New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590172605, 177pp.
Publication Date: December 1, 2009
Richard Howard's new English translation of this complex and brooding novel--the first in more than a hundred years--reveals the final, unexpected flowering of a great French realist's art.
Roland Barthes (1915-1980) was one of the most influential French writers of the second half of the twentieth century. His seminal works include "Writing Degree Zero," "Mythologies," "Criticism and Truth," "S/Z,"" The Pleasure of the Text," and "The Rustle of Language," Richard Howard is the author of eleven volumes of poetry, including "Untitled Subjects," for which he received the Pulitzer Prize. He has published more than 150 translations from the French, including Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs du mal," for which he received the 1983 American Book Award for translation.
“A novel containing such inconceivably beautiful sentences, I would have liked to memorize some. Its psychology sees to the very core of people and, in spite of that, touches them as if with the hand of a kindly old physician.” —Walter Benjamin
“Alien Hearts is perhaps the book that one likes Maupassant best for. The author’s conception of love has sublimed itself into very nearly the true form of
the Canticles and Shakespeare.” —George Saintsbury
"Eminent translator Howard gives a leavened, modern feel to Maupassant's weary tale of a young aristocratic loser infatuated with an on-the-rise Parisian salon hostess." --Publishers Weekly
“Maupassant is the world’s most accomplished of narrators.” –Joseph Conrad
“[Maupassant] is brilliantly clever.” –Henry James
“[Maupassant] is so relentlessly artistic that he puts the fear of philosophy in your heart.” –The New York Times
"This is classic Maupassant, beautifully rendered by Howard." –Harper’s