The WEIRD TALES of Guy de Maupassant

SFFaudio Commentary

The Weird Tales of Guy de MaupassantAfter listening to the excellent Who Knows? by Guy de Maupassant, found in H.P. Lovecraft’s Book Of The Supernatural, I’ve been looking for a definitive source for all of de Maupassant’s weird tales. I haven’t found one. I read somewhere that about 10% of his stories were tilted towards the weird, supernatural, or horror, but I haven’t seen the breakdown anywhere. The man, it says on Wikipedia, “authored some 300 short stories.” They were, of course, written in French, so there’s also the small matter of matching of various English translations of French titles – so it isn’t all completely straightforward. In the process of looking for it though I’ve learned much that I’ve found interesting.

For instance, did you know that Guy de Maupassant was the nephew of the novelist Gustave Flaubert?

Or, that he knew Henry James?

Or, that while still a youth he was shown a mummified hand by Algernon Swinburne?

I like all those facts!

So, I’m starting a list or a series of lists to track and match the various SFF related Guy de Maupassant stories I find.

Weird or weirdish:
Who Knows? – the narrator experiences strange things with the furniture of his house.
The Diary Of A Madman (aka A Madman) – a murderous judge – it’s SPOOKY, SCARY, but has no supernatural elements.
The Hand (aka The Flayed Hand) – posted about HERE.
The Inn – said to be similar to Stephen King’s The Shining, a BBC audio drama adaptation exists.
A Night in Paris (aka A Queer Night in Paris?)- ‘a paranoid nightmare: the narrator feels compelled to walk the streets’
The Horla (1887) – a diary of a man haunted by an invisible being – podcast HERE, posted about HERE.

Said to be weird:
The Englishman
The Apparition
The Specter
The Ghost
The Story Of A Law Suit
Was It A Dream?
Was He Mad?
The Heritage
The Olive Grove
A Traveller’s Tale
The Grave
Moonlight
The Moribund
The Horrible
The Man With Blue Eyes
Little Louise Roque
Mad
Beside a Dead Man
The Golden Braid
He?
A Dead Woman’s Secret
A Night In Whitechapel
A Widow
After Death
Belhomme’s Beast
Christmas Eve
Countess Satan
Graveyard Sirens
Room No. Eleven
The Blind Man
Coco
The Mannerism
The Dead Girl

From “Contes fantastiques complets“:
La Main d’écorché
Le Docteur Héraclius Gloss
Sur l’eau
Magnétisme
Rêves
La Peur
Le Loup
Menuet
La Légende du mont Saint-Michel
Conte de Noël
La Mère aux monstres
Auprès d’un mort
Apparition
Lui?
La Main (La main)
La Chevelure
Le Tic
La Peur
Un fou?
A vendre
L’Inconnue
Lettre d’un fou
Sur les chats
Un cas de divorce
L’Auberge
Le Horla
Madame Hermet
La Morte
La Nuit
Un portrait
L’Endormeuse
L’Homme de Mars
Qui sait?

The Morbid, Mysterious and Macabre in the Tales of Guy de Maupassant: |PDF|

The Flayed Hand (1875; a.k.a. The Hand; The Englishman)
On the River (1881)
Graveyard Sirens (1881; a.k.a. Tombstones; Grave-Walkers)
Am I Insane? (1882)
Magnetism (1882)
The Blind Man (1882)
Fear (1883; a.k.a. The Traveler’s Story)
At Sea (1883)
Beside a Dead Man (1883; a.k.a. Beside Schopenhauer’s Corpse; The Smile of Shopenhauer)
The Mad Woman (1883)
The Spectre (1883; a.k.a. The Apparition; A Ghost; The Story of the Law-Suit)
The White Wolf (1883; a.k.a. The Wolf)
A Miracle (1883)
Revenge (1883; a.k.a. Moiron)
The Orphan (1883)
The Terror (1884; a.k.a. He?)
Denis (1884)
From the Tomb (1884; a.k.a. The Spasm)
Suicides (1884)
The Grave (1884)
Letter Found On A Corpse (1884; a.k.a. Found On A Drowned Man; The Drowned Man)
The Golden Braid (1885; a.k.a. A Tress of Hair; The Head of Hair; One Phase of Love)
Coco (1885)
A Mother of Monsters (1885; a.k.a. A Strange Traffic)
After Death (1885; a.k.a. A Father’s Confession)
Room No. Eleven (1885)
A Vendetta (1885; a.k.a. Semillante)
Little Louise Roque (1886; a.k.a. The Case of Louise Roque)
The Diary of a Madman (1886; a.k.a. The Madman)
The Horla (1886)
On Cats (1886)
Solitude (1886)
The Inn (1887; a.k.a. The Hostelry)
The Devil (1887)
Was it a Dream? (1889)
The Magic Couch (1889)
The Drowned Man (1890; a.k.a. The Parrot)
Who Knows? (1890)

Not weird, but still good:
The Necklace (aka The Diamond Necklace, aka La Parure) – a beautiful woman has a great fall – posted about HERE, and HERE, and there’s a play |PDF| and here’s a |PDF| of the story too.
The Piece Of String (aka A Piece Of Yarn) – Normandy farmers are all alike, and that’s the problem for one of them. |PDF|

More resources:
The Entire Original Maupassant Short Stories by Guy de Maupassant (translated by Albert M.C. Mcmaster, A.E. Hnderson, Mme. Quesada and others) |ETEXT|

Posted by Jesse Willis

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One thought to “The WEIRD TALES of Guy de Maupassant”

  1. The book for which you are looking is THE DARK SIDE: TALES OF TERROR AND THE SUPERNATURAL, a collection of 31 stories by Maupassant (with an introduction by Ramsey Campbell), published by Carroll & Graf in the 1990s. It is out of print now, but it does not seem very hard to find.

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