Devouring De Maupassant: At Sea

Title: At Sea.
Date Read: 30th May 2011
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: On hearing the news of a fatal shipwreck, the narrator recounts the dreadful tale of a fishing accident, and how the situation became all the worse because of a brother’s greed.
Afterthoughts: I can’t recall thus far ever having read a nautically-themed story from Maupassant, so this one turned out to be a bit of a novelty for me. I rather enjoyed it too. Aside from offering something of an impression of what dangers a trawlerman can face on the stormy seas, Maupassant raises a powerful moral dilemma: what is more important to a skipper, profit, or the well being of a fellow crew member; a crew member in this case, who just happens to be the skipper’s own brother. I won’t tell you which one he picks.
Notable Quote: The man cried out in agony. They all ran to his aid. His brother left the rudder. They all seized the rope, trying to free the arm it was bruising. But in vain. “We must cut it,” said a sailor, and he took from his pocket a big knife, which, with two strokes, could save young Javel’s arm.

Rating: ★★★★☆

*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).