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A selection of stories by one of the earliest exponents of the short-story genre, Prosper Merimee (1803-70). His stories are seen to reveal the paradoxical fascination with the cruelty of violence and passion in a man ostensibly urbane and reticent; to an extent they all explore the contrast between primitive and civilized values. "Carmen", based on an anecdote recounted to Merimee by a Spanish countess in 1830, may have introduced the literary incarnation of the "femme fatale", the woman whose aura of mystery and malevolence exerts a fatal charm on the weak and unwary. Apart from the most famous longer tales "Carmen" and "Colomba", this selection includes the shorter stories, regarded by some as his best or most representative work - "Mateo Falcone", "The Storming of the Redoubt", "Tamango", "The Etruscan Vase", "The Game of Backgammon", "The Venus of Ille" and "Lokis".
Their subjects range across the tragic enforcement of a Corsican bandit's code of honour, a historical reconstruction of a Franco-Russian battle, illegal slave-trading, overweening, jealous passion underlying a veneer of Parisian civilization, guilty remorse and its consequences, and the seductive and lethal nature of erotic love entwined with apparently supernatural forces.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 395 pages
  • 116.84 x 185.42 x 17.78mm | 204.12g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • French
  • note on the text, chronology, bibliography
  • 019282242X
  • 9780192822420

Table of contents

"Carmen"; "Mateo Falcone"; "The Storming of the Rebout"; "Tamango"; "The Etruscan Vase"; "The Game of Backgammon"; "The Venus of Ille"; "Colomba"; "Lokis". Appendix: the final chapter of "Carmen" added to the 1847 edition.
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Rating details

349 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 26% (91)
4 38% (132)
3 28% (97)
2 7% (23)
1 2% (6)
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