What were the main contributions of de Maupassant to the short story genre?

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Considered one of the fathers of the modern short story, his surprise ending and clever plot structure that easily led to the denouement served as models for writers such as O.Henry and W. Somerset Maugham (enotes).  His works are characterized by an economy of style that yet has a precision to the details revealed.

Certainly he influenced other writers in the realistic depiction of the futility of war and in the unsympathetic...

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