First, who vs. whom. These are used the same way as "he" and "him." (This might help you to remember, as "him" and "whom" both end in m.) The only noticeable difference is word order. We don't usually end sentence with "whom," although it would be fine to do so. It usually shows up earlier in a sentence, especially if we are asking a question.
Who is responsible for this mess?
He is responsible for this mess.
Whom should I blame?
You should blame him.
Who jumped over the fence?
He jumped over the fence.
To whom did you speak?
I spoke to him.
Because Tom worked the hardest, I gave him a bonus.
Tom is the member of the team to whom I gave a bonus.
I paid a bonus to the person who worked the hardest. (Here, "who" has its own verb--"worked"--so it is a subject pronoun.)
Tom earned a bonus because he worked the hardest.
Second, the pronoun-antecedent issue. Yes, a pronoun can show up before the antecedent. You may be sick of Tom and his bonus by now, but I could also say "Because he worked the hardest, Tom earned a bonus."
However, there is a problem with your example. By the time you get to "he," you already have a complete independent clause:
Many of Guy de Maupassant's short stories have become classics because of how he famously and masterfully uses irony.
At this point, it's too late to add in the antecedent, because the thought has been completed. The additional piece you add on should be a separate sentence, or at the very least should be separated by a semicolon. In this case, it wouldn't make much sense to add the author's name with the possessive and "he" already in there. Here are a few more examples where putting the pronoun first makes sense:
After he was elected president, Abraham Lincoln found that he had less time to play video games.
Finding him rude and unpleasant, the committee was quick to reject McLaughlin.
After her impressive performance in the semifinals, Maria quickly attracted a number of potential sponsors.
I hope this helps!
Dmitry Farber | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | New York
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