Ranging from poignant scrutiny of social pretension, to wicked tales of lust and love, to harrowing stories of terror and madness, the genius of Guy de Maupassant, France’s greatest short-story writer, is on full display in this enthralling new translation by Joachim Neugroschel. The stories Neugroschel has gathered vividly reveal Maupassant’s remarkable range, his keen eye, his technical perfection, his sexual realism, his ability to create whole worlds and sum up intricate universes of feeling in a few pages.
Adam Gopnik’s Introduction incisively explores the essence of Maupassant’s unique style and his tremendous, if unjustly unacknowledged, influence (on everything from the American short story to contemporary cinema), bearing eloquent testimony to Maupassant’s continuing and vital appeal.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Necklace and Other Tales|
|Release Date: 02-18-2003|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Necklace and Other Tales
She was one of those pretty and charming girls who, as if through some blunder of fate, are born into a family of pen pushers. She had no dowry, no prospects, no possibility of becoming known, appreciated, loved, of finding a wealthy and distinguished husband. And so she settled for a petty clerk in the Ministry of Education.
Unable to adorn herself, she remained simple, but as miserable as if she’d come down in the world. For women have no caste or breed; their beauty, their grace, and their charm serve them in lieu of birth and family background. Their native finesse, their instinct for elegance, their versatile minds are their sole hierarchy, making shopgirls the equals of the grandest ladies.
She suffered endlessly, feeling that she was meant for all delicacies and all luxuries. She suffered from the poverty of her apartment, the dinginess of the walls, the shabbiness of the chairs, the ugliness of the fabrics. All these things, which wouldn’t have even been noticed by any other woman of her station, tortured her and infuriated her. The sight of the Breton girl who did her humble housework aroused woeful regrets in her and desperate dreams. She fantasized about hushed antechambers with Oriental hangings, illuminated by high, bronze torchères, and with a pair of tall footmen wearing knee breeches and napping in spacious easy chairs because of the air made heavy by the heater. She fantasized about large drawing rooms lined with ancient silk, about fine furniture carrying priceless knickknacks, about small, fragrant, dainty parlors meant for five o’clock chats with the most intimate friends, well-known and sought-after men w