Guy de Maupassant


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Maupassant, Guy de

(gē də mōpäsäN`), 1850–93, French novelist and short-story writer, of an ancient Norman family. He worked in a government office at Paris and became known c.1880 as the most brilliant of the circle of Zola. He poured out a prodigious number of short stories, novels, plays, and travel sketches until 1891, when he went mad. He died in a sanitarium. Maupassant's style and treatment of subject resemble those of Flaubert in classic simplicity, clarity, and objective calm. Maupassant is a modern exemplar of traditional French psychological realism; he portrays his characters as unhappy victims of their greed, desire, or vanity but presents even the most sordid details of their lives without sermonizing. His best novels are considered to be Une Vie (1883, tr. A Life), about the disillusioning life of a lonely woman; Bel-Ami (1885), describing the career of a selfish journalist; Pierre et Jean (1888), a study of the hatred of two brothers; and Notre Cœur (1890, tr. Our Hearts), showing the emotional life of an unhappily married man. His short stories, 300 in all, are superior to the rest of his work, and many of them are said to be unsurpassed in their genre. A list of his masterpieces would include "Boule de suif" ("Tallow Ball"), "L'Héritage" ("The Heritage"), "La Parure" ("The Necklace"), "La Maison Tellier" ("The House of Mme Tellier"), "Clair de lune" ("Moonlight"), "La Ficelle" ("The Piece of String"), "Mlle Fifi," and "Miss Harriet." Maupassant had tremendous influence on all European literature, and his works are often translated.

Bibliography

See studies by E. D. Sullivan (1954, repr. 1971); A. H. Wallace (1973), and S. Jackson (1938, repr. 1974).

References in periodicals archive ?
Hemingway also owned two biographies of Maupassant--Pierre Borel's La Destin Tragique de Guy de Maupassant (1926) and Robert Harborough's The Life, Work and Evil Fate of Guy de Maupassant (1926) (Reynolds l0l, item 449 and 134, item 1042).
At the other end of the century is Guy de Maupassant.
A Czarist quota severely restricting the number of Jews at a traditional gymnasium, even in "Jewish" Odessa, forced him to attend a commercial school, where he fell in love with the stories of the French writer, Guy de Maupassant.
Short story author Guy de Maupassant is credited with the axiom, "Get black on white.
Lovecraft, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Guy de Maupassant, H.
At a climactic moment in The Model, the final story in the triptych of adaptations from Guy de Maupassant that make up Le Plaisir, Josephine/Simone Simon, rejected by her lover, Jean/Daniel Gelin, runs up a staircase towards a window and throws herself out.
In a chronicle titled "Une femme" published in 1882, Guy de Maupassant had cited a similar inability to explain la femme: "Nous ne la comprenons pas, nous ne la pressentons pas; nous ne l'expliquons jamais" 'We do not understand her, we cannot fathom her; we never explain her' (Chroniques 2: 113).
Guy de Maupassant is a delightful exception, whose short story "La Femme de Paul" (1881) presents a surprisingly modern, humane image.
Now, I was able to fill in whatever Marge or Gower did not know about the city--details of the Revolution; how to get to the flea market or see one of Monet's Water Lilies; gossip about Napoleon, Guy de Maupassant, and Colette.
The harbour site consists of the disused fish-curing works and a slice of the cliff behind it, including the walled garden and derelict outer shell of a house where Guy de Maupassant once lived (the eponymous quay 10 metres below commemorates his residence there).
Son oeuvre illustre la quete de l'identite par l'homme en general, cherchant dans l'ecriture, tout comme Guy de Maupassant, un moyen de realiser ses aspirations et trouver la liberte tant dans le domaine professionnel que celui prive.
While being interviewed in a bookstore, Stewart reached for a copy of "Bel Ami" by French author Guy de Maupassant.