Events/Cultural programme

Book Club #5

Bel-Ami, by Guy de Maupassant (1885)

"Il s’était imaginé jusque-là que pour aborder et conquérir une de ces créatures tant désirées, il fallait des soins infinis, des attentes interminables, un siège habile fait de galanteries, de paroles d’amour, de soupirs et de cadeaux. Et voilà que tout d’un coup, à la moindre attaque, la première qu’il rencontrait s’abandonnait à lui, si vite qu’il en demeurait stupéfait".

The novel is set in Paris in the upper-middle class environment of the leading journalists of the newspaper La Vie Française and their friends. It tells the story of Georges Duroy, who has spent three years in military service in Algeria. After working for six months as a clerk in Paris, an encounter with his former comrade, Forestier, enables him to start a career as a journalist.

From a reporter of minor events and soft news, he gradually climbs his way up to chief editor. Duroy initially owes his success to Forestier’s wife, Madeleine, who helps him write his first articles and, when he later starts writing lead articles, she adds an edge and poignancy to them.