Disturbed minds in the nineteenth century: The tales of Edgar Allan Poe and Guy de Maupassant


This article addresses a meeting of the minds between the American author Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) and the French author Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893). These authors belonged to opposing literary movements (romanticism versus realism/naturalism) but their storytelling shared unmistakable thematic and formal interests. This paper begins by looking at the early influences that Poe’s short stories had on Maupassant’s writing, and then focuses on a selection of stories by the French author that link him to Poe in literary terms (both thematically and narratologically). These tales are related to the fascination both authors felt for atypical mental states and twisted or «disturbed» narrators. 


Edgar Allan Poe; Guy de Maupassant; story; mental disorder; storytellers; phrenology


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