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Guy de Maupassant's "Pierre and Jean"

  • Nov 13, 2008 · 6:30 PM
  • Mercury Cafe

Since we read Madame Bovary (or are reading for Sunday, Oct 26th) it is only natural that we read Flaubert's disciple Maupassant next. "Pierre and Jean" is a logical step forward for the realist novel. Most of us know Maupassant as a short story, here is Maupassant the novelist in all his glory. It is essentially the story of two brothers whose relationship becomes strained after a surprising revelation. The strain also effects the relationship of the brothers to their mother. What's most interesting is the way in which we are drawn into Pierre's mind and his thought process following the revelation. Then later we get a counter point by being introduced to Jean's thoughts as well. And this happens with the backdrop of the French coast, which Maupassant captures in great but unobtrusive detail. Extremely readable and yet the simplicity of the novel is what makes it great.

(I may change the location after checking with the owner to see if we can seat everyone comfortably or not)

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  • Udayan

    One of the finest novels that I have read. It is pretty flawless in terms of its writing. Consider for example the way it switches from one brother's perspective to another (or rather their internal psychological processes) quite without any seeming effort. Then there is the way that it lives on in my memory as clear episodes (as if I watched a movie). That is how good the clarity of the painting (with words) is. Different people obviously have different reactions to different characters (who they like / dislike) and the story itself. But that aside it's a wonderful read. It took me a little more than 3 hours to finish it. One can't complain about the writing of the story.

    November 14, 2008

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was an excellent selection, off the beaten path of classics, but not a bizarre choice or something hard to slog through. A book discussion succeeds when most or all people have had a chance to finish the novel. This one was a very fast read, but full of thought provoking material.

    November 14, 2008

  • A former member
    A former member

    It might just be the most perfect novel.

    November 14, 2008

  • A former member
    A former member

    Since Maupassant is a relative of mine, I don't feel right about commenting here since my biases would likely interfere with any insight I might share.

    November 13, 2008

5 went

  • Udayan
    Organizer,
    Event Host
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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