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Bel Ami

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or, The History of A Scoundrel (1885)
A novel about Parisian journalist Georges Duroy.



The most disturbing rendition of love that I have ever read. I find the vagaries of the love interests to be realistic and unnerving. It is the essence of what men want and do not want in a woman combined with the worldly needs that obscure our reason and true feelings. This describes the uncertainties of love in conjunction with the obsessiveness of worldly success. I am ultimately confused and ashamed by the choices we make in the realm of sexual titillation and worldly success. Should this be so? Probably not. But men, in the passionate inclinations of sex and financial well-being, find solace in the practical implications of potentially disastrous relationships. I wonder about the ultimate implications of the main character's actions. I do not condemn them. They are simply part of what makes us men. I will never make sense of this whole episode but I will assume the responsibility of men who can never find their true compass. Regardless, this is a masterpiece.--Submitted by Peter Folaros.

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