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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  132 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Afloat, originally published as Sur l’eau in 1888, is a book of dazzling but treacherously shifting currents, a seemingly simple logbook of a sailing cruise along the French Mediterranean coast that opens up to reveal unexpected depths, as Guy de Maupassant merges fact and fiction, dream and documentation in a wholly original style. Humorous and troubling stories, unreliab ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by NYRB Classics (first published 1888)
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A delightful surprise! De Maupassant kept a diary during a voyage in his yacht, the Bel-Ami. He describes some of the places he visits and relates interesting past visits or histories.
This is an odd, half-hearted sort of book which purports to be one thing and shades into another. At first, we are presented with Guy de Maupassant as amateur captain of a sailboat named the Bel-Ami, after his most popular novel. He complains about being forced to be a sociable human being, yet for all his pretensions, he is sailing only a few nautical miles between St Tropez and Antibes with frequent overnight stops at inns along the way.

Afloat has one little authorial tic that is almost uniqu
Alexander Arsov
Guy de Maupassant


New York Review Books, Paperback, 2008.

8vo. xx+105 pp. Translation and Introduction [vii-xx] by Douglas Parmee.

First published in French as Sur l'eau, 1888.
This translation first published, 2008.



- Antibes, April 6
- Cannes, April 7, 9 PM
- Agay, April 8
- April 10
- Saint-Raphael, April 11
- Saint-Tropez, April 12
- Saint-Tropez, April 13
- April 14



This is one of the strangest and most disturbing boo
Stephen Durrant
"Two short books in a row, this one barely one hundred pages!" Well, I'm trying to close the gap on Doug. Even reading can be a competitive sport. Moreover, it is Guy de Maupassant, for Heaven's sake! Must I apologize for reading him, however brief the book? And what a book it is. This purports to be a diary of a yacht trip between Nice and St. Tropez Maupassant undertook in the late 1880's. Critics say that he has actually distilled it from several trips and has inserted into the "travelogue" e ...more
Maupassant's description of himself reminds me of someone I know:

He seems to possess two souls, one of which records and comments on every sensation of its neighbor, the usual, natural sort which he shares with us all. He feels himself fated, always, at all times, to be a reflection of himself and of everybody else, condemned to watch himself feeling, acting, loving, suffering, thinking--and yet never feeling, acting, loving, suffering, thinking in the same way as other people, simply, openly, s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lydia St Giles
“Afloat” is far more than notes scribbled on a voyage. Descriptions of the Provençal coast and the testing conditions of the waters of the Mediterranean are here in the elegant prose we expect from de Maupassant, thanks to Marlo Johnston. (The translator is a breed whose extraordinary linguistic skills are disregarded by readers and unrewarded by publishers or critics.)
The ship was the author’s own and, although he had two men to manage the trip, he was able to comment on the tides and weather
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

Title: Afloat
(Sur l'eau)

Author: Guy de Maupassant

Illustrator: Riou

Translator: Laura Ensor

Release Date: June 29, 2015 [EBook #49318]

Language: English

Produced by Dagny and Marc D'Hooghe at (Images generously made available by the Hathi Trust)

This Diary contains no story and no very thrilling adventure. While cruising about on the coasts of the Mediterranean last Spring, I amused myself by writing down every day what I saw
Rick Skwiot
I have just reread with great pleasure Guy de Maupassant's compact logbook Afloat, which purports to chronicle nine days aboard his yacht Bel-Ami in spring 1887, as he and his two-man crew set sail from Antibes. However, the title is a bit misleading as, thanks to the weather, Maupassant spends more time ashore than afloat. However, the 100-page memoir actually takes place neither at sea nor on land but in the fertile consciousness of the famed writer, where his musings and ironic commentary dri ...more
Pete Dematteo
de Maupassant was in a far better mood when he wrote AFLOAT than he was during his writings of the rest of his novels. I wish he would have really described some place in detail that he didn't like, such as Naples, which he only mentioned all too briefly. Everything was so utterly picture perfect in the book that it actually became borderline monotonous towards the end, such as reading an antiquated tour brochure from Liberty Travel!
Short story/essay collection disguised as a travelogue. It packs a lot in a small package.

Here's a quotation:
"Calm reigns everywhere, the warm, gentle, calm of the Midi and it seems weeks and months and years since I’ve had anything to do with people who dash around and never stop talking. I can enjoy the thrill of being alone, the quiet thrill of being able to rest and never be disturbed by a letter or a telegram, the sound of a doorbell, or even the barking of my dog. Nobody can call on me, in
beautiful writing and contemplation of life as it was relevant to the author
Snafu Warrior
Mopasan je izvrstan pripovedač, jedan od meni najdražih, a ovde ulazimo u njegov svet misli koje se nižu baš onako kako ih je on formirao, tokom putešestvija njegovim brodom Bel Ami. Ovo je više dnevnik nego knjiga, odnosno novela, i sam Mopasan nije hteo da se to objavi, ali je posle smrti to urađeno.
Iako je prisutan onaj pripovedački ton koji se oseti u njegovim delima, ovde je razvodnjen, jer je pisac dao sebi oduška, smatrajući kako ne piše za masu već za sebe, a usput se borio sa opasnim mi
Ty mader
Maupassant paints a nice picture. his descriptions of the scenery and action occurring are striking and well written. quite a nice read in my opinion, as Maupassant has some interesting views on certain topic of the period. he says it himself-nothing really happens in this book- and its all the better for it.
A really charming journal of a trip around the South of France in a sailing boat in the nineteenths century. Maupassant mixes his themes of satire bordering on misanthropy with some funny anecdotes and genuinely fascinating anecdotes. Like all the best travel writers, he's a lover of the digression!
Jun 29, 2015 Bettie☯ marked it as to-read


the real link is here:

yet no, I won't wipe the mistake
Jun 06, 2008 Katie added it
Beautiful, philosophical, smart, funny and most of all...surprisingly simple. A much needed (for me) breath of fresh air.
Oh Maupassant, you are so playful...alternatively switching between the jaded and joie de vivre.

Heather Roberts
Understandably complex. Gorgeous imagery.
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NYRB Classics: Afloat, by Guy de Maupassant 1 5 Oct 18, 2013 11:01AM  
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Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was a popular 19th-century French writer. He is one of the fathers of the modern short story. A protege of Flaubert, Maupassant's short stories are characterized by their economy of style and their efficient effortless dénouement. He also wrote six short novels. A number of his stories often denote the futility of war and the innocent civilians who get crushed i ...more
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