”Beside Schopenhauer’s Corpse” is often labelled one of Maupassant’s ”newspaper stories” that he indulged in between 1882 and 1887. The narrator meets a dying student of Schopenhauer’s who is reading the same book by his master over and over again. A haunting tale expressing the author’s own views on Schopenhauer’s pessimistic philosophy. What is more, the reminiscences of the dying disciple often verge on the grotesque and carnal, viewing death as an ugly end, not a poetic final stop.
Guy de Maupassant was a famous French writer, best known as one of finest practitioners of the French short story. Master of style and dramatic narrative, Maupassant’s stories are mainly interested in the relationships between men and women, often found at the crossroads of life. One of his greatest influences was Gustave Flaubert, who introduced him to some of the central names of the time such as Emile Zola, Henry James, and Ivan Turgenev. Some of his best known works include the novels ”Bel Ami” and ”Une Vie”, more than 300 short stories, travel books, and even an attempt at poetry.