Short Story #123: Lise by Rene Bizet

Title:  Lise

Author:  Rene Bizet


Great French Short Stories edited by M. E. Speare.  The World Publishing Company, 1943On a trip to Lisbon, the narrator meets Lise and her parents who are also from France and vacationing there.  They strike up a friendship and the narrator becomes increasingly enamored with Lise and she with him.  However, one night he is called back to Paris and to his wife and child.  Upon returning to home, he balances a perfect line between courting Lise and paying attention to his family, but he spends much of the time fantasizing about Lise and contemplates what an escape would look like.  On one Sunday while out with his wife, he sees Lise and pursues her with his family trailing along for something irresistibly pulls at him to see her.  When he does catch up with her, in a single moment, it all becomes evident that their courtship has ended.  The narrator loses all sense of what else went on but it's clear that he has lost her and feels entirely numb.  


It would be curious to know what other words Lise sounds like in French or if there is some French name it is translated from.  In English, that her name is Lise which sounds like "lies" is a fascinating thought.  Of course, the story is not a new one but one that taps into that interesting question of the man who has it all but still wants more; the many who seems to have attained success but somehow needs this additional excitement in his life.  That it all falls apart around him and does so because he confronts his Lise (lies) is also something not as typical in such stories.  

Short Story #123 out of 365
Rating: 4 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  4/28/2014
Source:  Great French Short Stories edited by M. E. Speare.  The World Publishing Company, 1943.  You can find this story and others in this anthology at this resource.

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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