October 2017 favorites

October 2017

The October stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’ by Ray Bradbury
  2. ‘The Hanging Stranger’ by Philip K. Dick
  3. ‘Landfill’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  4. ‘Closing Time’ by Neil Gaiman
  5. ‘A Resumed Identity’ by Ambrose Bierce
  6. ‘St. John’s Eve’ by Nikolai Gogol
  7. ‘Man From The South’ by Roald Dahl
  8. ‘The Terror’ by Guy de Maupassant
  9. ‘The Circular Ruins’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  10. ‘One Summer Night’ by Ambrose Bierce
  11. ‘A Vine On A House’ by Ambrose Bierce
  12. ‘Quitters, Inc.’ by Stephen King
  13. ‘The Beggarwoman Of Locarno’ by Heinrich von Kleist
  14. ‘The Boarded Window’ by Ambrose Bierce
  15. ‘A Baby Tramp’ by Ambrose Bierce
  16. ‘The White Maniac – A Doctor’s Tale’ by Mary Fortune

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

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‘The Terror’ by Guy de Maupassant

Maupassant, Guy de 1883a

The Terror by Guy de Maupassant, 1883 Read the rest of this entry »


June 2017 favorites

June 2017

The June stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘My Purple Scented Novel’ by Ian McEwan
  2. ‘Roman Fever’ by Edith Wharton
  3. ‘The Lotus’ by Jean Rhys
  4. ‘Playing With Dynamite’ by John Updike
  5. ‘A Family Man’ by V.S. Pritchett
  6. ‘The Brown Chest’ by John Updike
  7. ‘A Piece Of String’ by Guy de Maupassant
  8. ‘The Lovely Troubled Daughters Of Our Old Crowd’ by John Updike
  9. ‘Some Terpsichore’ by Elizabeth McCracken
  10. ‘Gesturing’ by John Updike
  11. ‘Manikin’ by Leonard Michaels
  12. ‘The Man Who Loved Extinct Mammals’ by John Updike
  13. ‘The Duchess And The Jeweller’ by Virginia Woolf
  14. ‘Change Of Treatment’ by W.W. Jacobs
  15. ‘Good Intentions’ by Etgar Keret
  16. ‘Graven Image’ by John O’Hara
  17. ‘To Those Of You Who Missed Your Connecting Flights Out Of O’Hare’ by Amy Hempel

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

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‘A Piece Of String’ by Guy de Maupassant

Maupassant, Guy de 1883b

A Piece Of String by Guy de Maupassant, 1883 Read the rest of this entry »


January 2017 favorites

january2017

January 2017

The January stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Promise’ by John Steinbeck
  2. ‘A Loaf Of Bread’ by James Alan McPherson
  3. ‘The Necklace’ by Guy de Maupassant
  4. ‘The Emerald Light In The Air’ by Donald Antrim
  5. ‘The Adventure Of The Empty House’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. ‘Coach’ by Mary Robison
  7. ‘Smother’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  8. ‘Most Die Young’ by Camille Bordas
  9. ‘Permission To Enter’ by Zadie Smith
  10. ‘The Peasant Marey’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  11. ‘An Honest Thief’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  12. ‘Game Plan’ by Don DeLillo
  13. ‘Two Men Arrive In A Village’ by Zadie Smith
  14. ‘A Novel In Nine Letters’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  15. ‘The Crocodile’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  16. ‘One Officer, One Man’ by Ambrose Bierce
  17. ‘Escape From New York’ by Zadie Smith
  18. ‘Rest Stop’ by Stephen King
  19. ‘Moonlit Landscape With Bridge’ by Zadie Smith
  20. ‘Bobok’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  21. ‘Meet The President!’ by Zadie Smith

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

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‘The Necklace’ by Guy de Maupassant

Maupassant, Guy de 1884

The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, 1884 Read the rest of this entry »


‘A New Year’s Gift’ by Guy de Maupassant

Maupassant, Guy De 1883

A New Year’s Gift by Guy de Maupassant

The magic trick:

Playing the characters – and readers – off of their perceived notion of the contemporary social constritcions

Halfway through “A New Year’s Gift,” I thought, OK, this is one of those stories that requires absolute suspension of modern moral expectations. The story’s conflict revolves around 19th-century social constrictions. And that’s fine. Perhaps the story is just a little dated. It is 130 years old, after all.

But Maupassant is just messing with us, poor readers. Using the Irene character as his instrument, the author plays off the expectations of the reader so that the ending provides a neat twist to the plot, as well as a sharp commentary of exactly those aforementioned dated social structures. And that’s quite a trick on Maupassant’s part.

The selection:

“My dear love, you are going to commit a gross, an irreparable folly. If you want to quit your husband, put wrongs on one side, so that your situation as a woman of the world may be saved.”

She asked, as she cast at him a restless glance:

“Then, what do you advise me?”

“To go back home and to put up with your life there till the day when you can obtain either a separation or a divorce, with the honors of war.”

“Is not this thing which you advise me to do a little cowardly?”

“No; it is wise and reasonable. You have a high position, a reputation to safeguard, friends to preserve, and relations to deal with. You must not lose all these through a mere caprice.”

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