Most of it, perhaps as much as three-quarters of its intended length, seems to be there. But the telling is sometimes baggy, repetitive, irrelevant or all three, and any reader will begin to notice passages that Remarque might have cut out or cut down if he had been allowed more time. There were several successive versions — one account says there were six — and this is alleged to be the last, Remarque having junked the others.
The Promised Land
This makes it all the more peculiar that his widow, the Hollywood superstar Paulette Goddard, went to Munich a year after his death and launched an earlier and much inferior draft entitled Schatten im Paradies , translated as Shadows in Paradise Remarque had left Germany in , hounded by the Nazis even before they came to power, but continued to write in German.
That text was pretty universally panned.
Remarque, the critics said, had clearly been suffering from a senile decay of talent. Why Goddard decided that Schatten should be published and not this later and far superior text, which must have been lying somewhere around his desk, is a puzzle. Possibly because Schatten does have an ending, whereas The Promised Land stops as its main character approaches a moment of enormous, existential decision without giving any clear sign of which choice he will make. Such a break-off would normally be infuriating, but instead the very uncertainty is intensely memorable.
Incomplete and often overweight as it is, The Promised Land Das gelobte Land is fitfully powerful and moving. The haunted restlessness and Hamletish indecision of the narrator, a German exile in wartime New York, builds up a terrible tension. Slowly, through gathering hints, his contending compulsion and reluctance to act become clearer. The last of these had to be finished in exile.
The Promised Land was evidently planned as a sequel to the novels about flight and emigration. Flotsam begins with German anti-Nazi and Jewish refugees arriving in Vienna to a hostile reception. Arch of Triumph is set among refugees in Paris, between the Nazi assumption of power in and the outbreak of war. The Night in Lisbon starts after the German invasion of France, as the emigrants — now fugitives — frantically seek visas and boat tickets to escape from Europe. In The Promised Land , Remarque — sometimes tenderly, sometimes with brutal satire — anatomises the refugees who have managed to reach safety in the United States.
Its action takes place in New York, in the final year of the war in Europe. On the first page, the narrator is still on Ellis Island, waiting for a temporary visa in a tearful mob of refugee families. His passport says he is Ludwig Sommer, but he is not. The identity was given to him by another exile, a dying Jewish friend, in France just before the war.
We never learn his real name.
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It gradually emerges that he spent time in Gestapo torture chambers and then in a concentration camp. He is not a Jew, though he allows everyone to assume that he is, but was in some undisclosed opposition group. Nearly 12 years on the run have left him wary, distrustful, plagued by horrific dreams and flashbacks. Many of them, like him, are living with false papers and are in constant fear of American arrest and internment; several are old comrades whom he had believed dead.
He is reunited with his friend Robert Hirsch, a legendary fighter who tore about Occupied France in SS uniform rescuing Ludwig and other refugees from internment camps and the pursuing Gestapo. Now Robert is managing a small electrical goods shop. He slowly coaxes Ludwig into relaxing, laughing at him when he flinches at the sight of two cops in a restaurant. Sometimes more courage than running away.
It may never happen. Ludwig is directed to a shabby hotel, already crowded with European refugees in many stages of crazy optimism, suicidal gloom or alcoholic resignation. Remarque readers will have been here before. Here, as in several of the other emigration novels, there is a huge old Russian behind the desk, one of the White refugees who headed for France and America after the Bolshevik victory.
Cynical but kindly, he hands out vodka, Seconal and worldly advice to his tormented guests and plays chess with them.
Some still wrestle with thoughts of returning to Germany when the war is won. But the Russian — Moikov in this novel — has long ago disentangled himself from hope that he will see his own country again. Other characters and motifs recur.
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Dr Ravic, the heroic but stateless surgeon practising illegally in Paris, was the central character in Arch of Triumph and now reappears in New York. So does booze, a topic to which Remarque fondly returns to the brink of self-parody; his characters, men and women, are always holding out a glass for more or exclaiming over the quality of the next bottle.
During the doomed love affair in Arch of Triumph , Ravic and Joan drank Calvados in such quantities that the novel — a bestseller — touched off an American sales boom so wild that Normandy ran out of apples the producer who filmed the book is supposed to have ordered 54 cases of the stuff on set. Remarque was a famously autobiographical novelist. Friends, enemies and places surface again and again, very occasionally under their true names. Ravic contains elements of Remarque himself, or at least of a person he would have liked to have been.
Das gelobte Land (The Promised Land)
We fly from ourselves. From our life … The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer; we believe in the war.
- Erich Maria Remarque.
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And this was not because postwar Germany was lurching into a chaos of revolution, hunger and hyperinflation. It was rather that the only skills their experience in the trenches had left to these young men were how to kill, how to harden the heart against atrocious sights, how to steal and dodge orders, how to live without imagining a future.
But these skills were useless, inappropriate to the needs of a society at peace. So it was, a decade later, with the victims of the Third Reich. They too were fleeing — for their lives but also from their lives. You have native languages that can be verified You can request verification for native languages by completing a simple application that takes only a couple of minutes. View applications. Close and don't show again Close. Close search. Term search Jobs Translators Clients Forums. Term search All of ProZ. Desription of a xuxury resort on a Caribbean island.
Denn der Urlaubshimmel hat noch mehr zu bieten. Lesley Robertson M. Local time: English translation: shores of bliss. Explanation: Has the intended effect while largely avoiding inappropriate associations. If you think you've found your shores of bliss after inspecting your temporary abode - you haven't seen anything yet! If you think you've found your shores of bliss after inspecting your temporary abode - you'll be in for a surprise! Wendy Streitparth.
John Hein-Hartmann. Kate Collyer. Michael Martin, MA. David Moore. Helen Shiner. Marga Shaw. Paul Skidmore. Lancashireman United Kingdom. BrigitteHilgner Austria. Login to enter a peer comment or grade. This communciate sthe idea of a great and lush coast with a nearly endless beach and opportunities.
Therefore beach of the utmost promise! Peer comments on this answer and responses from the answerer neutral. Utopia, the land of your dreams, etc. Similar to Brigitte. Far from it! Peer comments on this answer and responses from the answerer agree.