Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)
0111201564-Maupassant.jpg Guy de Maupassant (Library of Congress) Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Although he became famous above all for his well-crafted short stories, Guy de Maupassant also wrote poems, plays, and three successful novels: Une Vie (1883; A Woman’s Life, 1888), Bel-Ami (1885; English translation, 1889), and Pierre et Jean (1888; Pierre and Jean, 1890). His preface to Pierre and Jean has attracted a considerable amount of attention over the years because it reveals the profound influence that Gustave Flaubert exerted on Maupassant’s development as a writer. Maupassant was not, however, a major literary theoretician, and many critics have agreed with Henry James’s perceptive comment that Maupassant as a “philosopher in his composition is perceptibly inferior to the story-teller.” Maupassant also wrote several volumes of fascinating letters to such eminent writers as Flaubert, Ivan Turgenev, andÉmile Zola.