It’s raining today in Paris, and I love when it rains. It makes me want to curl up in my favorite overstuffed chair, wrap a blanket around my shoulders and plunge into a delicious book. This post by Book Me reminded me of how much I enjoyed “Le Horla” by Maupassant, which I read last year in French. He was a brilliant writer, an intriguing mind and a fascinating read. Amusez-vous bien!
There is a category of writers whose brilliant careers were tragically cut short by death. Guy de Maupassant is one of them. Maupassant died at the age of 42 in a mental asylum in Paris, following a second suicide attempt. It is thought that his gradual decent into madness was caused by syphilis, which the writer contracted in the 1870s. Maupassant believed he was infected with the “Neapolitan evil” at the age of 20 by a ravishing “female boating companion”. But it may have been any one of the prostitutes he used to frequent on a regular basis. Today, he is largely remembered for his mellifluent but methodically plotted short stories, which set the precedent for the genre even before his death. But Maupassant has also written several excellent novels, one of which has recently been reissued by Penguin to coincide with a new film adaptation. Bel-Ami is a…
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