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Afloat [Paperback]

By Guy de Maupassant, Douglas Parmee (Translator) & Douglas Parmee (Introduction by)
Our Price $ 11.90  
Retail Value $ 14.00  
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Item Number 426227  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   105
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 29, 2008
Publisher   NYRB Classics
ISBN  1590172590  
EAN  9781590172599  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Afloat, originally published as Sur l'eau in 1888, is a book of dazzling but treacherously shifting currents, a seemingly simple logbook of a sailing cruise along the French Mediterranean coast that opens up to reveal unexpected depths, as Guy de Maupassant merges fact and fiction, dream and documentation in a wholly original style. Humorous and troubling stories, unreliable confessions, stray reminiscences, and thoughts on life, love, art, nature, and society all find a place in Maupassant's pages, which are, in conception and in effect, so many reflections of the fluid sea on which he finds himself–happily but forever precariously–afloat. Afloat is thus a book that in both content and form courts risk while setting out to chart the meaning, and limits, of freedom, a book that makes itself up as it goes along and in doing so proves as startling and compellingly vital as the paintings of Maupassant's contemporaries van Gogh and Gauguin.
"Douglas Parmee's fresh new translation brings to light a book that, more so than any of his renowned short stories, shows Maupassant the man, as he might have been known to contemporary readers of his copious journalism in fin de siecle Paris. Recounting a short week spent yachting on the French Riviera, Maupassant's fictionalized memoir crystallizes the mixed motives that lead to so many of our vacations. He is at once cynical and Romantic; he is a misanthrope who can't get enough of man; he is a sophisticated raconteur who wants to talk to himself for a while." —Benjamin Lytal, The New York Sun

“In this deceptively simple way, he is a heart-stopping all the best travel books, it embraces reflections on a variety of subjects unconnected with travel...It has spontaneity, gaiety and freshness.” —Sara Wheeler, Daily Telegraph

“He describes–very beautifully–what he found essential in his cruise: the wind, the sounds, the odours, the mountains, the islands, and the effect they had on him and on his imagination...He can be compassionated, ecstatic about nature, jaundiced, cynical, arrogant, anguished. His diatribe against war is superb.” —Times Literary Supplement

“Along with serious reflections upon the human condition, this journal contains more whimsical wool-gatherings, touches of travelogue, much mischievous social observation on the boating set of the Cote d'Azur, as well as some enthusiastic outpourings upon the sheer joy of sailing. All of it is recorded with the precision you would expect of this master-miniaturist and with an easy sense of fun you might not.” —Scotsman

“M. De Maupassant writes thoughts such as were suggested by the rocking of the waves.” –The New York Times

“In M. Guy de Maupassant's Afloat, there is a good deal that is graceful and suggestive, besides the strictly descriptive passages, in which the French writer's skill is always noticeable. The book records the indolent pleasures of a summer cruise from Antibes to Monaco in a little yacht, the Bel Ami (a decidedly significant name to persons familiar with M. de Maupassant as a novelist) and pictures of the coast, of smooth and squally days, reflections, philosophical and other, and a hundred pretty trifles of thought and diction are united in it. It is very light and very pleasant reading…” –The Independent [UK]

“M. de Maupassant gives one delightful notes and jottings of a leisurely voyage in a roomy and comfortable yacht, appropriately called the ‘Bel-Ami,' along the Riviera coast…the successive papers in the little book are exquisitely enjoyable reading.” –The Independent
Guy de Maupassant (1850—1893), after serving in the Franco-Prussian War, became close friends with Flaubert and his circle. He wrote hundreds of short stories as well as novels and verse. In his later years, he suffered from mental illness, and he died in an asylum.

Douglas Parmée (1914-2008), a lifetime fellow of Queens College, Cambridge, has translated works by Flaubert, Zola, Baudelaire, and Chamfort, among others, including the NYRB Classics titles, The Child by Jules Vallès and Afloat by Guy de Maupassant. He is a past winner of the Society of Authors Scott-Moncrieff Prize for French translation. 

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More About Guy de Maupassant, Douglas Parmee & Douglas Parmee

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Guy de Maupassant (1850-93) was a literary disciple of Flaubert and one of the group of young Naturalistic writers that formed around Zola. Maupassant's contribution to the Naturalists collaborative collection of tales, Les Soirees de Medan, was 'Boule de suif', which remains one of the most well-known of the hundreds of stories he wrote over the course of his life and on which his literary reputation now rests. He also wrote six novels, including Bel-Ami (1885) and Pierre et Jean (1888).
Sian Miles was born in Wales and educated there and in France where she lived for many years. She now teaches at Warwick University and is the author of an anthology of the writings of Simone Weil, and translations of George Sand's Marianne, Violet Trefusis's Echo, and has collaborated on Paul Valery's Cahiers/Notebooks.

Guy de Maupassant was born in 1850 and died in 1893.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
thumping good read  Dec 2, 2008
a wonderous interplay between sea and society, poorGuy he craved society yet it anoyed him. he seems happiest talking about the sea and gossiping. his meditations are a good read take it with you on a criuse, l did
Afloat  Nov 22, 2008
I read a review in the monthly magazine from Boat US that indicated a good nautical read. This book was a bummer on wheels. Too heavy, the author wrote it and then killed himself by not treating a case of syfiliis. hit yourself repeatedly with a hammer, you would have more fun
From rant to poetry  Oct 9, 2008
Slim book of essays written during a sailing journey, the tone ranges from beautiful, poetic descriptions of the ocean, weather, islands, and coastlines to--at the drop of a hat--hilarious rants against humanity. Imagine a colicky Thoreau and you've got the idea. Well worth the journey: sharply observed sketches of our world a century ago but as timely and accurate in its depictions of human conflict as anything written today.
Afloat  Jun 15, 2008
As a sailor I read this little book like reading a yacht's log book. The device is fresh and alive. Much of how he wrote it captures the feeling of being with him on that yacht with the wind taking Guy, you and a wide range of thoughts anywhere on a whim. You are always brought back to the "Bel-Ami" itself to move forward-book as yacht. It has been said that to understand the French you had to read Guy de Maupassant. Well, to understand the spirit of the sailing life it doesn't hurt to read him either. Delightful.
Maupassant's Diary  Apr 28, 2005
"Afloat" does not resemble anything else written by Maupassant. It is a true story (as indicated at the end) and is based on his personal travel. It has some amusing descriptions of the French Reviera and Monaco, but also contains some grim philosophical thoughts that explain some things about Maupassant, not the least of which is why he ended up in a mental hospital.

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