From Nineteenth-Century France to Settings in the United States and South Africa in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
This chapter follows the character of Carmen from her genesis in the middle of the nineteenth century with Prosper Mérimée’s novella (1845-46) through Bizet’s opera (1875), the film adaptation of Carmen Jones (1954), the MTV hip hopera (2001), and the South African U-Carmen eKhayelitsha (2005). With a transnational lens, this chapter brings together the same story as it moves across the Atlantic from Europe to the United States to South Africa and becomes a focal point for looking at text and genre. The emphases are on the intricacies of representation across the parameters of race, gender, expressions of hypersexuality, class, and nation while they are juxtaposed and held in dialogue with each other.
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