Marian Engel's Bear is a novel that explores the themes of loneliness, sexuality, and identity through the unconventional relationship between a woman and a bear. The novel was published in 1976 and won the Governor General's Literary Award the same year. It is Engel's fifth novel, and her most famous[^2^].
The story tells of a lonely archivist named Lou who is sent to work in northern Ontario, where she has to catalog the library of a remote island estate. There, she meets a bear that lives on the island and becomes fascinated by him. She gradually develops a sexual and emotional bond with the bear, which helps her overcome her insecurities and discover new aspects of herself. The novel works within the logic of a fever dream as Lou comes to an even greater, and unexpected, understanding of herself[^1^].
Bear is a novel that challenges the conventional notions of love, sexuality, and identity. It is a daring and provocative work that explores the human condition in an original and captivating way. It is also a beautifully written novel that evokes the natural beauty and mystery of northern Ontario. Bear is a novel that deserves to be read by anyone who appreciates literature that pushes the boundaries and stimulates the imagination.Bear is not only a novel about a woman's sexual awakening, but also a novel about her intellectual and emotional growth. Lou's relationship with the bear challenges her to question her assumptions and prejudices about herself and the world. She learns to appreciate the complexity and diversity of life, both human and animal. She also learns to confront her own fears and desires, and to accept herself as she is.
The novel has been widely praised for its originality, courage, and beauty. It has also been controversial for its depiction of bestiality, which some critics have seen as a metaphor for colonialism, feminism, or environmentalism. Engel herself said that she wanted to write a love story that was not sentimental or conventional[^3^]. She also said that she was interested in exploring the boundaries between men and women, humans and animals[^1^]. She said that the bear was a symbol of \"the other\", the unknown, the mysterious[^3^].
Bear is a novel that invites readers to reflect on their own relationships with nature, culture, and themselves. It is a novel that challenges readers to expand their imagination and empathy. It is a novel that celebrates the power and pleasure of love, in all its forms.In conclusion, Bear is a novel that deserves to be read and appreciated by a wide audience. It is a novel that transcends its controversial premise and offers a rich and nuanced exploration of human nature. It is a novel that shows how love can transform and liberate us, even in the most unlikely circumstances. It is a novel that reminds us of the beauty and wonder of the natural world, and of our connection to it. Bear is a novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. ec8f644aee