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Penguin Classics Bel Ami Film Tie In Edition Paperback – Jun 19 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classic; Film tie-in ed edition (June 19 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141196793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141196794
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #708,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Un essai
Étude approfondie d'un grand texte classique ou contemporain par un spécialiste de l'oeuvre : approche critique originale des multiples facettes du texte dans une présentation claire et rigoureuse.

Un dossier
Bibliographie, chronologie, variantes, témoignages, extraits de presse. Eclaircissements historiques et contextuels, commentaires critiques récents.

Un ouvrage efficace, élégant. Une nouvelle manière de lire --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

GUY DE MAUPASSANT (1850-93) was a literary disciple of Flaubert and part of the group of young Naturalistic writers that formed around Zola. In addition to his six novels, which include Bel-Ami (1885) and Pierre et Jean (1888), Maupassant wrote hundreds of short stories, the most famous of which is 'Boule de suif'. By the late 1870s, he began to develop the first signs of syphilis, and in 1891 he was committed to an asylum in Paris, having tried to commit suicide. He died there two years later. DOUGLAS PARMEE is a well-known French translator.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach on May 26 2003
Format: Paperback
Guy De Maupassant (1850-1893), if "Bel-Ami" is any indication, must rank as one of the best writers in the history of the western world. Born in Normandy in 1850, Maupassant became a disciple of the French author Flaubert early in life. Guy quit his job with the civil service after publishing his first short story, "Boule de Suif" in 1880. What followed was a phenomenal flurry of 250 short stories and six novels before his premature death from syphilis in 1893. During his short life, Maupassant helped to form the "groupe de Medan," a loosely knit group of naturalist writers headed by Emile Zola. He also worked as a journalist, covering such important events as the French campaigns in Algeria and Tunisia. A hard worker when it came to writing, Maupassant also possessed a zest for life, including a love for the ladies that eventually killed him.
"Bel-Ami" is hardly an original premise. How many books written through the years discuss the idea of a rural man heading to the city to make it big? That is exactly what happens with this book in the form of main character Georges Duroy. After a five-year stint in the French army, Duroy moves to Paris to make his fortune. Regrettably, Duroy is languishing in a lowly job as a railroad clerk until he meets his old army buddy Forestier. From this point forward, Georges is on the fast track to success. Forestier gets him a job at a scandal rag named "La Vie Francaise" where Georges rapidly ascends the ranks from lowly reporter to chief editor. Along the way, Duroy engages in all sorts of amorous adventures with women both high and low on the Paris social register. By the time the story ends, Georges is within sight of the highest positions in French society, all accomplished through sheer cunning and social maneuvering.
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Format: Paperback
I would never have known that Guy de Maupassant wrote novels along with his great short stories if another amazon reader hadn't turned me on to their existence. This novel, reminiscent of Madame Bovary (a male version, you might say) is terrific. You'll get a great deal of description of Paris in the late 19th century with period details worthy of any great novelist. The plot is typical: poor, rural young man from the outskirts (Rouen) has no money and no position in life, but longs to find fame and fortune. Thanks to his manly wiles (he's a natural ladies' man), he manages to sleep his way to the top. Like Madame Bovary, happiness is never really there no matter how much money and power he attains - the more you get, the more you realize that others will always have more. Still, Monsieur Duroy, even at his most calculating retains somewhat of a sympathetic quality that allows us to relate to him and root for his success. Despite its length, this novel is a fast read. One of my favorites of the year.
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By Captain Cook on Nov. 21 2000
Format: Paperback
We can always learn something from the French, and this novel of one journalist's rise in 1880s Paris is full of little 'life lessons' about the way of the World and how to turn things to one's own advantage.
Others may see it as a bleak ironic tale depicting the triumph of cynicism and amorality in an ultimately meaningless Universe. Meaning all depends on what peg you hang everything on. If you are looking for confirmation of some universal moral values, you won't find them here, but on the other hand you'll find an entertaining, sometimes disturbing, but always fascinating tale of a talented man with appetites and passions.
The conventional wisdom would be to view Georges Duroy as a cad, and with top hat and twirly moustaches, he definitely fits that visual stereotype, but he starts at the bottom and gets to the top merely by playing the rules of the game that is already in progress.
He gains success partly through the help of several women, and perhaps the way he treats them looks somewhat callous, but I would venture to defend him on this point. It is true he uses women at every stage of his ascent, but this, after all, can only be done with their consent and all the females who are so used, do this quite willingly, charmed by his good looks and personality.
Of course, one's moral view of this character depend on whether you take a male or female view of sexual morality. Men are by nature more promiscuous, whereas women view sensuality in pair bonding terms. Men, while paying lip service to this view because of its important role in rearing the next generation, believe that there should be a little icing on the cake.
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Format: Paperback
This is a story of how sleaze, manipulation, and mediocrity prevail and get certain people ahead in life.
Georges Duroy is one of those incompetent losers who gets others to do his work for him and sleeps his way to the top, basically. This story is an expose of the corrupt and unscrupulous aspects of the newspaper publishing world and the immoral seductions of Parisian high society.
Duroy begins in the poverty and squalor of a worker's tenement building where he's struggling to make a living. Through sheer determination to change his situation and make something of his life, he moves to Paris and soon finds himself in the artistic salon of a wealthy and intelligent political hostess and the home of a rich Jewish banker and newspaper owner. Here Maupassant skillfully shows how a mediocre, untalented nobody becomes really successful in life through cunning, through good luck... and good connections!
David Rehak
author of "Love and Madness"
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