Guy de Maupassant

Christopher Lloyd

Guy de Maupassant

Christopher Lloyd

Distributed for Reaktion Books

224 pages | 30 halftones | 5 x 7 3/4
Paper $19.00 ISBN: 9781789141979 Published April 2020 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $19.00 ISBN: 9781789142488 Published March 2020 For sale in North and South America only
The most celebrated French storyteller of the nineteenth century, Guy de Maupassant was a master of the modern short story. Offering an intriguing picture of French life, his stories derive their enduring appeal from understated artistry, extreme craftsmanship, and the universality of his characters and their aspirations and misfortunes. His career as a professional writer lasted only twelve years before it was brutally cut short by the dreadful consequences of untreatable syphilis: chronic sickness, a failed suicide attempt, insanity, paralysis, and death after eighteen months’ confinement in a clinic.
 
In this insightful and compelling biography, the only one in English currently available, Christopher Lloyd situates Maupassant’s life and work in the literary and social context of nineteenth-century France. He skillfully introduces the reader to Maupassant’s most famous works, such as Boule de suif, Bel-Ami, and Pierre et Jean, as well as highlights the important stages and achievements of his life and legacy.
Contents
1 A Life
2 Journalist
3 Writer
4 Storyteller
5 Novelist
6 Ironist
7 Afterlives

References
Select Bibliography
Acknowledgements
Photo Acknowledgements
Review Quotes
Times Literary Supplement
"Lloyd’s compact but wide-ranging study provides an up-to-date survey of this career. He situates Maupassant’s work in various late nineteenth-century contexts—the social and political worlds, and those of literature and ideas and of journalism in particular. . . . Lloyd brings out the complexity of the short stories and gives a spirited defense of their style. . . . [A] crisp, witty, balanced, and well-informed guide."
Journal of European Studies
"‘One of the strengths of Lloyd’s book is the way in which the life and the work intersect in more subtle variants than mere replication. He refuses to indulge in psychoanalytical theorizing. His portrait is an overwhelming sympathetic one, arguably at the expense of reflecting more brutally on Maupassant’s sexual promiscuity and exhibitionism. But we are left in no doubt about the sheer energy, both physical and creative, of the man. . . . [Lloyd's] intelligent analyses, however, are informed by a specialist’s familiarity with the work as a whole. . . . [The book] is lively, engaging, and consistently reliable. Its own long 'afterlife' is assured as the best available introduction for readers of English (only) to Maupassant’s life and work."
David Coward, University of Leeds
"Lloyd writes with understated scholarship and always with the reader in mind. He is a clear, patient, and shrewd guide to Maupassant and his work."
Mary Donaldson-Evans, University of Delaware
“In keeping with the aims of Reaktion’s excellent series, Lloyd’s Guy de Maupassant explores the life of the writer in relationship to his major works. Lloyd’s pleasantly readable style, characterized by the same clarity and precision attributed to Maupassant himself, guarantees that even seasoned readers of Maupassant will discover afresh the brilliance and complexity of an author they thought they knew well.”
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