An NYRB Classics Original
Olivier Bertin is at the height of his career as a painter. After making his name with his Cleopatra, he went on to establish himself as “the chosen painter of the Parisiennes, the most adroit and ingenious artist to reveal their grace, their figures, and their souls.” And though his hair may be white, he remains a handsome, vigorous, and engaging bachelor, a prized guest at every table and salon.
Anne, the comtesse de Guilleroy, is a youthful forty, the wife of a busy politician. The painter and the comtesse have been lovers for many years. Anne’s daughter, Annette—the spitting image of her mother in her lovely youth—has finished her schooling and is returning to Paris. Her parents are putting together an excellent match. Everything is as it should be—until the painter and comtesse are each seized by an agonizing suspicion, like death...
In its devastating depiction of the treacherous nature of love, Like Death is more than the equal of Swann’s Way. Richard Howard’s new translation brings out all the penetration and poetry of this masterpiece of nineteenth-century fiction.
“"A psychological novel par excellence." —Lorin Stein, Harper’s "[Maupassant] is so relentlessly artistic that he puts the fear of philosophy in your heart." —The New York Times "[Maupassant] is brilliantly clever." —Henry James "Maupassant is the world’s most accomplished of narrators." —Joseph Conrad”