‘The Terror’ by Guy de Maupassant

Maupassant, Guy de 1883a

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

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June 2017 favorites

June 2017

The June stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘My Purple Scented Novel’ by Ian McEwen
  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

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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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December 2014 favorites

december2014

December 2014

The December stories organized solely by my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Jeeves And The Yule-Tide Spirit’ by P.G. Wodehouse
  2. ‘The H Street Sledding Record’ by Ron Carlson
  3. ‘A Christmas Memory’ by Truman Capote
  4. ‘A Christmas Tree And A Wedding’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  5. ‘The Adventure Of The Blue Carbuncle’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. ‘Christmas At Red Butte’ by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  7. ‘Christmas Eve’ by Maeve Brennan
  8. ‘One Christmas Eve’ by Langston Hughes
  9. ‘The Gift Of The Magi’ by O. Henry
  10. ‘Powder’ by Tobias Wolff
  11. ‘The Ledge’ by Lawrence Sargent Hall
  12. ‘A Child’s Christmas In Wales’ by Dylan Thomas
  13. ‘The Adventure Of The Christmas Pudding’ by Agatha Christie
  14. ‘The Christmas Wreck’ by Frank Stockton
  15. ‘At Christmas Time’ by Anton Chekhov
  16. ‘Christmas Day In The Morning’ by Pearl S. Buck
  17. ‘The Little Match Girl’ by Hans Christian Andersen
  18. ‘Markheim’ by Robert Louis Stevenson
  19. ‘Christmas Is A Sad Season For The Poor’ by John Cheever
  20. ‘The Burglar’s Christmas’ by Willa Cather
  21. ‘Papa Panov’s Special Christmas’ by Leo Tolstoy
  22. ‘The Beggar Boy At Christ’s Christmas Tree’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  23. ‘A New Year’s Gift’ by Guy de Maupassant
  24. ‘The Christmas Banquet’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  25. ‘The Best Christmas Ever’ by James Patrick Kelly
  26. ‘Christmas Eve’ by Guy de Maupassant