's May King; Hautot and Son; The Grove of Olives; Who Can Tell?
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Code (above)

The Ledge
editor-in-chief: Stacey Knecht,
Thanks to: De digitale pioniers and
Het Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
Design: Maurits de Bruijn

Copyright: Pieter Steinz, Stacey Knecht
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author.