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"The Sequel to a Divorce"

"The Sequel to a Divorce"

Today we examine another one of the 300 short stories written by the French author Guy de Maupassant, who is featured here on Just Listen several times already but a great favorite of this podcast and considered by many, still, to be the father of the short story.

We’ve already talked about Maupassant’s private life and read a few of his stories set during the Franco-Prussian War.  Maupassant was a representative of the naturalist school, depicting human lives, destinies, and social forces in disillusioned and often pessimistic terms. His stories are characterized by economy of style and efficient, seemingly effortless dénouements. Maupassant's naturalism is often harsh and merciless when it comes to depicting human nature. He delighted in clever plotting and the surprising twist of an ending and served as a model for Somerset Maugham and O. Henry in this respect.

Today’s story, while somewhat brief, contains much of the magic that draws the reader again and again to Maupassant’s collections of stories.  Vivid, believable characters caught in extreme situations, a wry author’s critique of their humanity, and the characteristic surprise ending make this one of Maupassant’s signature literary jewels.  Don’t allow the mention of divorce to fool you – our author makes much of it before turning it on its very ear.

And now, “The Sequel to a Divorce” by Guy de Maupassant…we begin…