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Bel-ami (Classics) by Guy de Maupassant
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Bel-ami (Classics) (original 1885; edition 1975)

by Guy de Maupassant, D. Parmee (Translator)

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1,585None4,583 (3.82)91
Member:djScrawl
Title:Bel-ami (Classics)
Authors:Guy de Maupassant
Other authors:D. Parmee (Translator)
Info:Penguin Classics (1975), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant (1885)

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English (20)  French (2)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Oh, how much I hate the main character!! A young man who owns nothing slowky but steadily climbs the social ladder, by using lies, betrayal, manipulation of mostly women and young girls.

Hadn't it been a 1001-book, I wouldn't have made it past the half-way mark. But it is and I finished it. I'm so happy I'm done :-) ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Apr 2, 2014 |
Reseña de Fantasía Mágica

3.5
Bel Ami es una novela muy curiosa. El protagonista no es el clásico héroe, ni tampoco es un anti-héroe. George Duroy, a quien comienzan a llamar Bel Ami gracias a una niñita (eso me pareció muy simpático), es un personaje que me resultó muy difícil de querer, porque pese a todo, me pareció falto de carisma.

Bel Ami es considerado encantador por todos, pero en realidad es cobarde, envidioso, desagradecido, arrogante, traicionero, codicioso, mujeriego, ambicioso e insensible (si, todo eso); y con el correr de la historia se vuelve cada vez más mesquino. Sus cualidades se van potenciando, alimentándose a si mismas a medida que logra sus objetivos, y aún así no es feliz.
Nunca está conforme, siempre encuentra un punto de comparación con alguien que tiene más que él y lo desea, valiéndose de cualquier método para conseguirlo.
Se aprovecha de las mujeres solitarias con maridos importantes, las seduce, las usa y luego las rechaza. Algunas se obsesionan con él al extremo de resultar patéticas, como es el caso de la mujer de Walter que se rebaja hasta límites insospechados por seguir siendo objeto de las "atenciones" de Bel Ami.
Cuando uno cree que finalmente está mostrando un poco de humanidad, hace algo que nos saca del error inmediatamente.

Se lee muy rápido y está escrito de forma muy amena -sobre todo considerando la época en que fue creado-, y si bien se hacen referencias sutiles, no hay una sola escena de sexo.
Este libro genera sentimientos encontrados hacia el protagonista y produce intriga sobre cómo irá a terminar. ( )
  outlanders22 | Sep 21, 2013 |
A cynic book about unlimited ambition, lust, manipulation and greediness. But also full of sensitivity and psychological analysis. A formidable fresco of belle époque Parisian life. ( )
  Miguelnunonave | Aug 8, 2013 |
"Bel-Ami" is the nickname given to Georges Duroy, a young man of humble origins who arrives in Paris in 1880 after serving in the cavalry. Duroy is almost penniless, but he has ambition, charm, good looks, and is utterly without scruples. He makes friends with a newspaper reporter and, largely at the insistence of the reporter's young and lovely wife, is invited to submit an article on his experiences with the army in Algeria. The wife helps him write the article, just as she has ghostwritten all of her husband's articles, and soon Duroy finds himself employed as a reporter.

Maupassant's depiction of the Paris press is remarkably similar to that of Honoré de Balzac some fifty years earlier in his novel Lost Illusions. Reporters compose interviews with people they've never met and stories about things that never happened. They write reviews of plays they haven't seen. And newspapers are closely tied financially to the politicians they support, manipulating the news for their mutual gain.

Along with the materialism and absence of integrity comes sexual intrigue. Adultery is as common as prostitution, and Duroy takes full advantage of both. Women are the key to power, not only because they hold the reins of the social world, but because of the secrets they can pry from a husband and pass on to a lover (and vice-versa). Trading on his handsome face, Duroy seduces one woman after another, using them as rungs on his ladder to the top.

Bel-Ami comments on contemporary political events and personalities, substituting names and places in a way that would be transparent to the French reading public in 1885. Footnotes explain these references, but it isn't necessary to understand the political background to enjoy the novel. If anything, though, Bel-Ami is a bit on the shallow side for a nineteenth century novel, with a relatively simple and straightforward plot and a small cast of characters--attributes you might expect from a novelist who was primarily a writer of short stories. ( )
6 vote StevenTX | May 27, 2013 |
For a novel published in 1885 and set in the Paris of that period, this novel has a remarkably modern feel. It's about sleazy journalism, corrupt politicians, sex, money and power. And through it all is the Bel-Ami of the title - Georges Duroy, who uses his liaisons with rich and / or powerful women to achieve the wealth and social position he craves. Bel-Ami is the nickname given to him by the daughter of a mistress. It means "handsome (or beautiful) friend", but the nickname, like almost everything else about Georges, is deceptive. As handsome as he is, there's nothing in the least bit friendly about Georges.

I love so much about this book. I love the straightforward, accessible language, the believable dialogue and the descriptions of Paris life in 1885. I love the use of humour, such as in the duelling scene. I love the poignancy of some of the scenes: for example the death of a secondary character, Forrestier, which is masterfully written.

However, the character of Georges Duroy is the novel's greatest achievement. He is the centre around whom everyting turns and he is a fascinating creation. De Maupassant initially evokes sympathy for Georges. He is poor, and while ambitious, he suffers humiliation because of his poverty. But any sympathy is stripped away as the narrative progresses. Georges is a person who can never be content with what he has. Each gain, each achievement only leads to more envy and increased greed. In another novel, a character like this would ultimately get his comeuppance. But not here. George goes from success to success, taking every opportunity presented to him with cynical disregard for anyone other than himself. As a character, Georges is both horrifying and compelling.

This novel is a wonderful illustration of how a total lack of virtue can bring great rewards. There is no doubt that this remains as true today as it was in Paris in 1885. ( )
  KimMR | Apr 2, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (68 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Guy de Maupassantprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bac, FerdinandIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bakker, MargotTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caproni, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cuijlenborg, Hans vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Springer, F.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Quand la caissière lui eut rendu la monnaie de sa pièce de cent sous, Georges Duroy sortit du restaurant.
After changing his five-franc piece Georges Duroy left the restaurant.
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Nederlandse ed. ook verschenen o.d.t.: Vrindje, De strever, Adonis
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140443150, Paperback)

Guy de Maupassant's scandalous tale of an opportunistic young man corrupted by the allure of power, "Bel-Ami" is translated with an introduction by Douglas Parmee in "Penguin Classics". Young, attractive and very ambitious, George Duroy, known to his admirers as Bel-Ami, is offered a job as a journalist on La Vie francaise and soon makes a great success of his new career. But he also comes face to face with the realities of the corrupt society in which he lives - the sleazy colleagues, the manipulative mistresses and wily financiers - and swiftly learns to become an arch-seducer, blackmailer and social climber in a world where love is only a means to an end. Written when Maupassant was at the height of his powers, "Bel-Ami" is a novel of great frankness and cynicism, but it is also infused with the sheer joy of life - depicting the scenes and characters of Paris in the belle epoque with wit, sensitivity and humanity. Douglas Parmee's translation captures all the vigour and vitality of Maupassant's novel. His introduction explores the similarities between Bel-Ami and Maupassant himself and demonstrates the skill with which the author depicts his large cast of characters and the French society of the Third Republic. Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) was born in Normandy. By the late 1870s, the first signs of syphilis had appeared, and Maupassant had become Flaubert's pupil in the art of prose. He led a hectic social life, and in 1891, having tried to commit suicide, he was committed to an asylum in Paris, where he died two years later. If you enjoyed "Bel-Ami", you might like William Makepeace Thackeray's "Vanity Fair", also available in "Penguin Classics".

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:58 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Maupassant's second novel, Bel-Ami (1885), is the story of a ruthlessly ambitious young man (Georges Duroy, christened 'Bel-Ami' by his female admirers) making it to the top in fin-de-siecle Paris. It is a novel about money, sex, and power, set against the background of the politics of the French colonization of North Africa. It explores the dynamics of an urban society uncomfortably close to our own and is a devastating satire of the sleaziness of contemporary journalism."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140443150, 0141196793

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