Franz Werfel: Das Lied von Bernadette [The Song of Bernadette]

(2093 words)
  • Hans Wagener (University of California, Los Angeles)

Das Lied von Bernadette [The Song of Bernadette] was first published in 1941 in German in Stockholm by the exile publishing firm of Bermann-Fischer. The first English edition appeared in the following year, 1942 (trans. Ludwig Lewisohn. New York: Viking; London: Hamish Hamilton). In writing his novel, Werfel supposedly fulfilled a vow he made when he was stranded in Lourdes, the place of the action in Southern France, attempting to escape from the advancing German troops in June 1940. In his “Personal Preface” to the novel, he reports these autobiographical events, concluding:

Eines Tages in meiner grossen Bedrängnis legte ich ein Gelübde ab. Werde ich …
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Wagener, Hans. "Das Lied von Bernadette". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 September 2008
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]