La concision exemplaire de la nouvelle? Réflexions sur l’art du récit bref chez Maupassant

This study shows how Maupassant’s aesthetic principles lead him, in certain short stories, to expose thematised and implicit content. The absence of didactic discourse and explicit psychological analysis implies that Maupassant is using not only concision but also amplification and repetition to engage the reader and to make him or her aware of the nature and signification of the issues at stake. On a generic level, the short story is conceived not as a constricted version of the novel, an approach I refer to as a “nouvellisme,” but as a configurative and narrative expansion of a crucial moment in a character’s experience. The study thus questions the idea that the short story, because of the constraints of brevity, must above all remain concise and present all aspects of its narrative in an economical and abbreviated way in order to transcend the mere story. (In French)

Hans Färnlöf
University of Stockholm
Volume 50.1–2