Lokis (novella)

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"Miška su Lokiu,
Abu du tokiu"

[1]

Lokis is an 1869 Prosper Mérimée horror fantasy novella. It was one of the last stories by Mérimée, started in July 1868 and published in the Revue des deux Mondes in September 1869.[2]

Plot[edit]

It is set in rural Lithuania. The plot revolves around a young man who is suspected to be half-human half-bear, since he was born after his mother was mauled (and, as believed by peasants, raped) by a bear. The title is a misspelling of Lithuanian lokys for "bear". As such, the plot may be classified into a werewolf theme. Through the novel, the protagonist, Michel/Lokis, manifests signs of animal-like behavior until he finally kills his bride by a bite to her throat and runs away into the forest on his wedding night. Some critics consider the tale to be an inversion of the Beauty and the Beast story, whereby the Beauty transforms a man into a Beast, rather than vice versa.[2]

Film adaptations[edit]

  • Medvezhya svadba (Медвежья свадьба)(1926) by Konstantin Eggert and Vladimir Gardin
  • Lokis (1970) by Janusz Majewski
  • La Bête (1975) by Walerian Borowczyk

References[edit]

  1. ^ A Lithuanian proverb cited at the beginning of the novel. It almost literally means "A grizzly and a bear are one and the same beast." The proverb was devised by Mérimée himself.[citation needed] "Miška" is not a Lithuanian word but Russian, a hypocoristic form of "Michael", the protagonist's name.
  2. ^ a b "Space, Self, and the Role of the Matecznik in Mérimée's Lokis", Forum for Modern Language Studies 2000 XXXVI(2):196-208; doi:10.1093/fmls/XXXVI.2.196