(pseudonym of Louis Marie Julien Viaud). Born Jan. 14, 1850, in Rochefort-sur-Mer, Charente-Maritime Department; died June 10, 1923, in Hendaye, Basses-Pyrenees Department. French writer. Member of the French Academy (1891).
The descendant of a seafaring Protestant family, Loti served in the navy about 40 years, taking part in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) and World War I (1914-18) and in colonial expeditions. His literary development was influenced by the naturalistic style of the Goncourt brothers and symbolist prose. His knowledge of the Orient enabled Loti to create a new literary genre, the “colonial novel,” notably Aziyadé (1879), Loti’s Marriage (1880), A Spahi’s Novel (1881), and Madame Chrysanthème (1888). In these works the author attempts to show the superiority of the “white race,’ while recognizing the rich spiritual life and ancient culture of Oriental peoples.
Loti’s travels are described in Morocco (1889), Last Days of Peking (1901), and India (1903). As in the novels, exotic descriptions of nature are stressed and social problems are relegated to the background. In the novels My Brother Yves (1883), An Iceland Fisherman (1886), and Sailor (1893), Loti portrayed the hard life of fishermen and sailors.
WORKSOeuvres completes, vols. 1-11. Paris, 1893-1911.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch., vols. 1-5. St. Petersburg, 1901.
Ibid., vols. 1-12. Moscow, 1909-11.
REFERENCESIstoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.
Press, A. P’er Loti. St. Petersburg, 1902.
Brodin, P. Loti. Montreal .
Millward, K. G. L’Oeuvre de P. Loti et l’esprit “fin de siècle.” Paris, 1955. (With bibliography.)
A. D. MIKHAILOV