"Mademoiselle Fifi" is a short story by Guy de Maupassant, written in French and published anonymously in 1882 in the magazine Gil Blas. In Brussels that year, and in Paris the next year, a book with that name included it in a collection of Maupassant's short stories. It has been reprinted many times. Perhaps it was inspired by some remarks in Maupassant's 1880 story, "Boule de suif" and is another account of a fictional incident of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. It includes some sexual situations not suitable for small children.
We present both the original French text here, along with an English translation adapted from a public domain edition scanned and published online by Charles Keller of the University of Virginia Electronic Text Center as one of the Short Stories of the Tragedy and Comedy of Life, 1903 (no translator given). Keller's edition includes some nice illustrations and has been donated in text form to Project Gutenberg. Here a missing paragraph has been replaced and a few phrases modernized. The German speech toward the French women has been modified, as the French would have been spoken with an accent.
As an experiment in HTML, we present several pages here:
Uses HTML 2.0 tables and HTML 3.2 cascading style sheets, so looks best on Netscape 4.0 or later, or Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 or later, but displays all right on any graphics web browser that supports a Latin-1 typeface with French accents and punctuation marks. Paragraphs have been joined to correspond with the translation. You may adjust the width of your web browser window to block out one of the languages temporarily.
For a try at translation go to one of the single-language (French or English) texts and copy about three paragraphs to the clipboard, then paste it into the Altavista Translation window at babelfish.altavista.digital.com (ads). You can choose English to French or French to English.
To type words into the ARTFL Francais-English dictionary, see http://humanities.uchicago.edu/forms_unrest/FR-ENG.html
Following are two files suitable for browsers without Latin-1 typefaces, or for more convenient use with text-to-speech synthesizers.
We would like to extend great appreciation for the expert assistance of one volunteer proofreader, Elizabeth le Roux.
Mlle Fifi on the table (1903)