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Short Fiction

Guy de Maupassant


Guy de Maupassant is considered one of the preeminent writers in the realm of the short story. In a little over a decade he produced almost three hundred stories, many of which (e.g. “Boule de Suif,” “The Little Soldier”) are judged to be classics of the genre.

As a protégé of Flaubert and contemporary of Zola, Maupassant was an early practitioner of naturalism, and his stories often reflect the stark, harsh outlook that marked that movement. Brutality—towards women, as a result of war, or just representing the baseness of humankind—is a common thread. Yet stories like “Beside the Bed” and “Country Courts” show that he had a sense of humor as well. But no matter the subject, what sets Maupassant’s stories apart is his unerring ability to paint the details of the story’s setting and participants in such a way that the reader feels as if they are part of the action.

This edition includes all Maupassant stories that are known to have been translated into English, including five that have not appeared in any other English collection. It does not include the sixty-six so-called “fake” Maupassants, stories that were attributed to Maupassant but not written by him that appeared in several English collections at the turn of the twentieth century.

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A brief history of this ebook

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