Date Read: 15th February 2010
Available Online?: YES (although read for this review was the David Coward translation of the story in A Day in the Country and Other Stories (Oxford University Press)).
Briefly: In response to a letter from a friend asking him to describe how people love in different countries, the narrator relates a tale of a love affair he had while in Algeria, with a woman who goes by the name of Marroca.
Afterthoughts: Exotic, risque and engaging, Marroca turns out to be rather a good story. No doubt taking full advantage of his travels to Northwest Africa, Maupassant’s description of Bougie, Algeria reads like a feature in National Geographic; a real beauty to behold. I also love just how well Maupassant manages to capture in words a real sense of the oppressive heat, both of the region and with regards to the torrent affair that the narrator finds himself engaged in.
Notable Quote: But that other love, sensual love, which has something good, a great deal of good about it, is really terrible in this climate. The heat, the burning atmosphere which makes you feverish, those suffocating blasts of wind from the south, those waves of fire which come from the desert which is so near us, that oppressive sirocco, which is more destructive and withering than fire, that perpetual conflagration of an entire continent, that is burnt even to its stones by a fierce and devouring sun, inflame the blood, excite the flesh, and make brutes of us.
*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.