Mademoiselle Fifi

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Copyright: This work is in the public domain in the USA only.

Mademoiselle Fifi -- Boule de Suif.

Guy De Maupassant is considered the greatest French short story writer of all time, and one of the major authors in world literature. Often compared to O’Henry for his simplicity of technique and consciousness of style, his popularity has been steadily increasing. As Joseph Conrad says in his Introduction, his words are not “glass beads but precious gems.” Here’s how Conrad concludes his Preface: “This creative artist has the true imagination; he never condescends to invent anything; he sets up no empty pretences. And he stoops to no littleness in his art—least of all to the miserable vanity of a catching phrase.” The present anthology was translated by Mrs. John Galsworthy, who became more than just an admirer of Guy De Maupassant. Her translations of Guy’s short stories have withstood the test of time. The same can be said about Joseph Conrad’s Preface in which, we as readers, not only will benefit from what he says about the French author as much as what he says about his own outlook on writing. His comments, coming from a non-English-speaking Polish citizen, are equally important for linguistics reasons.