Back in July, JoAnn of Lakeside Musing reviewed Farewell by Guy de Maupassant. She said, “A one sentence summary of “Farewell” by Guy de Maupassant might go something like this: As two old friends reflect on aging, one recounts how the process went unnoticed until a chance meeting with a former lover sparked the revelation of his own decline. Simple, yet there is much more…”
She summed it up perfectly. The story opens as two friends are having dinner at a cafe and talking about aging. Henri Simon, said “Ah! I am growing old. It’s sad. Formerly, on evenings like this, I felt full of life. Now, I only feel regrets. Life is short!”
Pierre Canier, a bit older than Henri, felt differently. He said, “Well, my boy, I have grown old without noticing it in the least. I have always been merry, healthy, vigorous and all the rest. As one sees oneself in the mirror every day, one does not realize the work of age, for it is slow, regular, and it modifies the countenance so gently that the changes are unnoticeable.
“He went on however, to say that something happened to make him see himself differently. He said, The revelation of my decline came to me in a simple and terrible manner, which overwhelmed me for almost six months–then I became resinged.
He goes onto say how this “revelation” came to him.
I think that what happened to him, happens to a lot of people, they don’t see how much they have really aged until.. (I wont spoil it for you.) It’s a very short story of only about 6 pages but it does speak a truth. It would make for a nice little discussion. Go see for yourself, here.
Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893), French author of the naturalistic school who is generally considered the greatest French short story writer.The gift of a photographic memory enabled him to gather a storehouse of information, which later helped him in his stories about the Norman people.