LATELY — 21 February 2001

Maupassant and Fool Translators

The “Translator’s Note” to Guy de Maupassant: Selected Short Stories:

The stories in this selection have been arranged in the order of publication under Maupassant’s own name. Thus The Hand, which originally appeared under a pseudonym in 1875, is placed according to its publication under the author’s real name in 1883. I make no apology for the omission of The Necklace, with its notorious trick ending so often regarded–quite unjustly–as typical of its author. In its place I have included The Jewels, a vastly superior story in which the reader guesses the truth long before the hero, and the ending of which is sad, but no surprise.


Well Fuck You Very Much, Roger, for your truly senseless omission. If you really have to leave a story out, can you please not say that it has a “notorious” and “trick” ending? Your note immediately made The Necklace the most intriguing story, fool.

But … thank-you internet: The Necklace.

(If you don’t want to read the whole thing but want to know the “notorious trick ending,” read from paragraph 118 to the end. Just know that come the last line, reading only those 15 lines or so aren’t going to give you cause to catch your breath.)