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 Guy de Maupassant

Guy de Maupassant

Birth
Tourville-sur-Arques, Departement de la Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France
Death 6 Jul 1893 (aged 42)
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Burial Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Plot Division 26.
Memorial ID 685 · View Source
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Author. He is considered one of the world's great short-story writers. In a meteoric ten-year career (1880 to 1890) he produced nearly 300 stories, as well as six novels, three plays, travel books and journalistic writing. A devotee of the French Naturalist school, Maupassant wrote clearly and simply, with an emphasis on realistic detail and a pessimistic view towards people. His tales cover a variety of subjects: peasant life in his native Normandy, fashionable society in Paris, the hypocrisy of the middle-class, nature, war, and the supernatural. They often have surprise endings, sometimes humorous but usually bitter and ironic. Among his best-known stories are "The Necklace", "The Tellier House", "A Family", "Yvette", "The Piece of String", "Miss Harriet", "The Umbrella", "Waiter, a Beer!", "The Horla", "Toine", "The Cupboard", "Mademoiselle Fifi", and "The Olive Grove". Maupassant's novels are more uneven in quality. The best of them are "A Woman's Life" (1883), a portrait of an unhappy country wife; "Bel-Ami" (1885), about a ruthless, hypersexed journalist who seduces his way to fortune and power in a hopelessly corrupt Paris; and "Pierre and Jean" (1888), a psychological study of two brothers. The latter has as its preface "The Novel", the author's celebrated essay on his art. Henri-Rene-Albert Guy de Maupassant was born near Dieppe, France. He fought in the Franco-Prussian War and spent his twenties in a boring job with the civil service. As a writer he learned most of his technique from his godfather, novelist Gustave Flaubert, and won instant fame with his first great story, "Ball-of-Fat" (1880). A sportsman and an insatiable womanizer, he had countless affairs and his portrayals of prostitutes and brothels were drawn from firsthand experience. Maupassant's sexual excesses led to his contracting syphilis, and by 1890 he was showing signs of encroaching madness. He began work on a new novel, "L'Angelus", which he believed would be his masterpiece, but completed only the first two chapters before his ability to write failed him. In January 1892 Maupassant attempted suicide by slashing his throat. He was committed to an insane asylum in Passy, near Paris, where he died one month before his 43rd birthday. During his lifetime (and for years after) Maupassant was dismissed by his critics as a clever commercial hack. Today he and Anton Chekhov are regarded as the greatest short-story writers of the 19th Century.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 685
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Guy de Maupassant (5 Aug 1850–6 Jul 1893), Find A Grave Memorial no. 685, citing Cimetière de Montparnasse, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .