A Life

A Life

The Humble Truth

Paperback - 1999
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`every heart imagines itself the first to thrill to a myriad sensations which once stirred the hearts of the earliest creatures and which will again stir the hearts of the last men and women to walk the earth' What is a life? How shall a storyteller conceive a life? What if art means pattern and life has none? How, then, can any story be true to life? These are some of the questions which inform the first of Maupassant's six novels, A Life (Une Vie) (1883) in which he sought to parody and expose thefolly of romantic illusion. An unflinching presentation of a woman's life of failure and disappointments, where fulfilment and happiness might have been expected, A Life recounts Jeanne de Lamare's gradual lapse into a state of disillusion. With its intricate network of parallels and oppositions, A Life reflects the influence of Flaubert in its attention to form and its coherent structure. It also expresses Maupassant's characteristic naturalistic vision in which the satire of bourgeois manners, the representation of the aristocracyin pathological decline, the undermining of human individuality and ideals, and the study of deterioration and disintegration, all play a role. But above all Maupassant brings to his first novel the short story writer's genius for a focused tension between stasis and change, and A Life is one ofhis most compelling portraits of dispossession and powerlessness.
Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1999.
ISBN: 9780192832986
Branch Call Number: FIC/Maupa 6173cg 1
Characteristics: xxxviii, 245 p. --
Additional Contributors: Pearson, Roger


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Nov 29, 2011

The author follows a woman's life living on the Normandy coast during the 19th century. Beginning with the joy and hopes of youth, to the despair and disappointments of aging, the story is an insight into the 'human condition' of which we all experience. Enjoyable, enlightning read.

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