Questions tagged [french-literature]

For questions about French literature: works of literature which were originally written in the French language, whether from the country France or elsewhere.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
1answer
21 views

What does it mean to “die game”?

In chapter 3 of The Phantom of the Opera, it says that the retiring managers had determined to “die game”, as we now say. What does that mean? I have searched the web with no luck.
3
votes
0answers
9 views

What book of Eugène Sue's 'The Mysteries of the People' inspired M. Joly's 'Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli & Montesquieu', as claimed by U. Eco?

Question summed up: Can anyone help me find the part of Eugène Sue's The Mysteries of the People wherein a sinister Jesuit plot is unveiled, which may have, through a game of 'telephone' by plagiarism,...
3
votes
1answer
26 views

Did Maupassant and Richepin know each other?

One of the first questions in the Guy de Maupassant reading challenge was Political backdrop to “The Lancer's Wife” (Franco-Prussian War)?. After I was unable to find the story in French, it turned ...
1
vote
0answers
10 views

How did Maupassant's contemporaries respond to his play Musotte?

As I mentioned in an earlier question, it is a little-known fact that Maupassant did not only write narrative prose but also plays. The French Wikipedia article lists several plays by Maupassant: ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

Did the Eiffel Tower feature in any of Maupassant's stories or novels?

Guy de Maupassant wrote almost all of his fiction during a single decade: the 1880s. This was also the decade that saw the construction of the Eiffel Tower, namely in the years 1887-1889. The ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Meaning of Greek concepts on omniscience in Amélie Nothomb's Soif

Amélie Nothomb's novel Soif (Thirst) tells us Jesus's memoirs on the eve of the crucifixion. Jesus defends against the accusations made to him by referring to his omniscience as being imperfect. I ...
1
vote
0answers
14 views

How did Maupassant's contemporaries respond to his play Une répétition?

Guy de Maupassant is best known as an author of short stories and novels. It is less well known that he also wrote plays. The English Wikipedia article about the author only mentions his early comedy ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

Was Maupassant's interest in madness and the supernatural linked to his own mental health?

The French publisher Gallimard has a short biography of Guy de Maupassant on its website. The last lines read, Vers 1885, Maupassant ressent les premiers symptômes de la maladie nerveuse qui l'...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

For Maupassant, did only women or people generally have the souls of monkeys?

In Maupassant's short story "Le Signe" / "The Signal", part of the collection Le Horla (1887), the baroness de Grangerie tells her friend the marchioness de Rennedon how a woman of ill repute had ...
2
votes
0answers
18 views

How did contemporary female readers respond to the sexual violence in the Contes de la Bécasse?

In Maupassant's short story That Pig of a Morin / Ce cochon de Morin, the narrator, Labarbe, says to a woman he finds very attractive (emphasis mine), Parce que vous êtes une des plus belles ...
3
votes
3answers
71 views

Why would not giving money to the poor qualify a person as a Sadducee?

In the first chapter of Albert Camus's novel The Fall, the narrator asks his addressee a few questions: Possédez-vous des richesses? Quelques-unes? Bon. Les avez-vous partagées avec les pauvres? ...
2
votes
0answers
10 views

Did Maupassant adapt the style and content of his stories to the newspapers that published them?

Guy de Maupassant published his short stories and novellas in newspapers and periodicals such as Le Figaro, Gil Blas, Le Gaulois and L'Écho de Paris before they were published in book form. Le Figaro ...
4
votes
1answer
28 views

Meaning of «Ah! les Bazaine» in La chute / The Fall

In Albert Camus's novel La chute / The Fall, the main character talks about his life to an unnamed listener. In the second chapter, he makes the following statement while talking about friends and ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

What is the significance of the names Mersault and Meursault?

The novel A Happy Death, written in the late 1930s and published posthumously in 1971, has a main character named Patrice Mersault. Camus's novel The Stranger, written a few years later and published ...
4
votes
1answer
25 views

What is the nature of the relationship between Madeleine and the Comte de Vaudrec in Bel-Ami?

In Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami the Comte de Vaudrec is a wealthy member of the nobility who comes to dine at the Forestiers' home every Monday evening. After Madeleine's husband Charles Forestier has ...
3
votes
0answers
17 views

Is Lambert-Sarrazin's moustache speech in Bel-Ami an allusion to a real speech?

The beginning of Chapter V in Part Two of Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami tells us about political discussions regarding the French colonisation of North Africa. One of the members of Parliament (the Third ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

In Maupassant's Bel-Ami, why would it be compromising for a magistrate to have been in (the) mixed committees?

In the second chapter of Part Two of Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami, Georges Duroy's wife turns out to have interesting connections that allow the couple to write newspaper articles that can make or break ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

What does it mean to have teeth in the English style?

In Chapter VI of Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami, the journalist Robert de Varenne describes the Baroness de Livar as follows (emphasis added): Une grande sèche, soixante ans, frisons faux, dents à l'...
3
votes
0answers
14 views

Is Maupassant referring to a ranking of duellists or shooters that existed in late nineteenth-century France?

In Chapter VII of the first part of Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami, the main character, Georges Duroy, is insulted by another journalist. The disagreement escalates and leads to a duel using pistols. ...
1
vote
0answers
13 views

What is so Balzacian about Mr. Walter's words to Mr. Montelin in Maupassant's Bel-Ami?

In the first few chapters of Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami, the main character, Georges Duroy, is learning the ropes of journalism. In Chapter IV of Part I, he accompanies the journalist nicknamed Saint-...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

What is the difference between souteneur and proxénète in Maupassant's Bel-Ami?

In the first chapters of Guy de Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami, the main character, Georges Duroy, is trying to learn the craft of journalism. The end of the book's fourth chapter tells us that he meets ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

How does The Meursault Investigation reference The Fall?

Kamel Daoud's novel The Meursault Investigation (Meursault, contre-enquête, 2013) is a retelling of and sequel to The Stranger / L'Étranger by Albert Camus. But that is not the only Camus novel it ...
5
votes
2answers
244 views

What does it mean to “unmoor criticism”?

The introduction by Pol Neveux to the complete short stories of Guy de Maupassant (the edition that's on Project Gutenberg - I couldn't pin down its exact details) says the following about the article ...
5
votes
1answer
140 views

Which short stories are falsely attributed to Guy de Maupassant, and why?

Thanks to @GarethRees's sleuthing and editing, I just learned that several French short stories found in the Project Gutenberg version of the "Entire Original Maupassant Short Stories" are in fact not ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

Political backdrop to “The Lancer's Wife” (Franco-Prussian War)?

"La Uhlane" is a short story by Jean Richepin, whose English translation "The Lancer's Wife" was erroneously attributed to Guy de Maupassant in the Walter Dunne edition of Maupassant's works. It ...
3
votes
1answer
36 views

In which interview did Camus say that Meursault is the only Christ we deserved?

In two YouTube videos about Albert Camus's novel L'étranger / The Stranger, I have found the followinng quote, which supposedly comes from an interview from 1955: Meursault est le seul Christ que ...
2
votes
2answers
39 views

What political leanings are being described for Monsieur Carre-Lamadon?

I've just begun reading the complete short stories of Guy de Maupassant, starting with one of his most famous, "Boule de Suif" (variously translated as "Dumpling", "Butterball", etc.) In an early ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

How is the Czechoslovak traveler's story relevant to The Stranger as a whole?

In chapter II of Part II of Camus's novel The Stranger, Meursault narrates a story that he read in an old newspaper cutting that he found under his mattress in prison. Below is a summary. A man from ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Is Meursault bothered that he doesn't know what day Maman died?

The first line of The Stranger goes like this: Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know. I got a telegram from the home: "Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours." That doesn'...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

Why would Maman ask for a religious burial?

In the first chapter of The Stranger, it says: The director stopped at the door of a small building. "I'll leave you now, Monsieur Meursault. If you need me for anything, I'll be in my office. As ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

Is Marie's comment based on the existence of a two-tier justice system in French Algeria?

In Camus' novel L'étranger / The Stranger, Meursault gets arrested for shooting "an Arab". During his pre-trial detention, his girlfriend Marie pays him a visit in prison and tries to give him some ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

What is Meursault's problem with the heat?

Meursault in The Stranger seems to spend a lot of time describing the temperature, and especially the heat. There are numerous cases where he mentions the sun and the heat: It occurred to me that all ...
4
votes
0answers
27 views

In what way would windows appease or calm us?

Alain Bashung's song Sur un trapèze, with lyrics by Gaëtan Roussel (see the Wikipedia article about the album Bleu pétrole, released in 2008), begins with the following lines (emphasis and links ...
5
votes
1answer
42 views

How did they happen to find the cipher in “The Hollow Needle”?

In The Hollow Needle (1909) by Maurice Leblanc, did M. Brédoux just "drop" the paper with the Hollow Needle cipher? Maybe I missed something in the book, but the way the good guys and ...
6
votes
1answer
62 views

Are the Asterix comics about a drug culture?

The potions used in Asterix comic books resemble the methamphetamine usage of World War II. Has the drug culture within the comics ever been discussed?
3
votes
1answer
41 views

Where did French writer Céline get his pen name from?

French author Louis-Ferdinand Destouches, the author of Journey to the End of the Night, used Céline, a French female first name as his pen name. Any idea where he got it from?
7
votes
1answer
99 views

What’s up with the coal in “Asterix and the Chieftain’s Shield”?

In Asterix and the Chieftain’s Shield, the inhabitants of Gergovia are obsessed with wine and charcoal, all having shops selling both. The coal is used for a running gag in the book as the Romans ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Meaning of “rose” and “bleu” in Alain Bashung's “Résidents de la république ”

Alain Bashung's song “Résidents de la république” (part of the album Bleu pétrole, 2008) contains the following lines: Résidents, résidents de la république Où le rose a des reflets bleus The ...
4
votes
1answer
79 views

Can I read “Twenty Years After” by Alexandre Dumas without reading “The Three Musketeers”?

Can I read Twenty Years After (Vingt ans après) by Alexandre Dumas without reading The Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires)? I have come across a site which says that Twenty Years After is a ...
6
votes
1answer
51 views

What is meant by «le Saint-Siège de la rue Sébastien-Bottin et la chapelle Sixtine de la rue Jacob»?

A recent issue of the French magazine Marianne (3-9 January 2020) contained an article entitled Matzneff : de l'écrivain tendance au vieux dégueulasse by Guy Konopnicki. The article contains the ...
-1
votes
1answer
48 views

Huis Clos Description of the room

How does the room in hell in the first scene of the French play Huis Clos (No Exit in English) by Jean-Paul Sartre look like and how does Joseph Garcin react to it?
4
votes
1answer
307 views

A quote supposedly by Jean de La Fontaine

So, my Latin textbook, Hereditas Linguae Latinae, tells me (in the lesson about deponent verbs) that Jean de La Fontaine wrote, at the end of his fable The Cock and the Jewel, a Latin saying Stulti ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

A quote supposedly from Gustave Flaubert

So, do some of you happen to know, did Gustave Flaubert really say Pulchritudo vitae in vico, ea videtur solummodo a poetis, ea non videtur a hominibus in vicis. or anything like that? If so, where? ...
3
votes
1answer
36 views

19th-century French “flash fiction” writer/journalist

I'm trying to find the name of a fin-de-siècle writer/feuilletoniste/journalist who wrote very short fiction pieces based on crime stories in the Paris newspapers. A collection of these was published ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

What are the duties of a “receveur particulier”?

In Zola's Rougon-Macquart novels, specifically La Fortune des Rougon, set in December 1851, around the time of Napoleon III's coup d'etat, Pierre Rougon seeks to obtain the post of "receveur ...
4
votes
0answers
44 views

When and where did Maximilian first meet Valentine?

I am currently reading The Count of Monte Cristo (Wordsworth Classics English translation, complete and unabridged) and have reached page 603/875 = 69%. Around p400 the author introduces us to an ...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

Source of Diderot quote about tools and ideas

In the German book Usability und UX kompakt by Michael Richter and Markus Flückiger (Springer, 2016, page 159), I found the following quote, which the authors attribute to Denis Diderot: Die einen, ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Who does “he” refer to in this passage from Les Miserables?

In the following passage from Les Miserables, with characters Mr. Thenardier and Jean Valjean, who does the bold "he" refer to? Be that as it may, on entering into conversation with the man, sure ...
2
votes
1answer
310 views

Meaning of the prose of Monsieur Jourdain

I just stumbled across the expression in Molière's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme of Monsieur Jourdain having been speaking prose for all of his life. As far as I understand this is used today as a ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Meaning of “temporary absolution” in Maizeroy's “The Confession”

What is "temporary absolution" in the quoted passage from "The Confession" by René Maizeroy? She grew excited, sobbed, seemed enervated and worn out, as if she were still burning from her lover’s ...