Guy de Maupassant (1850-93) was a literary disciple of Flaubert and one of the group of young Naturalistic writers that formed around Zola. Maupassant's contribution to the Naturalists collaborative collection of tales, Les Soirees de Medan, was 'Boule de suif', which remains one of the most well-known of the hundreds of stories he wrote over the course of his life and on which his literary reputation now rests. He also wrote six novels, including Bel-Ami (1885) and Pierre et Jean (1888). Sian Miles was born in Wales and educated there and in France where she lived for many years. She now teaches at Warwick University and is the author of an anthology of the writings of Simone Weil, and translations of George Sand's Marianne, Violet Trefusis's Echo, and has collaborated on Paul Valery's Cahiers/Notebooks.
Guy de Maupassant was born in 1850 and died in 1893.
Reviews - What do customers think about LA Horla (Petits Classiques Larousse Texte Integral)?
Outstanding! Mar 2, 2004
I simply loved it.A must buy and a great value for your money.
The rest of the story... Aug 26, 2003
The story behind the story is that deMaupassant, at the time he wrote Le Horla, was himself going insane, dying of syphilis. So is the horla in the story only in the story, or did deMaupassant actually think that HE saw the creature? Or did he really see the creature...?
La Horla Apr 26, 2003
This book is written in French. Since I do not reed this language I am unable to review the book. I am looking for one written in English.You should indicate the language the book is written in before selling. I am giving the book to my local library.
Absolutely outstanding May 29, 2002
It's not for no reason that The Horla is widely regarded as the best horror story ever told. I advise anyone who contemplates reading this to pour themselves a good stiff gin before turning the pages!
The Horla is written in the style of a diary, and is set in a rural area of northern France, near the medieval city of Rouen. The author of the diary is a rich, reclusive gentleman who wants for nothing, and spends most his time and energy contemplating the great philosophical questions of life. He enjoys the simple pleasures of his existence - such as watching ships whizz along the Seine.
The story begins in a happy mood with the diarist full of life and complety content, but as the days pass by he becomes ill. At first he believes the ailment is physical, but it soon becomes apparent that the illness is mental. As strange things begin to happen around him - which can only be explained rationally by his own actions of which he is not aware - the reader is drawn into the mystery that forms the crux of the plot: is he really mad, or are supernatural forces at work?
Maupassant leaves us guessing all the way, and while initially it looks like a clear-cut case of madness, the diarist contemplates other, more terrifying explanations of the bizarre incidents that seem to take place in his house. The story ends in a shocking climax - which I won't spoil by revealing it here!
What makes The Horla the masterpiece that it is, is that it "works" on so many levels. The entries in the diary reveal that the author is completely clear-headed and lucid, and because he admits the possibility of being mad, this gives his later ideas of the supernatural the credibility they need to make the reader think twice about his condition. The horror builds gradually, and much of it is left unsaid. The reader is forced to employ a lot of imagination.
This a gem of a tale, and no self-respecting connoisseur of horror worth their salt should go without The Horla on their bookshelf!
The Master of Horror and Terror Jun 30, 2001
We have all heard of Stephen King - but check out Guy De Maupassant. The Horla is probably the greatest short horror story ever written. If you like psychological horror and are looking for a new title or author then I strongly advise you to try the stories of Maupassant. Maupassant (who eventually went insane himsef) knows the real terrors that lurk around us...He's been there... If you want the ultimate collection of his horror fiction then a 'must-buy' is The Divided Self by the same author.