A Parisian Affair and Other Stories Paperback
Set in the Paris of society women, prostitutes and small-minded bourgeousie, and the isolated villages of rural Normandy that de Maupassant knew as a child, the thirty-three tales in this volume are among the most darkly humorous and brilliant short stories in nineteenth-century literature.
They focus on the relationships between men and women, as in the poignant fantasy of "A Parisian Affair", between brothers and sisters, and between masters and servants.
Through these relationships, Maupassant explores the dualistic nature of the human character and his stories reveal both nobility, civility and generosity, and, in stories such as "At Sea" and "Boule de Suif", vanity, greed and hypocrisy.
Maupassant's stories repeatedly lay humanity bare with deft wit and devastating honesty.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 24/06/2004
- Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780140448122
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Review by DRFP
A solid if unspectacular collection by Maupassant. Some stories stand out more than others (ranging from the more comic <i>Cockcrow</i> to the more sinister <i>La Horla</i>) but there are no real stunners in this collection either. Nothing quite so perfect as what Chekhov wrote or as emotive as anything by Carver - but that's tough company to hang with! There is something very "modern" about these short stories though. Maupassant's prose is wonderfully clear and direct and It is impressive that he managed to write so many short stories, of good quality, in such a condensed amount of time. It's tough to nudge this book up to four stars however, because he made many of the points raised in this collection with much more force in his novels. Thus, this is a collection worth reading but it's not amongst the great short story compilations and nor does it contain the author's best pieces of writing.