Marian Engel / Sep 15, 2019

Bear After five years buried like a mole amid the decaying maps and manuscripts of an historical institute Lou is given a welcome field assignment to catalogue a nineteenth century library improbably loc

  • Title: Bear
  • Author: Marian Engel
  • ISBN: 9780771093227
  • Page: 311
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • After five years buried like a mole amid the decaying maps and manuscripts of an historical institute, Lou is given a welcome field assignment to catalogue a nineteenth century library, improbably located in an octagonal house on a remote island in northern Ontario Eager to reconstruct the estate s curious history, she is unprepared for her discovery that the island hasAfter five years buried like a mole amid the decaying maps and manuscripts of an historical institute, Lou is given a welcome field assignment to catalogue a nineteenth century library, improbably located in an octagonal house on a remote island in northern Ontario Eager to reconstruct the estate s curious history, she is unprepared for her discovery that the island has one other inhabitant a bear.Lou s imagination is soon overtaken by the estate s historical occupants, whose fascination with bear lore becomes her own Irresistibly, Lou is led along a path of emotional and sexual self discovery, as she explores the limits of her own animal nature through her bizarre and healing relationship with the bear.A daring and compelling novel, Marian Engel s Bear won the Governor General s Award for 1976.From the Hardcover edition.

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      311 Marian Engel
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      Published :2018-011-17T08:11:02+00:00

    About "Marian Engel"

      • Marian Engel

        Canadian novelist, short story and children s fiction writer, Marian Engel was a passionate activist for the national and international writer s cause She was the first chair of the Writer s Union of Canada 1973 74 and helped found the Public Lending Right Commission From 1975 1977, she served on the City of Toronto Book Award Committee an award she won in 1981 for Lunatic Villas and the Canadian Book and Periodical Development Council.In 1982 she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.She married Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC radio producer Howard Engel in 1962 and, upon their return to Toronto from England in 1964, began to raise a family twins William Lucas Pass and Charlotte Helen Arabella and to pursue a writing career Marian and Howard separated in 1975 and divorced in 1977.Engel was writer in residence at the University of Alberta 1977 1978 and at the University of Toronto 1980 1982 Her first novel, No Clouds of Glory, was published in 1968 She wrote two children s books Adventures of Moon Bay Towers 1974 and My name is not Odessa Yarker 1977 Her most famous and controversial novel was Bear 1976 , a tale of erotic love between a librarian and a bear, for which she won the Governor General s Literary Award for Fiction in 1976.From 1965 to her death in 1985 she corresponded with literary peers and friends such as Hugh MacLennan, Robertson Davies, Dennis Lee, Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findley, Alice Munro, Margaret Laurence, Matt Cohen, Robert Weaver, Graeme Gibson and Some of this correspondence can be found in Dear Hugh, Dear Marian The MacLennan Engel Correspondence 1995 and Marian Engel Life in Letters 2004.After her death in 1985, the Writer s Development Trust of Canada instituted the Marian Engel Award, which was presented annually to a woman writer in mid career The Engel and Findley Awards are no longer awarded separately, but were combined into the new Writers Trust Notable Author Award as of 2008.


    1. floating because the comments in this thread: imgur/gallery/uf3YE are killing me. dedrst of all, i want to thank bill thompson, for sending me this book from canada. i also want to thank him specifically for sending me this cover, because it is totally hot and i got to upload it onto myself. i am now prepared for the customer/patron question: "do y'all have any books where a bear goes down on a lady??" yes. yes i do. but that's pretty reductive, even though the book is only 167 pages long. it i [...]

    2. Is this a book where a Canadian woman called Lou smears honey on her labia minora and has a black bear lick it off? Yes.Is this a book where Lou kneads the bear’s testicles and tries to mount the bear’s penis? Yes.Is this a book where Lou falls in love with a bear? Yes.Did Marian Engel win the Governor’s General Award for this book? YesIs this book about gratuitous bestiality? No.Is this book about general bestiality, then? No. (Although clearly, ).So, what IS this book about, then? Lou is [...]

    3. After stumbling across this on imgur I feel like it's my duty to read this. For research purposes. I feel like I'm probably going to regret this decision.

    4. I read this book in a day then had to spend two more days in an attempt to understand it. I knew something was up when I, innocent reader, bought a book on the recommendation of a reader friend who is Canadian and knows what is UP about Canadian lit. I read the description, about the mousy librarian and her assignment to a tiny island to catalog an estate that has been donated, and thought it sounded like something I would really love. I noted that it won the Governor General's Literary Prize, w [...]

    5. Marian Engel's Governor General's Award winning novel, BEAR, is a unique little masterpiece. Unfortunately, this novel seems to have been forgotten. It opens when Lou, the main character, a librarian, is commissioned to catalog and research the life of an eccentric nineteenth century colonel in the wilds of Ontario. At first, Lou is uncertain she wants to be in such an isolated environment. But once she reaches the remote island house, and begins her cataloging and research, a peace falls upon h [...]

    6. Wherein a youngish but isolated-in-her-modern-life archivist leaps at a chance to move into a different sort of isolation (cataloguing an estate library on a remote island) and bonds somewhat surreally-yet-unanthroporphically-realistically with a certain member of the local semi-wildlife. The notes and asides delivered in slips of paper from the past, the setting, the hard deadpan "reality" of the delivery are all handled perfectly. Especially the latter. In another book this would slip into abs [...]

    7. Unconventional sex and sexuality interests me, as a general rule. What interests me most about novels that deal with taboo sex is not the taboo per se, although there is something to be said about reading descriptions of the forbidden that is erotic in and of itself. What I’m chiefly interested in is how taboo sex can answer questions about ourselves, and when we examine depictions of these forbidden encounters, strange intimacies, and abject eroticisms, there are things to be discovered that [...]

    8. Unlike most of the fiction titles in my bear-bear shelf (at least based on the blurbs), this one does not take the absurdist-magical-sur-realist route. Instead, it admirably goes the route of realism (or what we think of as realism), which is much harder considering the topic. How does a bookish woman end up falling in love and having sexual relations with a bear in any kind of believable fashion? And how do we end up falling for it, not even in a kitschy smirky superior way, but feeling for her [...]

    9. 3.75/5Libro recomendable para todo aquel que busque una lectura transgresora y enteramente distinta a cualquier cosa leída y por leer. Oso no gustará a todo el mundo, pero en ningún caso les dejará indiferentes. Reseña completa:libros-prohibidos/mari

    10. This poor book! The 1970s sextastic cover promises bear erotica, which has caused many chuckles because it's a an award-winning Canadian book so hahaha those crazy Canucks. In reality, it's a story of a woman finding herself in the wilderness. So if you were here for the sex, leave now. The summary: A quiet, young librarian gets an assignment to catalogue a collection on a remote island. On the island she finds a tame bear and she begins to question herself about life, relationships and her prev [...]

    11. What a wonderful read! I don't know that I would have picked it up without a book group's challenge to read a "book outside my comfort zone", but a protagonist engaging in bestiality certainly fit the description. But it ended up being so much more than shocking and shallow, which was almost what I was expecting. It's a strong feminist story about self-realization and empowerment, and the boundaries of personal power. It's an absorbing story and I'm happy to have given it a chance.

    12. SoI read this book because there was an article about it floating around Facebook. I believe the actual title of that article was something like 'What the actual fuck, Canada?' because this is a book wherein a woman gets licked by a bear. Bear sex. And not of the hairy dude variety. Bear sex with an actual real bear. And what's more, it's an award-winning book with bear sex in it.But it's not a book about bear sex.The writing is beautiful. The sensory detail is phenomenal. There's a scene where [...]

    13. A true gem of a novella. Engel’s third-person limited narration and simple but elegant prose fit perfectly to this modern take on the fairy tale, complete with a woman, a bear, and a library in an octagonal house on an island in the deep woods of the north (Canada). The running commentary on the books and the notes in the library that the protagonist is archiving is wonderful. This novel has such a wonderful sense of balance, something its protagonist lacks. The narrator and the protagonist ma [...]

    14. In Engel’s novel, Lou and Bear’s relationship is not consensual; many of their encounters are sexually abusive, verging on rape. As Margret Grebowicz argues in “When Species Meat: Confronting Bestiality Pornography,” “[h]ow might we begin to distinguish between the sexual agency we anthropomorphically project onto animals (in the production of porn, for instance) and their real sexual agency, the very thing which render them rapeable (at least in human legal terms) in the first place? [...]

    15. It was the night of the falling stars. She took him to the riverbank. They swam in the still, black water. They did not play. They were serious that night. They swam in circles around each other, very solemnly. Then they went to the shore, and instead of shaking himself on her, he lay beside her and licked the water from her body while she, on her back, let the stars fall, one, two, fourteen, a million, it seemed, falling on her, ready to burn her. Once she reached up to one, it seemed so close, [...]

    16. Evocación del beatus ille de Horacio. Regreso al paraíso perdido, ese anhelo común a los eremitas medievales y a los hippies, dosificado por el contraste entre la vida salvaje y la sofisticación civilizada representada por la biblioteca, con referencias a numerosos autores. Novela transgresora, con un perturbador enfoque sobre el bestialismo más allá de una zoofilia física. “La gente se vuelve un poco rara por aquí, si pasa demasiado tiempo a solas” (pág. 156) y la protagonista no e [...]

    17. Una mujer sola en una isla remota al norte de Canadá. Una casa llena de libros. Whisky. Un oso.Una novela sobre la soledad y la necesidad de establecer afectos, una novela feminista y no tanto, una novela sobre el amor por la naturaleza tan maltratada por la presencia humana.La cita que se encuentra antes de comenzar el libro propiamente dicho: "Los hechos se vuelven arte mediante el amor, que los unifica y los encumbra a un plano más elevado de la realidad; en el paisaje, este amor que todo l [...]

    18. A brilliant book and one of my favourites. When I was doing my MA at the University of Toronto, I went to McMaster University in Hamilton (who hold's Engel's personal letters) to do some research on her papers. Someone really should do a PhD on her correspondence.

    19. This book is brilliant. A look at a single woman in a patriarchal, misogynistic society, with a lagging career, a dysfunctional relationship with a married man, and a chance to break free and connect with herself through nature. This book is intense and sometimes uncomfortable. The writing is brilliant. Margaret Atwood and Margaret Laurence wrote positive reviews on the back cover. These two women have not steered me wrong yet. This book was no exception.

    20. Holy crickets, what have I done? I admit I wanted to read this because I'd read some hi-larious reviews about the fact that it won the Governor General's Literary Award in Canada in 1976, which is noteworthy, since it's probably the highest award ever bestowed upon a novel in which a librarian has a tryst with a bear. The surprise is that Bear is actually kind of good. There's some good writing, some deep characterization, a real sense of loneliness and longing that almost almost makes you thin [...]

    21. No hay que fijarse en la nota que le he puesto, puesto que lo he calificado así por poner algo, porque sinceramente no sé qué opinar del libro.Dado que han pasado varios días desde que lo leí y aún no puedo formarme una opinión, eso debería inclinar la balanza a favor de aumentar la puntuación. Pero es que todavía estoy demasiado impactada. Y ni siquiera sé si es un impacto bueno o malo.El viaje de la protagonista, su desarrollo personal, la descripción del paisaje del Norte canadien [...]

    22. Las escritoras canadienses son de las mejores en describir y perturbar magistralmente. Marian Engel es tan buena que puede decir lo que quiera y convertirlo en una obra maestra. Con oso o sin él, la manera en la que desarrolla la emancipación de la mujer, la libertad y esa oda a la naturaleza es un verdadero viaje de autodescubrimiento."Porque lo que le disgustaba de los hombres no era su erotismo, sino que dieran por supuesto que las mujeres no tenían. Lo que las confinaba al papel de amas d [...]

    23. You guys.Look at this cover.Read the description.Look at Christina's review here: /review/show.Then read this thing on tumblr: some-awkward-peacock.tumblrTHEN say it with meWHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?????

    24. Lou is one of the great feminist heroes of literature. At once daring, philosophical, and deeply insightful, "Bear" offers a gorgeously written rumination on sexuality, women, and what it means to be alone with oneself.

    25. No me ha gustado no porque sea "escandaloso", sino porquetá vacío, hueco, falto de interés. Solo hay descripción sin reflexión, sin pensamientos bien desarrollados que sean verdaderamente interesantes. Una lástima, ya que su potencial era enorme para ello.

    26. Well, I can see why Margaret Atwood liked it, at least, but it's not for me. Relentlessly boring and at times hard to follow, punctuated by brief moments of wtf. It reminded me too much of Hemingway and I just don't know why people go in for that sort of thing. Also, "I love you, Bear. Tear my head off." wtfffffff

    27. A month or so ago, someone posted on Imgur screenshot of the cover of Bear along with photos of the racier bits and titled it, "What the actual fuck, Canada?". Since the crux of the story concerned a Canadian librarian who goes into the woods to find herself, I knew I had to read it.And so did everyone else. Random House Canada recently wrote a blog piece that discussed not only the new spike in sales of the book based on the Imgur posting but also Bear was much more than a woman getting it on w [...]

    28. This is a fascinating book. Phenomenally well written. The perfect story, an incredible polemic. A challenge to our conception of womanhood, of space, of the environment, of sex and danger. I read it and I was uncomfortable - how foolish this woman, Lou, must be! And the story starts out so idyllic. I want to spend a summer in the almost wild wilderness, living in a 19th Century maison, and cataloging the collection! (I suppose that is a bit unusual.)But the way the book ends isn't idyllic, at l [...]

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