The Necklace is a short story by French nineteenth-century Naturalist author, Guy De Maupassant. He was considered to be a naturalist because he wrote stories about things he saw in everyday life as it happened. It is a fascinating read because it invokes imagination. When I read it, I am transported directly to the past. His window offers insight into society at the time of the late nineteenth century, and it becomes real clear how different our modern-day is compared to his own. (1)
There are a few translations of the story, originally printed in French. I like this version the best. Some versions I think take away from the past and add too much of a present day theme. The present day theme changes the perception of the story and that can harm the interpretation of history. It might be better for others to interpret for themselves so they can relate it to modern times. I guess it is a preference.
I am kind of biased, as well. When I go to museums or historical sites as a fan I tend to imagine what life was like for the people of the time the artifacts were held in. I want to ask a lot of questions of the past so I can formulate my own ideas about life in general and ponder the changes over a vast amount of time. I guess you could say my niche is social history. Others who like other forms of history may find something else in the story told by Maupassant. That is what make history so exciting and interesting especially when integrated with literature of the past. It weaves many paths of discovery to choose and leads to more curiosities.
What is your favorite literature piece and why? What path did the piece lead you on?
(1) Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs, Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001), 3-10.