Love Notes to Maupassant (writing on writing)

IMG_0365While sitting at my desk today, I glanced over at the tiny pile of books in the left corner. Among these are the only three out of my once mighty personal library that made it with me through all the hasty moving I have had to do in the last few years.

One of them, the most special, is a book of Guy de Maupassant stories. It is a holy artifact. I’ve read it two and a half times. You can see the pages are yellowed with age and use and love. The first short story to ever make me cry, (my favorite short story), is the first one in the book,”Boule de Suif”. When I was writing fiction regularly, I wrote my best stories while reading it. At Vanderbilt in springtime, I used to sit in the late afternoon on a bench in a circle of shade trees at the center of which was a blooming dogwood. The stories made me sigh and think and dream of better for my own work all while the dogwood blossoms fluttered to the ground like snowflakes.

IMG_0368Full of both long notes and clipped marginalia, the book now reads to me something like a diary. My handwriting was better then. I am grateful for that.

Pictured here is a note on, “The Conservatory”. How amazed I was, and still am, at his gifts of humor, twist, and sly revealing.


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