My Brother Yves

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Pierre Loti (right) with "Chrysanthème" and friend Yves, Japan, 1885.

My Brother Yves (French: Mon Frère Yves, 1883) is a semi-autobiographical novel by French author Pierre Loti. It describes the friendship between French naval officer Pierre Loti and a hard drinking Breton sailor Yves Kermadec during the 1870s and 80s. It was probably Loti's best-known book[1] and it descriptions of Breton seafaring life, on board ship and on shore, set the tone for his later masterpiece An Iceland Fisherman (1886).

The fictional Yves was in reality Loti's friend the Breton sailor Pierre le Cor who had sailed with him on a number of voyages. He could hardly read or write, but was tall, fair and handsome, everything Loti wanted to be.[1] Like Yves, le Cor was a frightful drinker, while Loti hardly drank at all. The pair often spent time ashore gambling, brawling, scheming childish pranks, or roaming the countryside of Brittany where le Cor introduced Loti to the lore of the Breton culture. In Brittany Loti met le Cor's mother and swore to watch over her son forever, although le Cor's hard drinking often tested the bonds of their friendship.

Although the novel has raised some questions that Loti might have been describing a homosexual relationship,[2] it is clear from the book Yves was first and foremost a companion and friend.[1]

The relationship between Loti and Yves Kermadec also plays a role in Fleurs d'ennui (1882), and Madame Chrysanthème (1887).

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lesley Blanch (1983). Chapter 8.
  2. ^ See for example the entry for "Pierre Loti" in the glbtq encyclopedia [1]

References[edit]