Mademoiselle Fifi

Guy de Maupassant
Mademoiselle Fifi, by Guy de

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Title: Mademoiselle Fifi
Author: Guy de Maupassant

Release Date: December, 2003 [EBook #4788] [Yes, we are more than
one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on March 19,
Edition: 10
Language: English
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Mademoiselle Fifi
By Guy de Maupassant


Page Preface . . . . . . . 7 Mademoiselle Fifi . . . . 11 Boule de Suif . . . . .


Guy de Maupassant
Guy de Maupassant was born at the Chateau de Miromesnil, near
Dieppe, on August 5th, 1850. The Maupassants were an old Lorraine

family who had settled in Normandy in the middle of the Eighteenth
Century. His father had married in 1846 a young lady of the rich
bourgeoisie, Laure Le Poittevin. With her brother Alfred, she had been
the playmate of Gustave Flaubert, the son of a Rouen surgeon, who was
destined to have a directing influence on her son's life. She was a
woman of no common literary accomplishments, very fond of the
Classics, especially Shakespeare. Separated from her husband, she kept
her two sons, Guy and his younger brother Hervé.
Until he was thirteen years old Guy lived with his mother at Etretat, in
the Villa des Verguies, where between the sea and the luxuriant country,
he grew very fond of nature and out door sports; he went fishing with
the fishermen of the coast and spoke patois with the peasants. He was
deeply devoted to his mother. He first entered the Seminary of Yvetot,
but managed to have himself expelled on account of a peccadillo of
precocious poetry. From his early religious education he conserved a
marked hostility to Religion. Then he was sent to the Rouen Lycée,
where he proved a good scholar indulging in poetry and taking a
prominent part in theatricals. The war of 1870 broke out soon after his
graduation from College; he enlisted as a volunteer and fought gallantly.
After the war, in 1871, he left Normandy and came to Paris where he
spent ten years as a clerk in the Navy Department. During these ten
tedious years his only recreation was canoeing on the Seine on Sundays
and holidays. Gustave Flaubert took him under his protection and acted
as a kind of literary guardian to him, guiding his debut in journalism
and literature. At Flaubert's home he befriended the Russian novelist
Tourgueneff and Emilie Zola, as well as many of the protagonists of
the realistic school. He wrote considerable verse and short plays. In
1878 he was transferred to the Ministry of Public Instruction and
became a contributing editor to several leading newspapers such as Le
Figaro, le Gil Blas, le Gaulois and l'Echo de Paris. He devoted his spare
time to writing novels and short stories. In 1880 he published his first
masterpiece, "Boule de Suif", which met with an instant and
tremendous success. Flaubert characterized it as "a masterpiece that
will remain."
The decade from 1880 to 1891 was the most fertile period of

Maupassant's life. Made famous by his first short story, he worked
methodically and produced two and sometimes four volumes annually.
By a privilege of nature and his Norman origin, he combined talent and
practical business sense, which brought him affluence and wealth. In
1881 he published his first volume of short stories under the title of "La
Maison Tellier"; it reached its twelfth edition in two years; in 1883 he
finished his first novel "Une Vie", twenty-five thousand copies of
which were sold in less than a year. Glory and Fortune smiled on him.
In his novels, he concentrated all his observations scattered in his short
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