Prosper Mérimée: Carmen

(1434 words)

Carmen, first published in 1845, is undoubtedly Prosper Mérimée’s best known work today. Ironically, many do not know he wrote it. Numerous adaptations – including Bizet’s 1875 opera and dozens of films – have led to some neglect of Mérimée’s original. This is unfortunate, since Mérimée’s narrative is darker, more nuanced, and more complex than the majority of adaptations that tend to look to Bizet’s opera as the model. These adaptations depict Carmen as an aloof femme fatale and don José as a pure young man, committed to the military and devoted to his mother. Carmen slowly steers him away from his values and to a l…

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Cropper, Corry. "Carmen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 December 2006
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]