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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bel- Ami

I recently finished a translation (by Douglas Parmee) of Bel- Ami by Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893), kind of a departure from what I've been reading lately, since it is a continental work. This introduces me to de Maupassant as a novelist; My previous knowledge of him came from reading a bunch of his short stories when I was quite young.

I anticipated reading some far- out Symbolist novel along the lines of Huysmans; but Bel-Ami is naturalistic, though not without some elements of horror, and a phantasmagorical atmosphere. Among the things that linger with me are the characters of the poet Norbert de Varenne (modeled on Baudelaire, I would imagine), and the agonizing death of Forestier... Much else besides. Timely as hell considering that France's colonial misadventures in Algeria and Morocco inform the plot of the novel, as well.

De Maupassant died of syphilis at the age of 43...

Two photos of myself: Chirisan, South Korea, 1995, and Vancouver, British Columbia, 2008... before different styles of totems.

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