Franz Werfel Song of Bernadette

June 2, 2021
Conspiracy theory of the day:

The Song of Bernadette (German: Das Lied von Bernadette) is a 1941 novel that informs the story of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, who, from February to July 1858 reported eighteen visions regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France. The book was published by Franz Werfel and converted into English by Lewis Lewisohn in 1942. It was extremely popular, spending significantly more than per year in the ny days Best vendor listing and 13 months in first place.

The book ended up being adjusted to the 1943 film starring Jennifer Jones.


Franz Werfel ended up being a German-speaking Jew born in Prague in 1890. He became famous as a playwright. Inside 1930s in Vienna, he started composing well-known satirical plays lampooning the Nazi regime before Anschluss, when the Third Reich under Adolf Hitler annexed Austria in 1938. Werfel and his wife Alma (Gustav Mahler’s widow) fled to Paris before the Germans invaded France in 1940.

In the individual Preface into the tune of Bernadette, Franz Werfel takes up the story:

“within the last days of Summer 1940, in-flight following the collapse of France, the two of us, my wife and I, had wished to elude our mortal enemies eventually to get across the Spanish frontier to Portugal, but needed to flee returning to the inside of France regarding really night German soldiers occupied the frontier town of Hendaye. The Pyreenean départements had converted into a phantasmagoria – a really camp of chaos. “This unusual migration of individuals wandered about from the roadways in their thousands obstructing cities and villages: Frenchmen, Belgians, Dutchmen, Poles, Czechs, Austrians, exiled Germans; and, mingled with your, troops associated with defeated armies. There clearly was hardly meals adequate to still the severe pangs of appetite. There clearly was no protection available. Whoever had gotten possession of an upholstered chair for their night’s remainder had been an object of envy. In unlimited lines, stood the automobiles associated with fugitives, piled large with household equipment, with mattresses and beds. There was no petrol to be had. “A family decided in Pau informed us that Lourdes was the only place in which, if chance were kind, one will dsicover a roof. Since Lourdes ended up being but thirty kilometres distant, we had been advised to really make the attempt and knock on its gates. We accompanied this advice and found refuge finally into the small city of Lourdes in the foothills associated with Pyrenees.”

Hunted because of the Gestapo, the Werfels practiced anxiety for hosts plus by themselves. Some families took turns in going for refuge. These folks told the Werfels the storyline of Bernadette. Werfel vowed that, if he along with his partner escaped, however put-off all jobs and compose Bernadette's tale into a novel.

Once the Werfels achieved the safety of America, Werfel held his term. He passed away in 1945, in addition to Cardinal Archbishop of l . a ., having acquired the household’s authorization, gave him a Christian burial. After the war, Franz Werfel had been re-buried in Vienna.

The story of Bernadette Soubirous and Our woman of Lourdes is told by Werfel with many touches, like the part where Bernadette is invited to board at the home of a rich lady whom believes Bernadette's visionary "lady" might be her deceased child. In side-stories and straight back tale, the history associated with city of Lourdes, the modern governmental situation in France, together with responses of believers and detractors are delineated. Werfel describes Bernadette as a religious peasant woman who does have chosen to keep on with a typical life, but takes the veil as a nun after she's told that because "Heaven selected the lady", she must pick Heaven. Bernadette's service as a sacristan, artist-embroiderer, and nurse in convent tend to be depicted, with her spiritual development. After her demise, her human body along with the woman life are scrutinized for indications that this woman is a saint, and at final she is canonized.

Unusual for a novel, the complete very first part, which defines the occasions on the day that Bernadette initially saw the Virgin Mary, is informed in today's tight, just as if it were occurring at present. The rest of the book is within the last tight.

Significant themes[edit]

Werfel presents Bernadette as a new woman of artless ease and genuine piety who's seen as stupid by those that don't know the girl really. He in addition portrays the lady as strong-willed and determined to handle the desires associated with the "Lady of Massabielle" who she alone is able to see. The woman fight, to truly have the woman's existence and requests recognized and fulfilled, is played out against the larger fabric of French politics and also the contemporary social weather. Explanatory digressions illustrate what Werfel recognizes as a continuous dispute between a human want to believe in the supernatural or in anomalous phenomena; a real religion, which should perhaps not deal with such "popular" manifestations; and also the ideas for the Enlightenment as well as atheism.

Sources to record, geography and current science[edit]

Apparently, Werfel received reports of Bernadette from Lourdes households whoever older users had known the lady. It's possible that a lot of folklore and legend was added to the simple details once Werfel heard the tale.

Lourdes pilgrims often need to know more info on Bernadette nor realize that not even close to being a simple-minded shepherdess, she had been a strong-willed younger lady which stood by her story when confronted with hard chapel and federal government inquiry. Werfel was able to work this facet of the woman character into his narration.

However, Werfel wasn't above fictionalization to fill-in details or romanticize her story. He included several characters which couldn't occur, embellished other people, and concocted a potential love for Bernadette as well as an extremely dramatic and fictionalized demise scene. However, within the preface, Werfel states that visitors will justifiably ask "something true and what is created?" Werfel responses the most critical events associated with the story are real, and that it had been an easy task to confirm them because around just eighty years had passed amongst the occasions additionally the writing of the book. He declares: " The Song of Bernadette is a novel however a fictive work".

It appears to own already been motivated simply by Émile Zola's Lourdes, a blistering denunciation associated with industry that sprang up in Lourdes around the presumably miraculous spring. Obviously Werfel believed the guide might act as a counterpoint to Zola's best-selling vitriol. One of his true characters, Hyacinthe de Lafite, a member of freethinkers' club that hangs around the city cafe, is a thinly disguised depiction of Zola himself, re-imagined as a failed journalist/author whom smugly casts Bernadette's expertise in terms of the pagan reputation for the area.By the termination of the book Lafite, the girl's "proudest foe", believing himself to be dying of cancer, is "lying on his legs" prior to the picture of Bernadette's woman in grotto.

The Song of Bernadette (Unabridged) Audiobook
The Song of Bernadette (Unabridged) Audiobook
The Song of Bernadette (1943)
The Song of Bernadette (1943)
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