Prosper Mérimée

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Mérimée, Prosper


Born Sept. 27, 1803, in Paris; died Sept. 23, 1870, in Cannes. French writer. Elected to the Academic Franchise in 1844.

Mérimée was the son of an artist. He graduated from the faculty of law at the Sorbonne in 1823. A romantic interest in exotic countries is reflected in his first work, the collection of plays The Theater of Clara Gazul (1825), which he ascribed to a fictitious Spanish comedienne. The plays contain a number of references to the contemporary French scene and are a subtle parody of the reactionary romantic theater and its melodramatic conventions.

In the collection La Guzla (1827), a pseudonymous hoax inspired by Illyrian folk songs, Merimee imitated folk art so accurately that he deceived A. Mickiewicz, as well as A. S. Pushkin, who translated the collection as Songs of the West Slavs. La Guzla is noteworthy for the author’s use of realistic techniques to reveal the personalities of heroes in conflict with society.

Mérimée was fascinated by turbulent periods in history. He wrote about French history in the chronicle-drama. The Jacquerie (1828) and in the novel Chronicle of the Reign of Charles IX (1829). In short stories written during the late 1820’s (the collection Mosaic, 1833), Mérimée depicted strong, straightforward characters who had not yet been touched by the “corrupting”influence of civilization (“Mateo Falcone”and “Tamango”) . The contemporary scene was reflected in the short stories “The Etruscan Vase”and “The Backgammon Game” (both 1830).

The emptiness and hypocrisy of bourgeois society and the power of money were depicted with irony and sarcasm in short stories and novellas written by Mérimée in the 1830’s and 1840’s, including The Double Misunderstanding,“Arsene Guillot,”and “The Abbé Aubain.”In the short stories “The Venus of Ille,”“Colomba,”and “Carmen” (1845) the author focuses on the clash between bourgeois morality and primitive but more just moral norms.

Mérimée’s prose reached its peak in the 1830’s and 1840’s. Using the techniques of the “story within a story”and introducing into the text alleged old letters or unexpected historical and philological digressions, Mérimée created a superficially calm, detached narrative style.

Mérimée’s scholarly works are distinguished by a superior literary mastery. Among them are books of essays (for example, Notes on a Journey Through the South of France, 1835), critical articles, and research on medieval architecture and on the history of ancient Rome, Spain, the Ukraine, and Russia.

After 1848, Mérimée’s creative activity declined. During his later years his interest in Russian culture increased. He became friendly with A. I. Turgenev, I. S. Turgenev, and S. A. Sobolevskii. An impassioned propagandist of Russian literature, he wrote a series of articles on Gogol, Turgenev, and Pushkin and translated many of their works. His interest in Slavic themes was reflected in the late novella, Lokis (1869). Mérimée’s works have been the basis for plays, musical comedies, and operas (for example, Bizet’s Carmen, 1875), as well as many films.


Oeuvres completes, vols. 1-12. Paris, 1927-33. (Publication not completed.)
Romans et nouvelles, vols. 1-2, Paris [1967].
Histoire du régne de Pierre le Grand. Paris, 1947.
Correspondance générate, vols. 1-17. Paris-Toulouse, 1941-64.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch. , vols. 1-3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1933-34.
Sobr. soch. , vols. 1-6. Moscow, 1963.


Vinogradov, A. K. Merime v pis’makh k Sobolevskomu. Moscow, 1928.
Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 2. Moscow, 1956.
Trahard, P. [Mérimée], vols. 1-4. 1925-30.
Baschet, R. Mérimée. Paris, 1958.
Leon, P. Mérimée et son temps. Paris, 1962.
Paevskaia, A. V., and V. T. Danchenko. Prosper Merime: Bibliografiia russkikh perevodov i kriticheskoi literatury na russkom iazyke: 1828-1967. Moscow, 1968.
Raitt, A. W. P. Mérimée. London [1970].
Trahard, P., and P. Josserand. Bibliographic des oeuvres de P. Mérimée. Paris, 1929.


References in periodicals archive ?
In this article I will look primarily at two works, Lokis (1869) and La Venus d'Ille (1837), and suggest that Merimee routinely undermines the prevailing attitudes regarding feasting and cultural capital by showing that dining, a ritualized practice of restraint and refinement, frequently reveals the primitive disorder it seeks to regulate.
Chapter 1, "Le Miroir aux alouettes de la traduction [The Lure of Translation]: Prosper Merimee [1803-1870]," examines the role of translation as a medium of and metaphor for the fantastic in an understudied literary hoax by a major French late Romantic writer.
A placa que aparece nesta imagem que ora lhes exibo encontra-se no muro da Universidade de Sevilha, onde funcionou a antiga fabrica de tabacos, na qual trabalhava a famosa personagem de Merimee Carmen.
Merimee, in his statement on behalf of the delegation of France did not hide his satisfaction that the resolution "strike?
The author, Prosper Merimee, couldn't get the story or his experiences of Spain out of his mind and went on to publish Carmen in 1845.
Table 1: A Simplified Overview of Factors that Release or Inhibit HGH Secretion, by Anatomic Region (Adapted from Merimee TJ, Grant MB.
So, to repeat, it's Sarah Miles' version of the famous Merimee novel, directed by Franco Dragone of Cirque du Soleil fame.
There can be no complaints on that score as Bizet's Carmen, based on a novel by Prosper Merimee, has a strong story that is best served in its proper setting, Seville in the 1820s.
Third Place: Alena Merimee, East Central Division (Ohio); Paul Kantor, teacher
Even now as we talk, he quotes French writers and philosophers such as Prosper Merimee, whose novella Carmen was famously staged as an opera by Georges Bizet.
I recall picking three volumes: the complete works of Montaigne and Merimee in France's admirable Pleiade editions, and a gorgeously leather-bound, hand-tooled edition of Kipling's Kim.
If the short story writer Prosper Merimee had not been so thirsty and insisted on stopping at a Spanish inn, he never would have met Carmencita, and there never would have been a Carmen.