Works of Guy de Maupassant

by Leo Tolstoy

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Guy de Maupassant was a popular 19th century French writer, considered one of the great innovators of the modern short story. Tolstoy, at the prompting of a friend, read a collection of Maupassant’s stories in 1881, shortly after the Russian novelist’s radical conversion. Because of Tolstoy’s newfound zeal for ascetic Christianity, he found Maupassant’s works trivial and overly sensual. In this essay, Tolstoy, while he comments on Maupassant specifically, lays out his new framework for evaluating literature according to the values of ascetic (and at times Gnostic) Christianity. This framework would go on to shape all of Tolstoy’s later works, including Father Sergius and The Kreutzer Sonata.

Kathleen O’Bannon
CCEL Staff
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About Leo Tolstoy
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Leo Tolstoy
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