Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant (1850 – 1893) was a popular 19th-century French writer, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and one of the form’s finest exponents. He delighted in clever plotting, and taking his cue from Balzac, he wrote comfortably in both the high-Realist and fantastic modes; many of his short stories (notably “Le Horla”) describe apparently supernatural phenomena. However, the supernatural in Maupassant is often implicitly a symptom of the protagonists’ troubled minds, as Maupassant was fascinated by the burgeoning discipline of psychiatry. In his later years he developed a constant desire for solitude, an obsession for self-preservation, and a fear of death and crazed paranoia of persecution, that came from the syphilis he had contracted in his early days. On January 2, in 1892, Maupassant tried to commit suicide by cutting his throat and was committed to a celebrated private asylum at Passy, in Paris, where he died on July 6, 1893.

Work on Escape Artists


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