Selected Stories: Maupassant

20Mar11

I’m really enjoying the stories of Guy de Maupassant, who apparently disliked the Eiffel tower so much he’d have lunch under it, to be able to look away from it. His stories mix cynicism, amusement and sharp observation and there’s some remarkable, heartbreakingly good stuff here. From the Penguin selected stories, here’s a paragraph from “Two Friends,” about two men who decide to go fishing again despite the fact that Paris is under siege:

“They started a friendly argument, discussing the great political problems with the sweet reasonableness of peaceful men of limited intelligence, and agreeing on one point: that men would never be free. And all the time Mont-Valerien went on thundering, destroying French houses with its shells, pulverizing human lives, crushing bodies, putting an end to countless dreams, countless expectations, countless hopes of happiness, and inflicting wounds that would never heal on the hearts of girls, wives and mothers in other lands.”

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