Drama: 'Boule de Suif'

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Editor: Sharon K. Hall
Date: 1981
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 693 words

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Everyone who has ever taken a course in the short-story or owned a "Library of the World's Best Literature" knows Maupassant's old shocker "Boule de Suif." Alexander Woollcott and George Kaufman have now turned it into an entertaining play which will doubtless never be as famous as the original, but which might reasonably be called a good deal more sensible. By completely changing the mood while retaining the main incidents they have afforded a very pretty illustration of the fact that a plot is hardly more than a challenge to the intelligence of an author....

[When Maupassant] hit upon the story of the patriotic prostitute who refuses to bed with a Prussian officer he accomplished one of the things which seem most difficult for a modern writer: he invented a new situation. Complicate it by adding a group of conventional people in the power of the officer who are led by their interests to persuade the prostitute to ply her trade; show them reverting to their original self-righteousness when the momentous transaction has...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|H1420025747