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.

R.C.

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.)