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 life of crime and murder. In Mérimée’s original, however, …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Cropper, Corry. "Carmen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 December 2006
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]