Retrieved 30 November Columbia University Press. Retrieved 6 March In The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Martin Banham. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Harmondsworth: Penguin, , p. Laureates of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Eliot William Faulkner Bertrand Russell. Swami Vivekananda. Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached Atmano mokshartham jagat hitaya cha Bahujana sukhaya bahujana hitaya cha. Shuddhananda Virajananda Swarupananda Paramananda.
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Latin -language thesis on the decline in Italian oil painting in the course of the sixteenth century. Georges Danton. Vie de Michel-Ange Life of Michelangelo.
- The Works of Guy de Maupassant - Wikisource, the free online library.
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Haendel Handel. In English, first four volumes published in one. Henry Holt and Company. Translated by Gilbert Cannan. The House. In English, second three volumes published in one. The Burning Bush. The New Dawn. That only seems to the superficial observer: the cement which binds every artistic production into one whole and so produces the illusion of a reflection of life is not the unity of persons and situations, but the unity of the original, moral relation of the author to his subject. In reality, when we read or contemplate an artistic production by a new author, the fundamental question which arises in our soul is always this: "Well, what kind of a man are you?
How do you differ from all other men whom I know, and what new thing can you tell me about the way we ought to look upon our life? If he is an old, familiar artist, the question is no longer, "who are you? From what new side will you now illumine my life for me? He can write beautifully, and a great deal, but there will be no artistic production. Even so it was with Maupassant in his novels. In his first two novels, especially in the first, Une Vie , there was that clear, definite, new relation to life, and so there was an artistic production; but as soon as he, submitting to the fashionable theory, decided that there is no need whatever for this relation of the author to life, and began to write only in order to faire quelque chose de beau , his novels ceased to be artistic productions.
In Une Vie and Bel-Ami the author knows who is to be loved and who is to be hated, and the reader agrees with him and believes him, believes in those persons and events which are described to him. But in Notre Coeur and in Yvette the author does not know who is to be loved and who is to be hated; nor does the reader know it.
And as the reader does not know it, he does not believe in the events described and is not interested in them. And so, with the exception of the first tow, or, speaking strictly, of the one first novel, all of Maupassant's novels, as novels, are weak; and if Maupassant had left us only his novels, he would be a striking example of how a brilliant gift may perish in consequence of that false milieu in which it was evolved, and of those false theories of art which are invented by men who do not love it and so do not understand it. But, fortunately, Maupassant has written short stories, in which he did not succumb to the false theory which he adopted, and wrote, not quelque chose de beau , but what touched and provoked his moral feeling.
It is in these stories, not in all, but in the best of them, that we see how the moral feeling grew in the author. In this, indeed, does the remarkable quality of every true talent consist, so long as it does not do violence to itself under the influence of a false theory, that it teaches its possessor, leads him on over the path of moral development, makes him love what is worth of love, and hate what is worthy of hatred. An artist is an artist for the very reason that he sees the objects, not as he wants to see them, but as they are. The bearer of talent, -- man, -- may make mistakes, but the talent, as soon as the reins are given to it, as was done by Maupassant in his stories, will reveal and lay bare the subject and will make the writer love it, if it is worth of love, and hate it, if it is worthy of hatred.
What happens to every true artist, when, under the influence of his surroundings, he begins to describe something different from what he ought to describe, is what happened to Balaam, who, when he wanted to bless, cursed that which ought to have been cursed, and, when he wanted to curse, began to bless that which ought to have been blessed; he will involuntarily do, not what he wants, but what he ought to do. The same happened with Maupassant. There has hardly been another such an author, who thought so sincerely that all the good, the whole meaning of life was in woman, in love, and who with such force of passion described woman and the love of her from all sides, and there has hardly been another author, who with such clearness and precision has pointed out all the terrible sides of the same phenomenon, which to him seemed to be the highest, and one that gives the greatest good to men.
The more he comprehended this phenomenon, the more did it become unveiled; the shrouds fell off, and all there was left was its terrible consequences and its still more terrible reality. What Marcus Aurelius said, trying to find means with which to destroy in imagination the attractiveness of this sin, Maupassant does in glaring, artistic pictures, which upset one completely. He wants to laud love, but the more he knew of it, the more he cursed it. He cursed it for the calamities and sufferings which it brings with it, and for the disappointments, and, above all, for the simulation of true love, for the deception which is in it, and from which man suffers the more, the more he abandons himself to this deception.
The might moral growth of the author, during his literary activity, is written in indelible characters in these exquisite short stories and in his best book, Sur l'Eau. And not merely in this discrowning, this involuntary and, therefore, so much more powerful discrowning of sexual love, do we see the author's moral growth; we see it also in all those higher and ever higher demands which he makes on life.
Not only in sexual love does he see the inner contradiction between the demands of the animal and of the rational man, -- he sees it in the whole structure of the world. He sees that the world, the material world, such as it is, is not only not the best of worlds, but, on the contrary, might have been quite different, -- this idea is strikingly expressed in Horla , -- and does not satisfy the demands of reason and of love; he sees that there is a certain other world, or at least there are the demands for such a world, in man's soul.
He is tormented, not only by the irrationality of the material world and the absence of beauty in it, but also by its lack of love, by its disunion. I know of no more heartrending cry of despair of an erring man who recognizes his loneliness, than the expression of this idea in the exquisite story, Solitude. The phenomenon which more than any other tortured Maupassant, and to which he frequently returned, is the agonizing state of loneliness, the spiritual loneliness of a man, that barrier which stands between a man and others, that barrier which, as he says, is felt the more painfully, the closer the bodily contact.
What is it that tortures him? And what would he have? What destroys this barrier, what puts a stop to this loneliness?
Anna Karénine (Le Livre de Poche) (French Edition)
Love, not love of woman, of which he is tired, but pure, spiritual, divine love. He is not yet able to name what he is seeking, he does not want to name it with his lips alone, for fear of defiling his sanctuary. But his unnamed striving, which is expressed by his terror in the presence of solitude, is so sincere that it infects us and draws us more powerfully than many, very many sermons of love, which are enunciated with the lips alone.
The tragedy of Maupassant's life consists in this, that, living in surroundings that are terrible because of their monstrousness and immorality, he by the force of his talent, that unusual light which was in him, broke away from the world- conception of his circle, was near to liberation, already breathed the air of freedom, but, having spent his last strength in this struggle, perished without becoming free, because he did not have the strength to make this one last effort. The tragedy of this ruin consists in the same in which it even now continues to consist for the majority of the so-called men of our time.
Men have in general never lived without an explanation of the meaning of the life they live. Everywhere and at all times there have appeared advanced, highly gifted men, prophets, as they are called, who have explained to men this meaning and significance of life, and at all times the men of the rank and file, who have no strength to make this meaning clear to themselves, have followed that explanation of life which their prophets revealed to them.
This meaning was eighteen hundred years ago simply, lucidly, indubitably, and joyously explained by Christianity, as is proved by the life of all those who have accepted this meaning and follow that guide of life which follows from this meaning. But there appeared men who interpreted this meaning in such a way that it became nonsense. And people are as in a dilemma, -- whether to recognize Christianity, as it is interpreted by Catholicism, Lourdes , the Pope, the dogma of the seedless conception , and so forth, or to live on, being guided by the instructions of Renan and his like, that is, to live without any guidance and comprehension of life, surrendering themselves to their lusts, so long as they are strong, and to their habits, when the passions have subsided.
And the people, the people of the rank and file, choose one or the other, sometimes both, at first libertinism, and then Catholicism. And people continue to live thus for generations, shielding themselves with different theories, which are not invented in order to find out the truth, but in order to conceal it.
And the people of the rank and file, especially the dull ones among them, feel at ease. But there are also other people, -- there are but a few of them and they are far between -- and such was Maupassant, who with their own eyes see things as they are, see their meaning, see the contradictions of life, which are hidden from others, and vividly present to themselves that to which these contradictions must inevitably lead them, and seek for their solutions in advance.
They seek for them everywhere except where they are to be found, in Christianity, because Christianity seems to them to have outlived its usefulness, to be obsolete and foolish and repellent by its monstrosity. Trying in vain to arrive by themselves at these solutions, they come to the conclusion that there are no solutions, that the property of life consists in carrying within oneself these unsolved contradictions.
Having arrived at such a solution, these people, if they are weak, unenergetic natures, make their peace with such a senseless life, are even proud of their condition, considering their lack of knowledge to be a desert, a sign of culture; but if they are energetic, truthful, and talented natures, such as was Maupassant, they cannot bear it and in one way or another go out of this insipid life. It is as though thirsty people in the desert should be looking everywhere for water, except near those men who, standing near a spring, pollute it and offer ill-smelling mud instead of water, which still keeps on flowing farther down, below the mud.
Maupassant was in that position; he could not believe, -- it even never occurred to him that the truth which he was seeking had been discovered long ago and was near him; nor could he believe that it was possible for a man to live in a contradiction such as he felt himself to be living in. Life, according to those theories in which he was brought up, which surrounded him, and which were verified by all the passions of his youthful and spiritually and physically strong being, consists in enjoyment, chief of which is woman and the love of her, and in the doubly reflected enjoyment, -- in the representation of this love and the excitation of this love in others.
ISBN 13: 9782253098386
All that would be very well, but, as we look closely at these enjoyments, we see amidst them appear phenomena which are quite alien and hostile to this love and this beauty: woman for some reason grows homely, looks horrid in her pregnancy, bears a child in nastiness, then more children, unwished-for children, then deceptions, cruelties, then moral sufferings, then simply old age, and finally death. And then, is this beauty really beauty? And the, what is it all for? It would be nice, if it were possible to arrest life. But it goes on.
What does it mean, -- life goes on? Life goes on, means, -- the hair falls out and grows gray, the teeth decay, there appear wrinkles, and there is an odour in the mouth. Even before everything ends, everything becomes terrible and disgusting: you perceive the pasty paint and powder, the sweat, thee stench, the homeliness. Where is that which I served? Where is beauty? And it is all. If it is not, -- there is nothing.
There is no life. Not only is there no life in what seemed to have life, but you, too, begin to get away from it, to grow feeble, to look homely, to decay, while others before your very eyes seize from you those pleasures in which was the whole good of life. More than that: there begins to glint the possibility of another life, something else, some other union of men with the whole world, such as excludes all those deceptions, something else, something that cannot be impaired by anything, that is true and always beautiful.
But that cannot be, -- it is only the provoking sight of an oasis, when we know that it is not there and that everything is sand. Maupassant lived down to that tragic moment of life when there began the struggle between the lie of the life which surrounded him, and the truth which he was beginning to see. He already had symptoms of spiritual birth. It is these labours of birth that are expressed in his best productions, especially in his short stories.
If it had been his fate not to die in the labour of birth, but to be born, he would have given great, instructive productions, but even what he gave us during the process of his birth is much. Let us be grateful to this strong, truthful man for what he gave us. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, It may be copyrighted outside the U.
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