LITERATURE The Book To Look … (No.15)

Posted by on 20. Mai 2011
Riachard A. Berman

... and R. A. Berman

Der englische Patient

The movie poster of „The English Patient“ ...

Everybody knows „The English Patient“, the Hungarian count Laszlo Ede de Almasy of movie fame. Nobody knows Richard A. Bermann (aka Arnold Höllriegel). 1933 they both went to Libya and discovered the oasis Zarzura, shrouded in legends, for centuries hidden in the Sahara sand. So many love Almasy’s book „Swimmer of the Desert“ (on which the film script is based), Bermann’s much better book „Die Oase der kleinen Vögel“ about the same topic – the desert and the lost paradise of Zarzura – is forgotten. When the Nazis came to power, he fled Germany, then Austria, came to the USA in 1938 and died on broken heart a year later in the artists colony of Yaddo near Saratoga Springs (New York), being 56 years old only. Berman, a jew and a great writer, didn’t live long enough to see the hype around „The English Patient“, he was mentioned in Michael Ondaatje’s bestseller but only as a marginal witness/expert and I herewith try to give him justice. I’ll do it in another entry again since Bermann was cheated twice out of his authorship, again concerning a world famous movie …

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