On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins discuss Guy de Maupassant’s short story “The Necklace.” Also, don’t forget to register for the Back to School online conference on August 26-29, 2019 with Cindy and Angelina, as well as Thomas Banks and Adrienne Freas! Before getting into the short story discussion, Cindy and Angelina chat about what a “commonplace book” is and how they each go about recording quotes and thoughts, including the QuoteBlock app.
First off, Angelina gives us a little background on the author Guy de Maupassant and some information on French naturalism. Then she digs into her thoughts on how this story is a fairy tale in reverse and what that might mean in context. Cindy points out the perfection of de Maupassant’s writing and his economy of style. They also bring up some of the formal elements of the story, particularly the key role the reversal takes in the plot. The main themes they find in “The Necklace” touch on common human struggles with ambition, discontentment, loss, suffering and gratitude.
Listen to The Literary Life:
Ep 16: “Why I Write” by George Orwell
Ep 17: “The Celestial Omnibus” by E. M. Forster
Ep 18: “Vulture on War” by Samuel Johnson
On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer
by John Keats
Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow’d Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific—and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Kristen Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
In This House of Brede by Rumor Godden
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