Read Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant Ernest Augustus Boyd Online

bel-ami

 Bel Ami, written at the height of Guy de Maupassant’s powers, is a classic novel of seduction, intrigue, and ruthless social climbing in belle époque Paris.Georges Duroy is a down-and-out journalist from a humble background who engineers a stunning rise to the top of Parisian society through his relationships with influential and wealthy women. Making the most of his char Bel Ami, written at the height of Guy de Maupassant’s powers, is a classic novel of seduction, intrigue, and ruthless social climbing in belle époque Paris.Georges Duroy is a down-and-out journalist from a humble background who engineers a stunning rise to the top of Parisian society through his relationships with influential and wealthy women. Making the most of his charm and good looks (his admirers nickname him “Bel Ami”), Duroy exploits the weaknesses of others to his own advantage—in the process betraying the woman who has most selflessly supported him. Published in 1885, Bel Ami is not only a vivid portrait of a glamorously corrupt and long-vanished Paris, but also a strikingly modern exposé of the destructiveness of unconstrained ambition, sex, and power. Translated from the French by Ernest Boyd...

Title : Bel Ami
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ISBN : 9780307740885
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Bel Ami Reviews

  • Kalliope
    2018-11-30 10:28

    Guy de Maupassant was responsible for a couple of items named Bel-Ami. One was his very successful 1885 novel and the other was his small sailing yacht.Here is what the latter looked like, from a Sale advertisement.Advertisement for the sale of Guy de Maupassant's Yacht 'Bel-Ami' (litho) (b/w photo)In Maupassant’s mind both the novel and the boat must have had a great deal in common, for we must remember that le bateau in French is of a masculine genre. I also see a link in the great deal of pleasure that Maupassant must have had sailing in his boat and in my enjoyment when flowing through his textual Bel-Ami.The story in this book is after all one of a voyage of transformation. It traces the adventures of the scoundrel Georges Duroy as he surfs the seas of Parisian society. He is a real “fripon”, which is, unsurprisingly, a name often given to vessels (incidentally, “Fripon” in Spanish translates as “Bribón”, which is the name of the sailboat of His Royal Majesty, Juan Carlos I, King of Spain). And here is the royal Bribon.Georges Duroy is a lucky man. To begin with, he is beautiful, charming, engaging and.. bewitching. When he also polishes his gear he reaches such a point of elegance that he does not recognize himself when he sees his reflection in the mirror. The novel is the account of how, as if he were a boat, he transforms himself from a provincial raft into a seductive canoe and eventually into a magnificent yacht. I picture the something as alluring as this:In this account of navigation we witness the exploration of Duroy’s remarkable personality who is always on the look out for new opportunities or new ports as he moves through the social, political and economic mesh of Paris in the late nineteenth century. His elegant gliding is possible thanks to his ability to detect from where the wind blows and let himself be carried by that impulse. So, even if he starts out of a standing of poverty and misery, he recognizes the buoy that is his friend, M. Forestier, and succeeds in keeping afloat.And from this timely impulse from the friend Duroy advances and steers on towards success, thanks to his wafting allure. A great part of his journey is accompanied by the crew of women in his life as they lay out the course for him. For amongst his abilities we hear him sing mesmerizing chants to the mermaids of the Parisian salons while he also skirts the shores formed by the cabarets where he can find banks of “other females”. For not all women play the same role. One offers a harbour of love. Another provides a piquant tour along the reservoir of the Folies Bergere. And a very secure anchor is provided by a third, who appropriately lives in Rue Fontaine, until it is time for him to unmoor and head out for a richer heiress and final landing pier.But not all the crossing is made thanks to the dames. Journalism also offers rich waters for further discoveries and, as he embarks in this new career, we follow him to its zenith. For during the Third Republic newspapers acquired a new power and depth in which there was a lot to fish. Duroy recognized this clearly. As hidden finance deals blended with journalism into dense and murky seas, he succeeds in breaking the waves and casting his net in these new profundities and pull out fantastic treasures.As he also learns how to cruise through the currents of public opinion, he begins to scan the coasts of Northwestern Africa, following the wake that the political and economic interests of French Foreign Policy were leaving behind. Duroy proved always ready to catch major opportunities in these colonial maneuverings when France interfered with the interests of Morocco, Algiers and Tunisia.But for the entirety of this voyage, capital is needed if one is not to drift into dangerous currents. And since just floating will not take you anywhere, and just as Duroy is beginning to drown in his own debts he manages to emerge because he starts swimming in other people’s money. As his stroke improves he eventually triumphs as he creams the foam of society’s fortunes and riches. And as he has set his sails his itinerary eventually takes him out into the open ocean of high politics. By then Duroy has earned all his stripes and elevated his name to that of Baron du Roy de Cantel. He is then more than ready to make direct headway towards the not too distant coast of the French Parliament, which standing as a beacon in the horizon, is where he plans to cast anchor, finally.And if Duroy’s story seems like a miracle, we have to remember the recurring analogy established in the novel between our maritime hero and the often mentioned, and fictitious, painting depicting Jésus marchant sur les flots.And if I ever could succeed in life and managed to get myself a Yacht like this one:I would also call it BEL-AMI.

  • Kim
    2018-11-25 05:31

    For a novel published in 1885 and set in the Paris of that period, this novel has a remarkably modern feel. It's about sleazy journalism, corrupt politicians, sex, money and power. And through it all is the Bel-Ami of the title - Georges Duroy, who uses his liaisons with rich and / or powerful women to achieve the wealth and social position he craves. Bel-Ami is the nickname given to him by the daughter of a mistress. It means "handsome (or beautiful) friend", but the nickname, like almost everything else about Georges, is deceptive. As handsome as he is, there's nothing in the least bit friendly about Georges. I love so much about this book. I love the straightforward, accessible language, the believable dialogue and the descriptions of Paris life in 1885. I love the use of humour, such as in the duelling scene. I love the poignancy of some of the scenes: for example (view spoiler)[the death of a secondary character, Forrestier, which is masterfully written (hide spoiler)]. However, the character of Georges Duroy is the novel's greatest achievement. He is the centre around whom everyting turns and he is a fascinating creation. De Maupassant initially evokes sympathy for Georges. He is poor, and while ambitious, he suffers humiliation because of his poverty. But any sympathy is stripped away as the narrative progresses. Georges is a person who can never be content with what he has. Each gain, each achievement only leads to more envy and increased greed. (view spoiler)[In another novel, a character like this would ultimately get his comeuppance. But not here. George goes from success to success, taking every opportunity presented to him with cynical disregard for anyone other than himself.(hide spoiler)]As a character, Georges is both horrifying and compelling. This novel is a wonderful illustration of how a total lack of virtue can bring great rewards. There is no doubt that this remains as true today as it was in Paris in 1885.

  • StevenGodin
    2018-11-25 12:40

    A while back, I happened to read some of De Maupassant's darkly humorous short stories from the 'Parisian affair' collection and found them a pure delight. He no doubt had a talent of capturing the bourgeousie society and predominantly focusing on relationships between men and women, exploring the nature of the human character, thumbs up here.'Bel-Ami' although a solid enough read just didn't leave me with that same feeling of his shorter work. Zola, Balzac and Flaubert I find far more engaging when it comes to expansive novels, and even though this is far from being a huge novel it lacked something to keep me fully absorbed, it didn't help that right from the off I pretty much knew Georges Duroy (Bel-Ami) was a character that was not going to win me over, as it seems he was following a sinful path that had only one destination. Greed.The story itself is a basic one (The power to succeed in journalism regardless of who gets hurt along the way) with the focus more on how certain characters react to certain situations, De Maupassant does have a strength for writing of the bond between people and does that well here, but nothing close to as good as in 'A Parisian Affair'., the panoramic descriptions of Paris's right bank societywas handled really well, making this characteristic my highlight of the whole novel.Nothing is ever enough for Duroy, the son of peasant tavern owners in Normandy all too quickly forgets his past. His lucky break is also quickly forgotten and a growing sense of deserving money and influence starts to grow in his corrupted heart. Duroy appears completely oblivious to the pain caused to others, with both wife and mistress coming off second best to his logic. And the more he climbs social ladders the less of a good-natured person he becomes, and does not see love in anyway shape or form. It's a fear, a fear of failure that drives Duroy forward, De Maupassant builds up the picture slowly, and this does build character development, which goes down well, I was far more interested in wife/mistress aspects of the story rather than Bel-Ami himself. It starts slowly as Duroy takes his first tentative steps into society, but by the end as the issues become more complex the reader is still able to navigate around the world of newspaper, foreign ministers and sexual escapades, to come to the same conclusions as before. That Duroy is dangerous and unlikeable.The cutthroat world of journalism has changed a hell of a lot since this publication, but human behaviour has not, which will see Bel-Ami continue to be classed as a timeless piece of writing.But he is just short of being in the same league as Zola or Balzac. 3.5/5

  • Maureen
    2018-12-12 06:38

    Guy de Maupassant's 1885 portrayal of a scoundrel of the highest order, is set in Paris and was written with great style and not a little humour. It really brings this period to life, and though this isn't edge of the seat stuff, the pages turn just as quickly following the exploits of George Duroy - journalist ( reputedly ) serial adulterer ( certainly ) and general rake, who'll stop at nothing to attain wealth, power, and recognition. Even though this was written in 1885, it seems that nothing much changes, and characters like George's are still alive and kicking!

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2018-11-19 04:27

    826. Bel-Ami = The History of a Scoundrel, Guy de MaupassantBel Ami is the second novel by French author Guy de Maupassant, published in 1885; an English translation titled Bel Ami, or, The History of a Scoundrel: A Novel first appeared in 1903. The story chronicles journalist Georges Duroy's corrupt rise to power from a poor ex-NCO to one of the most successful men in Paris, most of which he achieves by manipulating a series of powerful, intelligent, and wealthy women.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. At the same time, she uses her connections among leading politicians to provide him with behind the scenes information which allows him to become actively involved in politics. Duroy is also introduced to many politicians in Madame Forestier’s drawing-room. Duroy becomes the lover of Forestiers' friend Mme de Marelle, another influential woman. Duroy later tries to seduce Madeleine Forestier to get even with her husband, but she repulses Duroy’s sexual advances and offers that they become true friends without ulterior motives. ...تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سیزدهم ماه ژوئن سال 2006 میلادیعنوان: بل آمی؛ نویسنده: گی دو موپوسان؛ مترجم: علی اصغر سروش؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، 1347؛ در 434 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان فرانسوی قرن 19 م مترجم: پرویز شهدی؛ تهران، مجید، 1384، در 440 ص، شابک: 9644530616؛ داستان در مورد روزنامه نگاری شهرستانی است که برای رسیدن به اهدافش دست به هر کاری میزند. جزء کتابهای نایاب استموپاسان در بل امی به تشریح فضای حاکم بر روزنامه های فرانسه میپردازد. رمان شخصیتی دارد به نام «ژورژ دوروا» که جوانی ست جویای نام و میکوشد با شناختن راههای نفوذ در مطبوعات، نامی برای خود دست و پا کند. اما در این میان به خاطر زیبارو بودن همیشه مورد توجه زنان است و بدین واسطه با قربانی کردن آنان به جایگاه دلخواهش میرسد. ... ا. شربیانی

  • B the BookAddict
    2018-12-08 06:33

    Just who is Bel Ami? 'bel ami' (beautiful/handsome friend) is Georges Duroy, ostensibly a love rat, a man intent on procuring fortune and social status by way of the women in his life rather than by more usual means. A man of humble parentage, he's an ex-soldier with nothing to live on but his desire to do better for himself; trading on his charm, his wit, good looks and sex appeal. Never satisfied with what he has, Duroy furthers his status, employment and bank balance via his wife and his mistresses. His employment as a journalist is procured by meeting an old army buddy; Bel Ami will soon step into that same man’s shoes in more ways than one. The story is back-dropped by events leading to France’s colonization of North Africa.Although published in 1885, Bel Ami is still relevant today: the parallels between our society and late nineteenth century are part of the appeal. Another surprise is considering it’s male author and the book’s ‘hero’, Bel Ami is amazingly devoid of raunchy sex scenes. No sweaty in-depth sex depictions here, De Maupassant rather neatly tells you all he needs to in a single sentence. I kept going back over lines convinced I had missed something. My rusty schoolgirl French is not up to the task so I read the English translation. Does the novel lose something when not read in it’s native tongue? I’ll never know. I do know Du Maupassant has a wonderful way of telling a tale, a gift with dialogue and a rich descriptive talent. You may just read it so you can add French Authors to your credit but you won’t regret it. Basically, Bel Ami is mild enough to pass on to your granny, the book that is, not the man, while remaining relevant enough for everyone else from fifteen year old upwards to ponder as well. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Recommended Reading. 4.75★

  • Manny
    2018-11-26 04:18

    On the surface, the moral of the book is simple: be a complete bastard, treat all the women you meet like dirt and exploit them as much as possible, and you'll be a stunning success. The author stays deadpan thoughout; it's impossible to tell for sure whether he's being ironic, though one strongly suspects he is. Fans of the Flashman series will probably enjoy this too.Isaiah's comment highlighted for me why the book is so fascinating. Most people don't want to admit to themselves how important the connection is between sex and power, but Maupassant puts it center stage. Another work that does the same thing is the musical Evita. I was reminded of the chorus from "Goodnight and thank you", a duet between Eva and Ché:There is no one, no one at allNever has been, and never will be a loverMale or femaleWho hasn't an eye onIn fact they rely onTricks they can try on Their partnerThey're hoping their lover will help them or keep themSupport them, promote them, don't blame themYou're the same

  • Chrissie
    2018-12-13 11:22

    5 starsThis is a really good story and I totally loved it. I mean I LOVED it.When you come across fiction that it this good you must stand up and clap. I am clapping. OK now, Chrissie, explain why you loved it.I loved it because I was laughing from start to finish. I loved it because it has a message that is oh so true. The message being that those who succeed, those who attain power, and position and money and fame very often do it by the least of admirable methods. This dire message is nevertheless achieved in a humorous fashion. No lectures are delivered. This is the way life is, but rather than moaning and complaining we laugh. This is achieved by the author throwing together a group of characters NONE of which are admirable so they all deserve each other and whatever happens to them. You cannot feel sorry for the loosers; they all chose to take part in this fashionable game for sex and power and money and fame. If they loose it is their own fault. That is how I see it. The sex is tantalizing, alluring, seductive. No depictions of crude behavior. Hints are given that attract rather than repulse.OK, what about the narration by John McDonough of this Recorded Books audiobook? The voice of this narrator is that of an elderly man. In the beginning I thought why have they chosen such a voice, given that the main character, journalist Georges Duroy, is a young man? Still it was wonderful. He is telling us a story of the goings-on in Paris in the latter half of the 1800s, so in fact this elderly voice works stupendously. The French pronunciation is spot-on. Yeah, even when the women ball and shriek, it all works. Oh the shrieking, the family eruptions and pissed-off men - I was laughing and laughing and laughing. One more thing: the translation from French to English was marvelous. THIS is a story that is easy to follow, even if it was first published in 1885. The language used made you feel you were in Paris and it made you fully aware that what happened then could just as easily happen today. It is a wonderful translation. I do not know who the translator was! I loved the lines, I forgot to tell you how wonderfully Guy de Maupassant depicts people and places and events, such as marriages and duels and charity fencing competitions! So the translation was perfect too. I am sure Guy de Maupassant would be happy to hear the story being told in this manner. The translation makes this book feel relevant even today. We are delivered a piece of art that speaks to readers more than a century after it was written. This is a book that holds year after year after year, and that is what makes it a true classic. Why is it is still relevant today? Because unfortunately people do NOT change.

  • Carmo
    2018-12-08 09:19

    É capaz de ter uns spoilersitos.George Duroy - mais tarde George Du Roy de Cantel e para sempre Bel-Ami - não tinha bens, não tinha conhecimentos, não tinha família influente. Não tinha nada disto mas queria tudo.Subiu na horizontal, foi suficientemente astuto para perceber que as grandes oportunidades nasciam muitas vezes na intimidade das alcovas. E não era necessariamente entre cônjuges...As mulheres rendiam-se-lhe; conquistou por oportunismo, conquistou por vaidade, conquistou por vingança. Se foi crápula, mais não fez que usar a moeda corrente nos círculos onde se movia a alta sociedade parisiense, que urdia em conluio com a imprensa, as finanças e a politica. Decidia-se assim o destino do país, forjavam-se ou derrubavam-se reputações e fortunas.Bel-Ami só teve que ser frio e calculista para saber antecipar as jogadas que o iriam beneficiar.Até à última página achei possível que o rapaz acabasse por ser alvo de alguma vingança passional, mas não, o mulherio perdoava tudo e pedia mais, os homens até lhe admiravam o espírito obstinado, e o autoproclamado barão George Du Roy de Cantel viu Paris rendida aos seus pés como sempre havia desejado.Contrapondo este ambiente de futilidade e cinismo, este livro também tem algumas passagens muito pertinentes acerca do sentido da vida face à inevitabilidade da morte. Serão o materialismo, o sucesso profissional, e a visibilidade social assim tão importantes tendo em conta que tudo é passageiro e a morte espreita a toda a hora? Ou será que por isso mesmo devemos tentar viver sem limites, sem regras, de maneira a retirar da vida todo o prazer e todo o proveito possíveis?

  • MJ Nicholls
    2018-11-18 05:19

    A rollicking tale from Flaubert’s protégé chronicling the inexorable rise of social climber Georges Duroy. Translated by Douglas Parmée, who rendered A Sentimental Education into irresistibly sumptuous English, Bel-Ami is powered by electrifying dialogue and a terse descriptive prowess Flaubert seemingly overemphasised to Maupassant—the prose is so compact you could park it in your driveway. Duroy is a misanthropic schemer and exploiter, but something of a “working-class hero,” if we understand the term to mean someone who manipulates the money world to his advantage and tramples upon bourgeois society to achieve his fortune—you can’t be content as a poor-rich person without pissing on the little people who helped you up. Far from being a satire, the novel is a comedic romp that somewhat revels in the machinations of upper-middle-class society—clearly Maupassant was not averse to a little strategic foreplay in his career (but he died in the nuthouse, so don’t worry) and the moral lesson is only there if you imagine it to be. Most importantly Bel-Ami will remind you how much naughty sexy fun French classics can be, and still make you feel cultured and refined for reading them.

  • Alice Poon
    2018-12-01 12:18

    This was my first Maupassant novel and it impressed me as a brilliantly told story about how a journalist-turned-parvenu of low-born parentage attained status, wealth and power by sleazy means in Third Republic France.In a witty and crisp style, the story flows smoothly along as the protagonist jumps from one woman’s embrace to the next, gathering each time more worldly benefits like career advancement, social recognition, wealth and status. His only weapon of conquest is his youth and his handsome face, hence his nickname “Bel Ami”, apart from a heart of steel. Maupassant sketches with virtuosity each of his cold, calculated social-climbing ventures with smirking irony, barely hiding his own scornful snide at the Parisian society’s bourgeois-capitalist immorality and journalistic farce.After reading the first few chapters, I thought the protagonist seemed to bear resemblance to Eugene de Rastignac in Balzac’s “Le Pere Goriot” and Julien Sorel in Stendhal’s “The Red and the Black”. When I reached the end though, I had to conclude that Georges Duroy is the true heartless, predatory and hypocritical villain of the three.This novel, being a 19th century work of realist fiction, deals with themes that are just as contemporary as they are historical. It makes one mull over the connection between today’s unbridled capitalism and societies’ lack of scruples.

  • Kyriakos Sorokkou
    2018-11-17 10:38

    Ο Ζωρζ Ντυρουά άλλως ο Φιλαράκος (Bel-Ami) είναι από τους πιο αντιπαθητικούς χαρακτήρες που διάβασα αν όχι φέτος, την τελευταία δεκαετία. Το δε εξώφυλλο ασχολίαστο. . .Όπως λέει και η λέξη άλλως (το οποίο χαρακτηρίζει, τουλάχιστο στην Κύπρο, άτομα του υποκόσμου), ο Ντυρουά είναι ένας λεχρίτης, αχρείος, εκμεταλλευτής, γυναικάς, και δόλιος άνθρωπος. Ευχόμουν να πεθάνει στη μονομαχία, ευχόμουν να πέσει στο Σηκουάνα να πνιγεί, ευχόμουν να τον μαχαιρώσει κανένας σε κανένα σκοτεινό σοκάκι, ευχόμουν να τον κάνει μια μπουκιά κανένας Τ-ΡΕΞ. Αλλά μάταια· σαν κατσαρίδα που επιβιώνει 3-4 μαζικές εξαφανίσεις, ζούσε και μακροημέρευε. Η ιστορία του τελειώνει σαν παραμύθι, στα σκαλιά της εκκλησίας. Παντρεύτηκε 3εις γυναίκες, που όλες είχαν σχέση με άντρες της εφημερίδας που δούλευε (σύζυγοι/κόρες). Από ένας υπάλληλος της κακιάς ώρας με την εκμετάλλευση καταστάσεων, και ανθρώπων ανέβαινε σιγά-σιγά αν όχι στην υπόληψη ατόμων που τον ήξεραν, στα σκαλιά της επιτυχίας. Το μόνο πράγμα που μ’ άρεσε πάνω του (ναι βρήκα κάτι να μ’ αρέσει) ήταν η φιλοδοξία του. Ο Μοπασάν ο οποίος δούλευε και γνώριζε άτομα των εφημερίδων και της καλής κοινωνίας του Παρισιού, καυτηριάζει με το αιχμηρό αυτό μυθιστόρημα την κοινωνική και οικονομική εξαχρείωση δημιουργώντας ένας εξαχρειωμένο ήρωα για να μας οδηγήσει σαν ξεναγός σε ένα κόσμο διεφθαρμένο, γεμάτο συμφέροντα και λαγνεία για χρήμα και δόξα. Η αγάπη είναι (κυρίως) απλά το όργανο για να καταφέρει κάποιος αυτά που επιδιώκει. Τρομάζει το γεγονός ότι 131 χρόνια μετά (1885) η διαφθορά και τα συμφέροντα δεν έχουν αλλάξει, κι αν όχι καθόλου, έμειναν τα ίδια με μικρο-παραλλαγές. Όπως ανέφερε και η φίλη Marilena «Είμαι αρκετά ανεκτική στους χαρακτήρες-καθίκια και αντί να μου προκαλέσει εκνευρισμό,κατέληξα να τον λυπάμαι γιατί έχει πάντα την αίσθηση του ανικανοποίητου» Όντως δεν ικανοποιείτο με τίποτα και σίγουρα αν η ιστορία συνέχιζε θα παρατούσε την 3η του γυναίκα επειδή θα την βαριόταν, θα έπαιρνε πιο ψηλή θέση θα γινόταν υπουργός και λοιπά και λοιπά. Όμως εγώ όπως και ο Μοπασάν δεν είμαι καθόλου ανεκτικός σε χαρακτήρες καθίκια, γιατί όπως τον περιέγραψα και πιο πάνω τόσο όμορφα δημιούργησε ο συγγραφέας αυτό τον χαραχτήρα που κατέληξα να τον μισώ.Διάλεξα αυτό το βιβλίο στο 1ο Φεστιβάλ Βιβλίου Λευκωσίας για καθαρά ματαιόδοξους λόγους. Ο Γκυ ντε Μοπασάν γεννήθηκε τον ίδιο μήνα και μέρα μαζί μου (5 Αυγούστου) και επαγγέλλετο αυτό που ελπίζω να γίνω. Αυτό που δεν ελπίζω είναι το τέλος του. «Πέθανε σε ηλικία 43 χρόνων το 1893 σε ψυχιατρική κλινική αφού είχε αποπειραθεί να αυτοκτονήσει 2 χρόνια πριν τον Δεκέμβριο του 1891.» Νόου θενκς!Και για να επιστρέψω πίσω στο κυρίως θέμα που είναι το βιβλίο, παρόλο που αντιπάθησα τον πρωταγωνιστή αυτό το βιβλίο αξίζει τα 4 παρά αστέρια που του βάζω (3,8) και αξίζει να το διαβάσετε· αλλά προς θεού πιάστε άλλη έκδοση με άλλο εξώφυλλο!! Εγώ απ' ότι φαίνεται θα έχω για πολύ καιρό ακόμα την έκδοση από ΤΟ ΒΗΜΑ του Φιλαράκου του Μοπασάν με τη μούρη του προγονού του Bieber στο εξώφυλλό του.

  • Sketchbook
    2018-12-15 09:29

    Maupassant's accidental careerist moves with charm fromboudoirs to ballrooms in this worldly social comedy. Thestory is very contemporary : it reveals print journalismwith its tricky newshounds, vulgar publishers and ambitiousscenesters - pretentious, posturing - for whom insincerityis almost enough. The observant Maupassant says that toooften nothing succeeds like mediocrity and a big portionof luck. Ironic, pitiless and monstrously humane.

  • Astraea
    2018-11-22 05:34

    بالاخره همت کردم و کتاب تموم شد...بل امی!!!! برعکس لقبی که به شخصیت اصلی داستان داده شده، ژرژ شخصیتی بسیار نفرت انگیز داشت.... رمان شخصیتی دارد به نام " ژورژ دوروا " که جوانی است بي اصل و نسب و فاقد تحصيلات ، جویای نام و شهرستانی و فقیر که میکوشد با شناختن راههای نفوذ در مطبوعات، نامی برای خود دست و پا کند. اما در این میان به خاطر زیبا رو بودن همیشه مورد توجه زنان است و بدین واسطه با قربانی کردن آنان به جایگاه دلخواهش می رسد.

  • Laure
    2018-11-24 07:39

    This book would make an excellent HBO mini series! A glorious amoral tale of rags to riches through fraud, sex and shameless self-aggrandizement. I loved the ferocity of the omniscient narrator. There is something of the satire in this book, and the reader can only but squirm and smile in turn as fortune favours our totally corruptible 'hero'.

  • Jorge
    2018-12-04 12:18

    Cuando era niño, en mis tardes de aburrición, solía acudir a los largos libreros que había en la casa paterna y entretenerme en leer y releer los títulos de todos los libros que contenían esos estantes de color café. Entre todos estos títulos, había algunos que me parecían interesantes, otros misteriosos, otros divertidos, otros sugerían aventura o romance y los que más llamaban mi atención me invitaban incluso a leer la pequeña reseña que se hacía de ellos en la parte posterior. Entre toda aquella colección de libros, había uno en especial cuyo título me resultaba extraño e insípido; su nombre estaba formado sólo por dos palabras ininteligibles para mí y que no me decían absolutamente nada. Su nombre era “Bel Ami”. Estas dos palabras me llevaban a pensar dubitativamente y entre brumas en algo relacionado con el Oriente, tal vez un ser mágico traído de Arabia, un ser indefinido de un lugar indefinido y sólo me causaban extrañeza y hasta rechazo como para no querer acercarme a él. El volumen en cuestión permaneció durante medio siglo apartado por completo de mis más remotas consideraciones de lectura. Un buen y cercano día, leí algunas reseñas de este libro y el tema me interesó sobremanera. El velo de misterio cayó. Bel Ami dejó de ser un ignoto mago oriental para convertirse en un “buen amigo”, en un “bello amigo”, venido no de Oriente sino de la occidental y luminosa ciudad de París de finales del siglo XIX. Georges Du Roy, el “bello amigo” y protagonista de la novela, es un hombre joven llegado de la provincia francesa para probar suerte en París. Su primera temporada en la gran ciudad no la pasa nada bien, sino hasta que se encuentra con un conocido que le ofrece ayuda y esto basta para detonar toda la trama. Du Roy es un hombre sumamente ambicioso y falto de escrúpulos que tiene además algunas habilidades útiles para destacar en la sociedad. Su cualidad más notable es el gran atractivo que tiene con las mujeres, característica de la cual se vale para abrir muchas puertas y posicionarse dentro de la mejor sociedad. Con un estilo sencillo, claro y directo, sin grandes artificios, Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) nos narra la historia de un hombre ambicioso que aprende con el tiempo y bajo la tutela de la sociedad, qué botones debe tocar, con qué intensidad y cuándo tocarlos para que el mundo se le vaya abriendo, no importando a quién o a quiénes perjudique, mientras sus pretensiones se vean colmadas. La historia avanza a grandes zancadas y no nos damos cuenta ni del paso del tiempo ni del avance de las páginas debido a lo ameno e interesante de la historia que casi se convierte en adictiva.Los caracteres están muy bien logrados, incluso, por momentos, asoman avanzados análisis psicológicos de la naturaleza humana en sociedad con una descripción clara y arrebatadora. En otras ocasiones algunos caracteres están cargados de una gran dosis dramática, profundamente humana, pero sin caer en exageraciones. También es de destacar el antagonismo que es capaz de crear el autor entre algunos de ellos, surgido de los intereses contrapuestos que siempre existen entre los hombres.Guy de Maupassant está considerado dentro de la corriente llamada Naturalismo cuyo iniciador fue Emile Zola y realmente ha superado mis expectativas, sin temor a equivocarme puedo afirmar que este libro ha sido una de las mejores novelas que he leído en este año. Muy recomendable.

  • Gary Inbinder
    2018-11-24 08:13

    In Whit Stillman's film, Metropolitan, one character describes his rival as follows in a funny scene at a Debutante Ball after-party:"Rick Von Slonecker is tall, rich, good-looking, stupid, dishonest, conceited, a bully, liar, drunk and thief, an egomaniac, and probably psychotic. In short, highly attractive to women."That description from a 1990's Indie comedy of manners could apply to Georges Duroy, aka Bel Ami, the quintessential unlikeable protagonist of Maupassant's 1885 masterpiece. Granted Duroy is neither alcoholic nor stupid, and he doesn't start out rich. Otherwise, the description suits him to a tee.After serving a hitch as a junior officer in Algeria, Duroy, the son of peasant innkeepers, tries his luck in Paris. A fortuitous meeting with an old friend launches a career in journalism. Soon, Georges is climbing the social ladder over the bodies of several influential society women, including his friend's wife. Dubbed Bel-Ami by one of his mistresses' daughters, he conquers with a charm reminiscent of the amorous cartoon skunk, Pepé Le Pew. The rags to riches story incorporates a clever sub-plot in which a cadre of unscrupulous politicians and their journalist cronies profit from a colonial power grab in North Africa.Duroy reminded me of Edith Wharton's predatory social climber, Undine Spragg (The Custom of the Country). The fictional adventures of such amoral scoundrels are often more engaging than those of worthy protagonists. That's especially true when a great storyteller such as Maupassant or Wharton tells the tale. I highly recommend "Bel Ami" to anyone interested in the Belle Époque, and especially to those who prefer an acerbic alternative to a sugarcoated Cinderella story like the musical "Gigi."

  • Chiara
    2018-12-08 05:21

    Al realismo del romanzo di costume di Flaubert, che con il suo Madame Bovary ha fatto scandalo, oltre che storia, preferisco a mia sorpresa l'allievo: l'antieroe di Maupassant, Bel-Ami, è straordinario.L'egoista, arrivista e sensuale Georges Duroy è la sintesi perfetta di una società viziata e corrotta, la sua totale mancanza di scrupoli lo rende a mio avviso uno dei personaggi più interessanti della letteratura francese dell'Ottocento. Non ci sono in questo protagonista tutti i tratti salienti che portano il lettore a simpatizzare con l'eroe coraggioso, leale, passionale e valoroso; quello che emerge è soltanto la decadente, cinica freddezza necessaria per scalare la società, manipolare i meno furbi e acquistare potere. Mi domando cosa sarebbe successo se Bel-Ami avesse incontrato sulla sua strada una Rossella O'hara, una che gli avrebbe reso la vita un tantino meno in discesa... probabilmente Frank e Claire Underwood avrebbero avuto un'ottima lezione impartita da due Maestri

  • Roberto
    2018-11-27 06:28

    Basic instinctDuroy, soprannominato Bel Ami, è un uomo opportunista, cinico, ambizioso, senza scrupoli, invidioso, dalle capacità mediocri, che non guarda in faccia e non ama nessuno. Non sa scrivere, è abbastanza ignorante, ma fa il giornalista. Non è un nobile, ma fa il nobile. Non è ricco, ma si atteggia a ricco, spendendo e spandendo. Non è interessato alle persone, ma diventa un politico. Non è un gentiluomo, maltratta e tradisce le donne, ma piace alle donne. Capisco di avere sbagliato tutto, nella vita.Esiste una relazione tra interessi, politica e stampa? Sono proprio le qualità positive che crediamo possano portare a posizioni di potere? O non piuttosto la capacità di manipolare gli eventi, di gestire le conoscenze, di usare le persone, di contrattare nell'ombra?Le donne qui, fragili, passionali e fedifraghe, sembrano essere relegate a un ruolo subalterno a quello degli uomini, interessati solamente al raggiungimento del potere.Chi fa la figura migliore? Questi uomini cinici, opportunisti e invidiosi oppure queste donne passionali, emotive e interessate alle relazioni? Forse, tra le righe, Maupassant ci suggerisce la scelta!Bello, bellissimo, irresistibile questo romanzo. Maupassant ha una scrittura raffinatissima, ha continui guizzi di classe e riesce a tratteggiare situazioni anche scabrose in poche elegantissime parole.Un romanzo di una attualità stupefacente. Bellissimo!

  • Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
    2018-12-09 11:14

    If Flaubert has his heroine Madame Bovary, then Guy de Maupassant has his hero, George Duroy, nicknamed "Bel Ami" ( can't understand, however, why in the English translation of the book "Bel Ami" is translated as "Pretty Boy" when it actually means "good friend" and "pretty/beautiful boy" is "beaux garcon"). Both characters, you will either love or hate.Had George Duroy (he later changed it to "George Du Roy" after he succeeded in marrying into money to make his name more aristocratic-sounding) and Madame Bovary gotten married, they would have been a most exciting couple. For one, they are both good-looking, love fame, money and sex. True, they surely would not have been faithful to each other but their mutual infidelity would not have been without any reason. For Madame Bovary, most likely it would be out of boredom, after marital passion had simmered down; for the Pretty Boy, the irresistible temptation that wealthy women drag him into.What I find admirable about Flaubert and De Maupassant is the decency in the manner they write their scandals. A modern author like J.G. Ballard, for example, would describe a lovemaking inside a car even to the last spurt of semen creaming the steering wheel. Most readers would find this repulsive, as too much of anything deadens the senses. De Maupassant, in contrast, simply glides over these scenes like they're unimportant yet the pages throb with eroticism. He simply writes, for example, that: "The cab rocked like a ship." Then he makes the woman tell her lover afterwards: "It is not so nice as in our room." Simple, yet far more effective than having semen on the steering wheel.Don't get the impression, however, that De Maupassant is shy or inhibited. When sex is still in the mind, and when its charm is most potent, his creative juices flow like an endless ejaculation. Witness this scene, for example, when George Duroy has not become a gigolo yet. He is dining with two wealthy, attractive, married ladies--both of whom have the hots for him and who later will become his mistresses. They were dining and, of course, talking. Then:"the conversation, descending from the elevated theories, concerning love, strayed into the flowery garden of refined indecency. It was the moment of clever double meanings; veils raised by words, as petticoats are lifted by the wind; tricks of language; clever disguised audacities; sentences which reveal nude images in covered phrases; which cause the vision of all that may not be said to flit rapidly before the eye and the mind, and allow the well-bred people the enjoyment of a kind of subtle and mysterious love, a species of impure mental contact, due to the simultaneous evocation of secret, shameful, and longed-for pleasures. The roast, consisting of partridges flanked by quails, had been served; than a dish of green peas, and then a terrine of foie gras, accompanied by a curly-leaved salad, filling a salad bowl as though with green foam. They had partaken of all these things without tasting them, without knowing, solely taken up by what they were talking of, plunged as it were in a bath of love."Ah, yes. The French, indeed, write the best sex books!

  • qwerty
    2018-11-17 11:34

    Δεν είναι το πρώτο βιβλίο που διάβασα με παρόμοιο θέμα. Γενικότερα, η διαφθορά των Παριζιάνων του 19ου αιώνα, και δη σε ρεαλιστική-νατουραλιστική γραφή, είναι ένα θέμα με το οποίο έχουν καταπιαστεί αρκετοί, πέρα από τον Maupassant, όπως ο Zola, ο Flaubert και ο Balzac. Η απληστία του Bel-ami μου θύμησε την απληστία της Νανάς, αλλά και της μανταμ-Μποβαρύ, λιγότερο. Θα μπορούσα να πω ότι ο Bel-ami είναι η αρσενική Νανά. Ωστόσο, η ιστορία του Φιλαράκου με κράτησε πιο προσηλωμένη, σε σχέση με τα παραπάνω μυθιστορήματα που ανέφερα, σε σημείο που δε μπορούσα να αφήσω το βιβλίο από τα χέρια μου. Ήταν ένα πολύ όμορφο ταξίδι που δεν ήθελα να τελειώσει.Για να είμαι ειλικρινής, σε όλη την ανάγνωση --------Spoiler----------περίμενα τη στιγμή που θα έρθει ένα είδος Θείας Δίκης για τον ήρωα, να "βρει το δάσκαλό του", αλλά με απογοήτευση είδα ότι αυτή η στιγμή δεν ήρθε, παρόλο που το φινάλε υποννοεί ότι μελλοντικά θα ερχόταν. Κι αυτός ήταν ένας από τους λόγους που δεν ήθελα να τελειώσει αυτή η ιστορία. Για την ακρίβεια, θα με ενδιέφερε πολύ να δω πώς ο συγγραφέας θα τη συνέχιζε, εάν το ήθελε. Η μετάφραση είναι άψογη και χάρη σε αυτήν έψαξα να μάθω παραπάνω πληροφορίες σχετικά με τον Άρη Αλεξάνδρου. Στο βιβλιοπωλείο, είχα μπροστά μου το Φιλαράκο σε δυο διαφορετικές εκδόσεις και δυσκολεύτηκα να επιλέξω ποια να αγοράσω Τελικά δε μετάνιωσα που επέλεξα τις εκδόσεις Γκοβόστη και στο εξής θα τις προτιμώ.

  • Hadrian
    2018-11-28 09:13

    In vague technical terms, this is a French realist story about a young disaffected impoverished officer who learns the mechanisms of social norms, and uses them to advance his own position within society, with substantial commentary on the decay of French morality in the 19th century.In other words, it's the story of a complete shit-heel who manipulates money and people and rises through society quite easily. Maupassant has a few cutting remarks (see - fencing scene) and he has a very nice contrast between the nice descriptive scenes of the countryside, and the utterly disgusting behavior of not only Georges 'Bag-o'-Dicks' Duroy, but all the rest of the characters too. I'd only read Maupassant's short stories before, but it's good to see his condensed descriptions work well when extended to a novella in length.

  • Carol Clouds ꧁꧂
    2018-12-15 11:35

    4.5 * Since most of my holiday reading books were complete & total dreck, seeing my Kindle used for good as well as evil was a bit of a relief.& I'm not saying that Georges was good! For me, the change in Georges from a pleasant if rather aimless young man to evil personified was a bit abrupt, but that could have been the translation or me not paying enough attention to the clues being laid. Certainly not a word was wasted.The ending genuinely surprised me. My first read of this author but definitely not my last!

  • Jonfaith
    2018-12-11 08:14

    Here's to scalawags; I loved this tale of triumph about an absolute bastard who quickly understands how the world works. I thought at times that Bel-Ami was an almost self-conscious pastiche of sorts, including the better bits from previous hallmark novels of Parisian decadence. Apparently, such wasn't exclusively the case. The novel remains an incredible joy, a vibrant pulse of narrative curiosity and folly.

  • Eric
    2018-11-27 12:31

    I got my clammy adolescent hands on this just months before my parents mustered the courage to give me The Talk. Oops. "But Mom, I already know about all that stuff...Who told me? Umm, my friend, Gee...Who's he? Umm, he's this, like, syphilitic roué I met at Barnes and Noble."

  • Ninon
    2018-11-25 04:21

    Je ne suis pas déçue d'avoir enfin découvert le classique fascinant qu'est Bel-Ami ! Le personnage aussi fascinant que détestable qu'est Georges Duroy m'a embarquée du début à la fin dans sa course folle pour le pouvoir et la célébrité. J'aurais pu en lire des centaines de pages supplémentaires ! Maupassant est en plus hyper accessible, donc n'hésitez pas une seule seconde !

  • [P]
    2018-12-10 11:12

    I’ve read so many French novels about cads and ladies men that I’m now something of an expert. I am able to recognise the subtle differences of approach these men take, and their various motivations, like a marine biologist who can adroitly identify different breeds of shark, which to a layman would all look the same. Take, for example, Julien Sorel, who conducts his amorous pursuits as though they were a military campaign, who, as I said in my review of The Red and The Black, is all about winning, and isn’t too interested in drinking the victory champagne, if you know what I mean. Then there is Lucien Chardon, who, on the surface, is much like Julien, in that he is young and self-obsessed. Lucien, however, is primarily a careerist, and so uses women as a way of climbing the social ladder. Moreover, he is able to convince himself that he is truly in love and, unlike the manipulative Julien, does not alter his character to suit the circumstances, believing that his own is his best weapon. Finally, consider Valmont, who is more or less a sociopath; he behaves worse than the previous two gentlemen, and does so out of boredom. And what of Georges Duroy? How does he fit into the rogues gallery? Well, he is a most unusual piece.Bel Ami, Guy de Maupassant’s fine novel, begins with the above-named hero skulking around a hot and foul-smelling Paris, evidently frustrated and ill-at-ease. He barges people with his shoulder, he wants to throttle anyone who has more money than him [which is pretty much everyone], he longs for the touch of a woman and for a drink to ease his rasping throat. Maupassant reveals that he was once in the Army and describes his attitude, in one of the book’s most memorable lines, as being like ‘an NCO let loose in a conquered land,’ and reference is made to shooting Arabs while on duty. One gets the impression that Duroy might be dangerous, physically dangerous, and I must admit that I wasn’t expecting anything quite so dark, so noirish.It is a brilliant, thrilling introduction, but it is, I think, slightly misleading. When Duroy gets a new job as a journalist, he is shown to be nervous, lacking in self-confidence, without any great talents or merits. The clearest indication of this is when he attempts to write an article, but finds that he is incapable, that he cannot even start it. Far from being a Machiavellian cad, with supernatural charm, he is pretty much dull-witted; he is slow on the uptake, naïve [or green, as he describes himself, I think]. Moreover, he is, for at least two-thirds of the book, honest or at least transparent. For example, when his mistress, Clotilde, wants to go for a walk he initially says that he would rather stay inside, but when pressed he confesses that he doesn’t have the money to pay for their entertainment. He doesn’t do this because he is trying to elicit sympathy, or manipulate her into giving him money [even though she does] but because he is simply unable to keep his fear or worry to himself.What is most striking about the first part of the book is that Georges Duroy is thoroughly average, is unexceptional in every way, except perhaps his looks; even his motivations and ambitions are, for want of a better word, standard, are the kind almost everyone has. He wants money in his pocket and a woman…well, don’t we all? Yes, he also wants to get ahead, to raise himself up, but he actually lacks the mental wherewithal to accomplish it on his own. Indeed, every time Duroy does move up in the world, or gets a break, his success is courtesy of someone else, or at least something outside of himself; his victories are, more or less, pure dumb luck. For example, his journalism job comes via an old military friend who works for a paper, his first article is written by his friend’s wife, his standing in the paper is increased when he survives a duel, and so on. For the most part, things happen to Duroy, he doesn’t make them happen.Perhaps in recognition of his own limitations, Duroy’s character is, until late in the novel, primarily a docile one. It is Madeleine Forestier who advises him to go see the woman he makes his lover; when Madeleine requests that he keep their impending marriage quiet, he acquiesces; and when she tells him to break it off with Clothilde, he again does just as he is told. This may sound exceedingly dull, and I accept that it lacks the sturm and drang of most other 19th century French novels, but it did feel fresh; and the novelty makes it engaging. In fact, one of the most satisfying aspects of the novel is how adult, how contemporary the relationships are [again, in the first part]. For example, when Duroy thinks about making love to Madeleine he is told in no uncertain terms that she finds all that preposterous, and will not countenance it. Moreover, when the couple speak of marriage she makes it clear that he will only be accepted if he grants her the freedom to which she is accustomed and treats her as though she is a partner, an ally, not his possession.It ought to be clear then that Bel Ami is somewhat removed from the grand romanticism and emotional bombast one finds in Balzac et al. If I had to make a comparison I would say that Maupassant’s novel has more in common with the work of Georges Simenon or even Charles Bukowski, that his protagonist is reminiscent of the cowering and gloomy Ferdinand Bardemu, the narrator of Celine’s novels. It is not until some two hundred pages into the book [out of two hundred and ninety] that Duroy begins to exhibit the kind of traits and behaviour one would expect of a immoral scoundrel in a classic French novel. I must admit that my interest waned a little from this point onwards; the dumb-fun-factor is greater, but the story becomes familiar and predictable. Moreover, I did not feel as though the change in Duroy’s character was well handled – it is too abrupt, too extreme – and, ultimately, I got the impression that the author himself wasn’t really sure what was behind it.After a happy start to his marriage, Duroy begins to resent the fact that his wife once belonged to someone else, and suspects that she cuckolded her first husband. As noted, in the previous two hundred pages one could not say that he has been a nice man, but he certainly hasn’t been a irredeemable bastard, either. Therefore, it is natural to suppose that his jealousy is the reason that he begins to behave as wickedly as he does from this point onwards. However, while I can accept that jealousy could lead someone to thinking ‘fuck it, feelings are for idiots, I’ll have no more of that, and will therefore treat everyone like shit and please myself,’ I don’t see how this feeling is then transformed into an overwhelming, passionate envy, directed towards anyone in a superior position, and a obsessive desire to supplant them and become top-dog. I don’t, either, buy that he would swing from tormenting jealousy to, well, complete indifference where his wife is concerned. More importantly, during this final section of the novel Duroy is able to do things without breaking sweat or batting an eyelid, that before he found difficult or impossible. He lies, he schemes; he shows intelligence, talent, daring, cunning, and so on. Maupassant had spent the greater part of Bel Ami giving the reader the impression that his hero was an average, albeit attractive, schmo who frequently gets lucky, and yet suddenly he is some sort of Devilish Byronic figure who has complete command over himself and everyone else? Come on.With this in mind, my preferred interpretation is that the catalyst for his caddish manoeuvres is a series of existential confrontations with death. In the first instance, consider his proposal to Madeleine Forestier, which comes while the couple are watching over the dead body of her husband. On the surface, this seems like an outrageous, cynical step, and yet a panicky Duroy appears to be genuinely struck by his own mortality, and the need to make the most of his time on earth, and as such his offer of marriage is hardly an example of cold-hearted manipulation. There are, in addition, two other incidents, prior to Forestier’s passing, where death is on the agenda: a kind of soliloquy delivered by a colleague, Norbert de Varenne, and a duel. These two passages are, for me, Bel Ami’s finest moments; and both appear to have a profound effect upon Duroy.The duel is, of course, particularly significant, because it involves, not death as an abstract, as something happening to other people, but the very real threat of it happening to Duroy himself without too much delay. Again, I have to credit Maupassant with a modern outlook, because his hero does not take it in his stride, he does not rise to the challenge, nor welcome the opportunity to defend himself against unfair criticism. No, he does what most of us would do: he gets scared. He isn’t necessarily a coward, but rather a rationalist; he wants to avoid fighting because it is, well, dangerous; he questions the absurd dictates of honour, which have put him in a situation whereby he must fire at a man he has never met and has no real beef with. It isn’t difficult to imagine that if someone has had a brush with death it might spur them on to being more ruthless in pursuit of their desires and dreams, but how much this theory holds weight, when one considers that Duroy’s character does not immediately change in the way that it does following the jealousy chapters, I don’t know. In any case, being someone who is terrified of dying I understand myself how motivating that fear can be; in fact, I consider it to be responsible for a great many of my actions, both positive and negative. “We breathe, sleep, drink, eat, work and then die! The end of life is death. What do you long for? Love? A few kisses and you will be powerless. Money? What for? To gratify your desires. Glory? What comes after it all? Death! Death alone is certain.”I have spent much of this review focusing on the particulars of Duroy’s character, without, as yet, saying anything about the wider significance of the action. To this end, John Paul Sartre said of Maupassant’s creation that ‘his rise testifies to the decline of a whole society.’ If I am honest, I’m not entirely sure what he meant by this. What Duroy’s ultimate victory suggests to me is that the structure of French society, maybe western society as a whole, was changing; but whether that was for the better or worse I cannot say. Duroy comes, one must remember, from low stock; his parents are tavern owners, and he frequently refers to them as peasants. As the novel reaches a climax Georges, in a sense, has infiltrated the upper reaches of French society, and laid his hat there. Maupassant seems to be suggesting that he is one of the new breed of men, the nouveau riche, who will usher out the old aristocracy, taking their money, their positions, and their titles. It isn’t just Duroy either; the biggest winner in the novel is the Jewish financier, M. Walter, who in some kind of stock market scam earns millions. Does unscrupulous common men making all the money and having all the power testify to a decline? It is certainly a sign of the times, is more in keeping with the world we live in now than that of privileged barons and lords, but I’m less than convinced that it is a bad thing, certainly in comparison to the alternative.

  • Grazia
    2018-11-23 06:15

    "Non vedeva nessuno. Non pensava che a sé.""Duroy aveva la parola facile ma banale, possedeva un certo fascino nella voce, molta grazia nello sguardo e un’irresistibile forza di seduzione nei baffi.""A tasche vuote e col sangue bollente", Duroy è terribilmente attratto dalle donne. Che guarda tutte. In maniera indiscriminata. La prima che cede al suo fascino "era una brunona dalla carnagione imbiancata dalla crema, l’occhio nero, allungato, sottolineato dalla matita, incorniciato da enormi sopracciglia posticce. Il petto, prorompente, premeva la seta scura del vestito; e le labbra dipinte, rosse come una ferita, le davano un che di animalesco, d’ardente, d’esagerato che, però, accendeva il desiderio." È Rachel, una prostituta. E dapprima George, avvezzo ad avere a che fare solo con donne a pagamento, è timido e timoroso nei confronti delle dame della buona società, delle "signore maritate", fino a quando non si rende conto che il suo baffo a manubrio miete vittime nei cuori femminili indipendentemente dall'età e dalla classe sociale di appartenenza.Il fascino del mariuolo? Il fascino dell'uomo che con determinazione punta ed insegue ogni donna con la certezza che viene dalle proprie capacità di seduzione? Ad un certo punto capisce che per avere successo "bisogna sapersi imporre, non chiedere".Perché in George, o in Bel Ami, come lo chiama la figlia della sua prima amante maritata, c'è una forza e una determinazione che lo spinge a passare sopra tutto e sopra tutti [specialmente sopra tutte], pur di ottenere ciò che vuole.Una forza vitale e primigenia indomita, una necessità di essere e di emergere, un istinto quasi ancestrale di soddisfare tutti i propri istinti.E lui vuole soldi, successo e sesso.Usa il giornalismo in modo spietato e fuorviante, in modo condiscendente e mirato ad ottenere riconoscimenti personali. Un giornalismo più vicino al pettegolezzo connivente che strizza l'occhio e asseconda i giochi di potere. Pure chi gli sta intorno non brilla per moralità o per onestà e l'immagine che ne consegue è brutalmente desolante ma, si sa,"nel regno dei ciechi ogni guercio è re " e in questo mondo l'atteggiamento di Bel Ami è vincente.Ne emerge un quadro di un realismo e di una attualità sconcertante: stupefacente pensare che il romanzo risale al 1885.Bel Ami vive vive vive, fortissimamente vive, non cede alle lusinghe della religione in quanto pensa che "tutte le religioni sono stupide, con la loro morale puerile e le loro egoistiche promesse, spaventosamente sciocche. Soltanto la morte è certa""Respirare, dormire, bere, mangiare, lavorare, sognare, tutto quel che facciamo è un morire. Insomma, vivere è morire! Oh, se n’accorgerà anche lei! Rifletta soltanto un momento eanche lei la vedrà dappertutto, la morte! Che cosa s’aspetta? Amore? Ancora qualche bacio, e poi lei sarà un impotente. E dopo? Denaro? Per che farne? Per pagar delle donne? Bellasoddisfazione! Per mangiar molto, diventare obeso e gridar per nottate intere sotto il morso della gotta? E appresso? Un poco di gloria? E a che serve, quando non la si può piùcogliere sotto forma d’amore? E poi, e poi? Ancora e sempre … la morte a chiuder baracca e burattini … E mai un solo essere tornerà, mai"Che dire? Una caratterizzazione indimenticabile quella di Bel Ami.Ma ancora più indimenticabile la caratterizzazione delle donne grazie alle quali riesce a finalizzare i suoi obiettivi ed affermarsi. In particolare superba la rappresentazione della signora Walter, la donna che cede ad una certa età alla passione, senza ragionamento e senza speranza alcuna.Una prosa sublime. Ma com'è che ho aspettato così tanto a leggere questa meraviglia?

  • Carla
    2018-12-07 10:25

    Este livro, apesar de ter sido publicado em França no ano de 1885, continua a ser muito actual, pois no decurso da sua leitura não deixava de comparar os acontecimentos de então com muito do que se passa actualmente.De facto, a crítica social que perpassa por toda a história relativamente às pessoas que conseguem ascender social, económica e politicamente, usando tudo e todos, sem se preocuparem com as consequências dos seus actos, e interessando-se unicamente em serem ricos, famosos, admirados, terem poder político e destruírem quem se lhes opõe, é cada vez mais uma das características dos nossos tempos.No mesmo sentido, o livro aborda ainda temas como o jornalismo e a política, em Paris, na segunda metade do século XIX, que andam de mãos dadas, servindo-se os políticos e os jornalistas uns dos outros, pois nas crónicas políticas lançam-se dúvidas, criam-se factos e manipula-se a opinião pública, a fim de se fazerem cair ministros e governos. Além de que, os políticos e homens das finanças enriquecem de forma não escrupulosa através das chamadas "ligações perigosas" que se estabelecem entre a política e o mundo dos negócios. Agora, entrando na história propriamente dita, temos como personagem principal Georges Duroy, um jovem sedutor, de famílias humildes, filho de camponeses e taberneiros da Normandia, que, após ter sido soldado na Argélia (colónia francesa à época), vive e trabalha em Paris como empregado de escritório na Companhia de Caminhos de Ferro, sendo muito pobre, mas graças ao seu encanto junto de senhoras casadas influentes, à sua inteligência maquiavélica, à sua falta de escrúpulos, começa por ser um jornalista pouco considerado num jornal de reputação duvidosa, acabando, após vários casos amorosos extra-conjugais e dois casamentos, tornar-se num nobre rico e poderoso e influente politicamente, já que os títulos nobiliárquicos também se compram.E não obstante Georges Duroy ser um verdadeiro patife, que não respeita nada nem ninguém, praticando actos ignóbeis sem se arrepender, enquanto leitora, acabei por lhe achar uma certa graça e por sentir uma simpatia pelo mesmo, pois a personagem estava sempre a surpreender-me.Na história, as mulheres desempenham um papel muito importante e, apesar, de nessa época, estarem numa posição aparentemente secundária face aos homens, são elas que detêm o verdadeiro poder, pois conhecem todos os segredos e manipulam os seus maridos e amantes.Finalmente, adorei as descrições do livro acerca dos jantares, das festas, dos encontros sociais e da vida da sociedade parisiense da segunda metade do século XIX, uma vez que a escrita é fluída e capta-nos a atenção desde o início, não havendo os chamados tempos mortos que causam cansaço e aborrecimento aos leitores.

  • Luís C.
    2018-11-27 11:25

    Bel-Ami ... What a great discovery! I honestly enjoyed reading this. It is fluid and addictive, really, and Maupassant offers a good range of characters of the time, more or less interesting but with a role in the plot, which I greatly appreciate; I particularly liked the pessimism (however realistic) of the poet Norbert de Varenne - I also believe that Maupassant has a bit of him in that character (they are both obsessed and consumed by the idea of death , especially).That, in any case, radically different from a life that is much more descriptive and takes us on a more oppressive atmosphere (which is the purpose desired by the way), and it did not astonished at read in the afterword that Bel Ami was written in one breath, and in serial form - hence the constant feeling of being held in breath - then that Une Vie was written in 7 years! I also find a side very "Zola" in Bel Ami, which was fun!And then George Duroy ... I love the passionate characters, so I love George Duroy against all odds! A Valmont more modern and a little less vile, a man to the woman I like (literarily speaking, of course!) Who uses her charms to rise in society, but despite all his ephemeral conquests and interested remains attached to madame de Marelle, her first lover, to whom he remains irresistibly attracted and may be the only one he - and which he - really like.Anyway, I really had a great time with this novel, and I recommend it to anyone who would want to escape to a distant time and yet very little different from ours in terms of human aspirations and ambitions ...