Date Read: 10th June 2013
Available Online?: YES.
Briefly: The narrator boards a steamer for a short trip from Havre to Trouville. While onboard he bumps into his old friend Henri Sidoine, who explains why he hates the English so much.
Afterthoughts: A reasonably amusing tale from Maupassant which is laced with anti-English sentiment. However, this isn’t a down-and-out exercise in Maupassant taking a pop at his across the Channel neighbours though. Rather it’s a brief exploration into the lure of the exotic, and what can occur when the shine of superficial attraction wears off.
Notable Quote: “It must not be forgotten either that we Frenchmen adore foreign women. As soon as we meet a Russian, an Italian, a Swede, a Spaniard, or an Englishwoman with a pretty face, we immediately fall in love with her. We enthuse over everything which comes from outside–clothes, hats, gloves, guns and–women. But what a blunder!
“I believe that that which pleases us in foreign women is their accent. As soon as a woman speaks our language badly we think she is charming, if she uses the wrong word she is exquisite and if she jabbers in an entirely unintelligible jargon, she becomes irresistible.”
*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.