Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant (August 5, 1850 – July 6, 1893) was a popular 19th-century French writer, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and one of the form's finest exponents.
A protégé of Flaubert, Maupassant's stories are characterized by their economy of style and efficient, effortless dénouements. Many of the stories are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s and several describe the futility of war and the innocent civilians who, caught in the conflict, emerge changed. He authored some 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and one volume of verse. The story "Boule de Suif" ("Ball of Fat", 1880) is often accounted his masterpiece. His most unsettling horror story, "Le Horla" (1887), was about madness and suicide, and has been cited as an inspiration for American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu." Fans of the Star Trek television series have suggested writer/producer Gene L. Coon modified the neologism "horla" to "horta" in naming the silicon-based creature which appeared in the series' "Devil in the Dark" episode
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A legal kiss is never as good as a stolen one.
Any government has as much of a duty to avoid war as a ship's captain has to avoid a shipwreck.
History, that excitable and lying old lady.
How strange and changeful is life! How small a thing is needed to make or ruin us!
I have come to the conclusion that the bed comprehends our whole life; for we were bom in it, we live in it, and we shall die in it.
It is the encounters with people that make life worth living.
Legitimized love always despises its easygoing brother.
Love is always love, come whence it may. A heart that beats at your approach, an eye that weeps when you go away are things so rare, so sweet, so precious that they must never be despised.
Love means the body, the soul, the life, the entire being. We feel love as we feel the warmth of our blood, we breathe love as we breathe air, we hold it in ourselves as we hold our thoughts. Nothing more exists for us.
Military men are the scourges of the world.
Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.
Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.
Since governments take the right of death over their people, it is not astonishing if the people should sometimes take the right of death over governments.
We live always under the weight of the old and odious customs... of our barbarous ancestors.
You have the army of mediocrities followed by the multitude of fools. As the mediocrities and the fools always form the immense majority, it is impossible for them to elect an intelligent government.