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Guy de Maupassant

(1850 - 1893)

Guy de Maupassant was a French writer, often considered one of the fathers of the modern short story. Born Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant in Normandy, he came under the tutelage of Gustave Flaubert, who guided him in his literary endeavors and introduced him to prominent literary figures like Émile Zola and Ivan Turgenev.

Maupassant's writing career flourished in the 1880s, during which he published over 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and one volume of verse. His masterpieces include the novels "Une Vie" (1883), "Bel-Ami" (1885), and the famous short story "The Necklace" (1884). Maupassant's work is characterized by its economy of style and efficient, seemingly effortless storytelling. His narratives often explore the complexities of human nature, the harshness of society, and the vagaries of fate, revealing a deep understanding of the human psyche mixed with a touch of cynicism.

In addition to tales of Norman peasantry and bourgeoisie, Maupassant frequently set stories against the backdrop of the Franco-Prussian War, highlighting the futility and brutality of conflict. His stories often concluded with ironic twists, leading his readers to question traditional morals and the social order.

Despite achieving great success as a writer, Maupassant struggled with chronic mental illness, and his life was cut tragically short after he attempted suicide and was subsequently institutionalized. He passed away at the age of 42. Maupassant's contributions to literature have left a lasting legacy, and his stories continue to captivate audiences worldwide, inspiring countless writers and filmmakers.

Short Stories member since March 2016