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Strong as Death

Guy de Maupassant

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .door of the large drawing-room opened wide once more, and two blond women in white lace, a creamy Mechlin, resembling each other like two sisters of different ages, the one a little too mature, the other a little too young, one a trifle too plump, the other a shade too slender, advanced, clasping each other round the waist and smiling.

The guests exclaimed and applauded. No one, except Olivier Bertin, knew of Annette de Guilleroy's return, and the appearance of the young girl beside her mother, who at a little distance seemed almost as fresh and even more beautiful—for, like a flower in full bloom, she had not ceased to be brilliant, while the child, hardly budding, was only beginning to be pretty—made both appear charming.

The Duchess, delighted, clapped her hands, exclaiming: "Heavens! How charming and amusing they are, standing beside each other! Look, Monsieur de Musadieu, how much they resemble each other!"

The two were c. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Había empezado a leerlo creyendo que iba a ser una novela naturalista más, de esas a las que estoy tan acostumbrada, que pocas veces me sorprenden. Mientras avanzaba con la lectura, me di cuenta de que Fuerte como la muerte no es del montón y, además, de que Maupassant siempre demuestra por qué...more

"He who invented this existence and made man was very blind or very wicked."

A tremendous novel and one that will haunt you for a long while after you finish it. Forget all your stupid literary pretensions and nonsense of the last, say, half a century, and revel in some down-home goodn...more

Voglio un tesor che assai più vale, Voglio la gioventù (W. Goethe)

La prima cosa che ho fatto dopo aver terminato il romanzo è stato verificare quanto fosse successivo a L’eredità

Forte come la morte (Fort comme la mort, 1889)
L'eredità (L'Héritage, 1884)


Having never read anything by Maupassant, I picked this book up six months ago, read about ten pages, and moved on to other books. Having now read through those others, I've returned to finish it. Like many 19th Century books, this one uses a great many words to say not too very much. But one thi...more

Maupassant, a master of the fin de siècle potboiler, meanders along in this entertaning if inessential contribution to a corpus of cherubic French classics. The plot takes second place to the stylish prose, elevating a rather ho-hum tale of a painter’s unfortunate infatuation with a countess’s da...more

Άσμα ασμάτων.

Βάλε με σφραγίδα στην καρδιά σου,
ωσάν σφραγίδα στο μπράτσο σου·
είναι δυνατή η αγάπη σαν το θάνατο
και σκληρός ο πόθος σαν τον άδη·
οι σπίθες της είναι σπίθες της φωτιάς,
φλόγα του Θεού.
Νερά ποτάμια δεν μπορούν
να σβήσουν την αγάπη.

Translator's Preface

--Like Death

There are two main themes to this novel. The main plot is as follows: an artist is involved in a twelve year affair with a married woman. She became his mistress at a very young age, while the artist is certainly a decade or more older than she. As the time passes, the two fall into a relaxed rel...more

Feb 2017 NYRB Book Club Selection

I enjoy Maupassant's short stories, and this was the first longer work of his that I read. At times, I felt it was almost too long, but it is an excellent look at love and value.

Reading Maupassant is always a treat.
I cannot think of any writer whose style is quite as impeccable, whose understanding of and compassion for human nature are deeper.
This is one of his lesser known novels, one that takes place in the Parisian "High Society" of the time, a social gro...more

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