Les Soirées de Médan

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Les Soirées de Médan ("Evenings at Médan") is a collection of six short stories by six different writers associated with Naturalism, first published in 1880. All the stories concern the Franco-Prussian War. The contents of the book are as follows:

The collection took its title from Zola's house at Médan, near Paris, where writers used to meet for literary dinners. The authors here used to meet for literary dinners at Zola's in Paris. The authors were often referred to collectively as the "Médan group". The aim of the collection was to promote the ideals of Naturalism, by treating the events of the Franco-Prussian War in a realistic and often unheroic way, in contrast to officially approved patriotic views of the war.

By far the most famous story in the collection is Boule de Suif, which immediately launched the career of the young Guy de Maupassant.

Zola's story became the basis for an opera of the same name by Alfred Bruneau.


  • Maupassant: Oeuvres de Maupassant, tome 1 : Contes et nouvelles, romans (Robert Laffont, 1988)