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Guy de Maupassant, “Trois Contes de Maupassant”

July 21st, 2013 · No Comments

Guy de Maupassant
Trois Contes de Maupassant
adaptés en français usuel par Mme. Tartar, Professeur au Lycée de Siliana
Centre National Pédagogique
Tunis
reviewed by Gary Levinson

This is one of the rarest Maupassant collections that I’ve come across. Using DuckDuckGo.com I could find absolutely no reference to it. My copy came from the pre-1989 Romanistik library at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

What exactly “français usuel” is is anyone’s guess.

It is comprised – naturally enough – of three short stories. The first is:

Toine

Ah! the pleasure of reading Maupassant! Toine is a short but devastating tale showing the utter barbarity of carnivorism. In this short farcical ironic story, with a setting in Normandy, our town hero Toine is forced to brood chicks, ending up adopting all the feelings of a mother hen, at least up until the brutal end.

I could also find no reference to Maupassant as vegetarian, but if he was not, he was in any case a vegetarian sympathizer.

Une Vente

Another ironic story bordering, Une Vente is the story of a husband who, in an effort to raise money, tries to sell his wife to a friend of his. Witty and concise, this story reveals a basic unfairness in human society, one that has just started to change in the modern age. Gloria Steinem would surely have held this story up as an example of judicial injustice, and though I could not find any reference to Maupassant being for social reform, but if he wasn’t, he was surely a sympathizer.

Deux Amis

This is a story of the inhumanity that occurs during wartime. The tale is of two Frenchmen who go fishing behind enemy lines during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, only to be caught be the Germans and taken to the cold-blooded local commander. The ironic timing of a fish dinner is a typical characteristic of Maupassant, revealing his pacifist nature.

Reviewed by Gary Levinson

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