Short Story #134: In the Moonlight by Guy de Maupassant

Title:   In the Moonlight

Author:  Guy de Maupassant


Great French Short Stories edited by M. E. Speare.  The World Publishing Company, 1943The story introduces us to Abbe Marginan, a priest with an absolute love of the natural world but a serious disdain against women.  He loathed all aspects of women and could barely tolerate nuns.  One day, he learns that his niece has a lover and is angered by the idea.  He also learns that she will be meeting her lover at night.  Marginan plans and sets out at night to catch the two.  However, as he sets forth at night, he is immediately seized and inspired by the various sensory input from nature at night from the smells the sounds to what can be felt and what can be seen in the moonlight.  All of this assaults him and inspires him to the point that as he looks upon the lovers he finds he cannot interfere.  Instead, he observes and reflects on their love as something biblical and beautiful.  


From the moment the priest steps outside, the change is palpable.  I liked how Maupasssant set this up.  Given some of his more macabre stories, a story with a woman-hating man setting forth to thwart lovers at night could take a very interesting and gory direction but it doesn't.  An inspiring read!

Short Story #134 out of 365
Rating: 4 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  5/10/2014
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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