A Parisian Affair and Other Stories

Overview

Set in the nouveau riche Paris of society women, prostitutes, and playboys; in the Normandy countryside; and on the French Riviera where Maupassant had lived, the thirty-four short stories in this volume are among the most darkly humorous and brilliant in French literature. They focus on the complexity of close relationships: between lovers, as in the poignant fantasy “A Parisian Affair” or the touchingly ironical “The Jewels”; between siblings, as in “At Sea”; and between former partners, as in “Encounter.” They...

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Overview

Set in the nouveau riche Paris of society women, prostitutes, and playboys; in the Normandy countryside; and on the French Riviera where Maupassant had lived, the thirty-four short stories in this volume are among the most darkly humorous and brilliant in French literature. They focus on the complexity of close relationships: between lovers, as in the poignant fantasy “A Parisian Affair” or the touchingly ironical “The Jewels”; between siblings, as in “At Sea”; and between former partners, as in “Encounter.” They reveal two sides of human nature: its grace and generosity and also, as in “Boule de Suif,” its greed and hypocrisy. Piquant and varied, Maupassant’s stories lay humanity bare with deft wit and devastating honesty.

  • Siân Miles's vibrant new translation is accompanied by an Introduction discussing Maupassant's stpries as a reflection of the rapidly changing beliefs of his society
  • "The Necklace"—Maupassant's famous story not included in the previous Penguin Classics edition—appears in this volume
  • Includes chronology, notes, and suggestions for further reading
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140448122
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 541,920
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Guy de Maupassant was born in Normandy in 1850. At his parents’ separation he stayed with his mother, who was a friend of Flaubert. As a young man he was lively and athletic, but the first symptoms of syphilis appeared in the late 1870s. By this time Maupassant had become Flaubert’s pupil in the art of prose. On the publication of the first short story to which he put his name, ‘Boule de suif’, he left his job in the civil service and his temporary alliance with the disciples of Zola at Médan, and devoted his energy to professional writing. In the next eleven years he published dozens of articles, nearly three hundred stories and six novels, the best known of which are A Woman’s Life, Bel-Ami and Pierre and Jean. He led a hectic social life, lived up to his reputation for womanizing and fought his disease. By 1889 his friends saw that his mind was in danger, and in 1891 he attempted suicide and was committed to an asylum in Paris, where he died two years later.

Siân Miles teaches at Warwick University and has translated works by George Sand and Paul Valéry.

Siân Miles teaches at Warwick University and has translated works by George Sand and Paul Valéry.

Siân Miles teaches at Warwick University and has translated works by George Sand and Paul Valéry.

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Table of Contents

Boule de Suif 1
A Parisian affair 41
A woman's confession 49
Cock crow 54
Moonlight 59
At sea 64
A million 69
Femme fatale 75
Monsieur Jocaste 93
Two friends 98
Awakening 105
The jewels 111
Train story 119
Regret 126
Minor tragedy 132
The christening 138
Coward 143
Rose 151
Idyll 157
Mother Sauvage 162
Madame Husson's rose king 170
Encounter 187
Happiness 196
A bit of the other 203
Love 210
Hautot & son 216
New year's gift 229
The Horla 236
Duchoux 245
The lull-a-bye 252
Mother of invention 262
Who knows? 275
Laid to rest 288
The necklace 296
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