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Alien Hearts (New York Review Books Classics)by Guy De Maupassant
"In a career that spanned barely a decade — the 1880s and early 1890s — Maupassant produced some 300 stories, 200 articles, three travel books, a collection of poems, three plays, and six novels, and the bulk of this production was consumed with the pursuit of illicit sex. His specialty was the conte leste, a kind of bawdy comic story we have very little of in English after Chaucer (think Boccaccio or The Arabian Nights)." Lorin Stein, Harper's Magazine (Read the entire Harper's review)
Synopses & Reviews
Alien Hearts was the last book that Guy de Maupassant finished before his death at the early age of forty-three. It is the most original and psychologically penetrating of his several novels, and the one in which he attains a truly tragic perception of the wounded human heart. André Mariolle is a rich, handsome, gifted young man who cannot settle on what to do with himself. Madame de Burne, a glacially dazzling beauty, wants Mariolle to attend her exclusive salon for artists, composers, writers, and other intellectuals. At first Mariolle keeps his distance, but then he hits on the solution to all his problems: caring for nothing in particular, he will devote himself to being in love; Madame de Burne will be his everything. Soon lover and beloved are equally lost within a hall of mirrors of their common devising.
Richard Howards new English translation of this complex and brooding novel—the first in more than a hundred years—reveals the final, unexpected flowering of a great French realists art.
About the Author
Guy de Maupassant (18501893), after serving in the Franco-Prussian War, became a close friend of Flaubert and his circle. He wrote hundreds of short stories as well as novels and verse. In his later years, he suffered from mental illness and died in an asylum.
Richard Howard, a poet, translator, and critic, was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1951 and an M. A. in 1952. A growing interest in modern French poetry led to further graduate study at the Sorbonne from 1952 to 1953. Since 1958, he has translated more than 150 books and has earned recognition as one of the truly authoritative translators of modern French literature.
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