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Brander Matthews (1852–1929).  The Short-Story.  1907.

By Ludovic Halévy  (1834– )

Notes to The Insurgent

BETTER known as a dramatist,—he was the joint-author of “Frou-frou” and of the “Grande Duchesse de Geroldstein,”—the writer of this vigorous portrait has won fame also as a novelist, and his charming novel, the “Abbé Constantin,” has had thousands of readers. But his short-stories are better than his longer novels; they have the clearness of structure and the sharpness of outline which we are wont to find in the best plays. “The Insurgent,” written in 1872, has been translated for this volume by the editor.
Perhaps the most noticeable characteristic of this story is the sympathetic understanding of the central figure. With what the man has done, and with the type to which he belongs, the author has obviously no sympathy; but the man himself the author understands and makes the reader understand. This effect is achieved partly by the device of making the story a monologue and thus letting the man speak for himself and say all that lies close to his heart. And our interest is aroused by the first sentence, which reveals to us that the man is on trial for his life.