Friday, November 29, 2013

Une Vie

My first Maupassant!  I have wanted to read him for quite some time.  I don't know why.  My experience with French authors is pretty limited, but then after reading Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog, I wanted to just dive on in and immerse myself in the culture, perhaps hoping to rexperience the haze of joy I felt in reading Hedgehog.  I was not disappointed.   Maupassant is an interesting fellow.  I skipped the introduction because it was very long, and I didn't want to spoil Une Vie...I will go back and have a look later after I have finished the rest of the book (some shorter stories are tacked on). 
As stories go this one was enthralling.  It was full of melancholy, it seemed to wash out everything else, even the painful or shocking parts, kind of softening the blow I suppose.  The protagonist Jeanne makes some bad decisions and suffers all of the consequences, continually.  I couldn't put it down, being over curious about how it would all end, and it ended just as it started, softly.  It puzzles me, and annoys me just a little bit, but then that just means that Maupassant did a great job by making me care about the story.   I am looking forward to reading his other books, but have learnt from this year's experience that too much isn't a good thing, so I will pick Maupassant up again in a couple of months (perhaps after I have done some more research).

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