Karl May Friends

REVIEWS AND READER FEEDBACK 





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Email 30 March & 4 April 2017

From Luise, USA

[...] let me congratulate for translating the works of Karl May. In fact, I grew up watching Winnetou and Old Shatterhand on TV. What a fabulous series Mr. May wrote. He was truly very gifted. [...] I congratulate you for making Karl May's works available to the English speaking community. This is well worth your time and investment, and these books should remain available for future generations.

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Facebook Comment, 2 March, 2017

B. Shute: Really enjoying the two books I purchased recently.

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Email 28 Dec 2016

Out Of Vandaemonia - Winnetou & Shatterhand in Australia

Hello Marlies

What a wonderful Christmas gift for me and other English speaking fans of Karl May heroes your new book was! Although at first I had some reservations about placing the characters from the Wild West in the Australian outback, they surprisingly fitted well in the locations that I'm familiar with (which is an added bonus for me!). I enjoyed a captivating depiction of the landscape and an adventurous plot, which was well thought out with added suspense and quite a few surprises for the readers. Really well done! 


Best wishes, 
Ela
Adelaide, South Australia

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Email 22 Feb 2016, Nick, USA

[...]My eldest son, 13 years of age, is currently in the middle of the fourth Winnetou book, and eager to read your further publications (e.g. The Oil Baron and The Bear Hunter's Son). This past Yule he received a teeshirt I bought for him from your redbubble page, with the cover of the Oil Baron impressed on the shirt - he loves very much the character of Sam Hawkens.

So with my thanks, once again, for your valuable contribution to literature in general and my family in particular [...] I live in Idaho, and my children have grown up with tales of Native Americans. Many of the children's books we've read, being penned by American authors of a certain time and mindset, neglect the innate heroism of the Native Americans in their continental struggle with the Europeans. Looking for alternatives to this misrepresentation is one of the reasons I found my way to Karl May years ago.[...]

Best, Nick

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Sergiy Marchenko, Ukraine, 15 Jan 2016 via FB message

Marlies, I am a Ukrainian Karl May friend, and with years my excitement turned even bigger.[…]

And your translations are of big interest for me - they include so much research, passion, language, and ILLUSTRATIONS!!![…]

And above all I need your "His Story-His Stories" perfect book as well as the Mr' Henry's Instruction Sheet for the weapon...[…]

BTW, Marlies, I've just saw your graphics - the characters... GREAT!!!! I believe these are THE MOST PERFECT 100% KARL-MAY Characters! Please have my best compliments and congratulations! This is the approach I always seek to represent the vintage and modern mix of the character outfits etc. Your work combines both the greatness of the old illustrators and contemporary, more commercial vision. One more time, great job!!! Would be happy to have all your books on my shelf one day.

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Email 4 Dec 2015

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Email 4 July 2015

Dear Marlies Bugmann
[...] My only concern is to find a quality translation of Karl May, regardless of publication format. As a non-native German speaker who discovered Karl May while living in Dresden, and who has spent much time trying to understand the writer in the context of his time, it was shocking to encounter such willful mistranslations of the author's books. So I was grateful to encounter your Friends of Karl May site after an hours long search online. Thanks for doing such a wonderful service!

Michael Dean, UC Berkeley (Works by Karl May intended for a course at UC Berkeley, US)

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Email 26 June 2015

Dear Marlies,
Recently I rediscovered Karl May books from my childhood in my native Poland and got hooked up...again. Having finished all the books from the Wild West series, and especially Winnetou 4, I was searching online for a continuation. I found The Testament series and The Red series by Jutta Laroche and Reinhard Marheinecke from Germany. Unfortunately there is no English translation of their books. I have even tried to read some samples with the help of an online translation, which is not ideal.
So, when I found out from R. Marheinecke's website that you were going to translate "Winnetou and the Old Judge" from the Red series I was excited. And I hope that it is not the only book from their series you plan to work on. I would love to see "Winnetou's Testament" translated as well.
Thank you for your great work and I hope to read more of your translations in the near future.
E. A. (name supplied) Adelaide, South Australia

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Facebook message by Сергій Марченко, Ukraine, 1 Nov 2014

Hi! I like your way of presenting Karl May's Winnetou to the world! Great art! ... Thank you!

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Facebook message by Anne-Martine Humblet, Belgium, 15 July 2014

An unexpected present from our Lyne, the day before we left for the Dasing Festspiele! I was over the moon! Still am I just love your translations, Marlies! I must admit it takes some adjusting after having read so many works in German. But Herr May is so in there, I mean very deeply. I think he would be very proud of you! In fact I'm sure he is!
Thank you very much for your passion, Marlies. Keep going!

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Email from: Nick, US, 13 Nov 2013

Subject: You're an excellent translator [...] and our family has very much been enjoying your Karl May tales [...] It's just that you've done such a nice job with Karl May. [...] Best of luck with future endeavours, and keep up the good work.

Nick

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From Germany, email dated 9 October 2013 

Letzte Woche habe ich am 22. Kongress der Karl-May-Gesellschaft in Radebeul teilgenommen. Unter dem Tagesordnungspunkt "Verschiedenes" hat ein Mitglied auf Ihre Uebersetzungen ins Englische hingewiesen und diese ausdruecklich gewuerdigt.

Schoene Gruesse nach Tasmanien

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From: Anne, via fb, 5 August 2013

Dear Marlies, I am a Belgian Karl May fan since I started reading my father's 'Winnetou I' when I was about ten or eleven. I took German lessons in school when I was about sixteen, somehow knowing I would once need them: I am nowadays reading May's Spätwerke in German (which were never translated in Dutch). I just discovered this page and your website and what is very clear to me is that you have a great love for Karl May and his work.

There might come a day when I would like to discover Karl May's work in English... now I know where to look! And... I love your exquisitely detailed illustration work!

Thank you for your passion, Marlies!

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Email from: Piotr, 4 August 2013

Karl May fan collection (part of), including translations by Marlies Bugmann (The Complete Winnetou Trilogy, and The Treasure In Silver-Lake, top left)

 

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From: Nick, New York, US, Email: 10 July, 2013

Hello Marlies, Yesterday I placed an order for a few more Karl May books from your online store. I've enjoyed your translations of several of them so far, rereading books I originally read in Polish as a kid. You've done a tremendous job with these, so thank you [...] and keep up the good work!

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From: C. Stone, New Zealand, Email: 16 February, 2013

We recently purchased The Complete Winnetou Trilogy from lulu.com and were delighted, not only by the discovery of a full English version but also by your sympathetic translation. The narrative flowed wonderfully from page to page and we were mesmerised.

[…] [A]fter reading Karl May, we were confirmed in our recent belief that we have wasted time filling certain gaps… was it really so urgent to acquire Casanova’s memoirs, Krylov’s fables, or the humourless political minor writings of Orwell when the swashbuckling tales of lesser-known writers such as May, Stephenson, Rafael Sabatini, George MacDonald Fraser and C.S. Forester are so much more entertaining and rewarding? […]

We will continue to augment our library with your translations of May, […]

***

When our present-day inclination to recoil at blunt descriptions of primitive culture is overcome, this becomes magical entertainment of the first order, and Karl May’s loving vision of 19th century America is made available in English for the first time to 21st century readers. Bugmann’s feel for antiquated expression is subtle and clever. The characters are convincingly mannered with all their humour and emotions intact. Winnetou progresses steadily from mysterious noble savage to modern Christian hero, Shatterhand from raw-boned enthusiast to cautious, weathered veteran. The villains resonate with evil intent, the sidekicks add great comic relief, and the storyline sweeps its way back and forth over the Old West from scorched desert to windswept mountaintop. The darkness outside the campfire vibrates with suspense, as the red man’s world struggles to cope with the pressure of a steadily building white tide... truly wonderful literature, layered with geographical detail and dripping with the chewy flavour of slow-cooked buffalo.


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Email 10 Dec 2012 from US, by Romanian Karl May fan
I found this site looking for Karl May books. 
One day I remembered the wonderful books I read back in my country as a kid and I want that my son, now 8 years old, to share the same experience. 
I read them in Romanian, but unfortunately my son born in US cannot read them. As I was looking for English translation, I bumped into some fragments of your books. Translation is awesome.
[...] I grew up in a non-technological society and I still remember the smell of a printed book. [...] Thank you again for your work/passion, I just placed the order on lulu.com for the books.

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From M. V. in London, 12 Sep 2012
My eight-year-old twin boys love Karl May but I have struggled to find good translations. Your editions look beautiful and come recommended by George Alexander. [...]


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From P. Stecher, Austria, 30 July 2012, via fb
I love your work - because, Karl May molded my youth, my ideas on right and wrong, and my love for books, for reading and writing, for travelling, for adventure, made me accept and understand different humans. Best to YOU!

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From S. Setia, Indonesia, 29 April 2012, via fb
General comment on my English Karl May books
I feel like I live in your book when I read your book..so amazing..love it.

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From: Friedrich Abel*, Arizona, USA, 21 March 2012, via fb
The Treasure In Silver-Lake
Liebe Marlies,
[…]Also, das war so toll, ich habe mich so riesig gefreut, endlich mit den Helden meiner Kindheit in einem Buch vereint zu sein, ich habe die Seiten gescanned und mit dem Titel an alle meine Freunde verschickt. Habe mich fast so gefreut als wäre ein ganzes Buch von mir erschienen! Hast Du toll gemacht, aus meinem Gekritzel eine zusammenhängende Betrachtung zu schmieden. Klingt NUN, thanks to your editing, gar nicht so schlecht, everybody was very impressed. […] Das Buch sieht ja wirklich sehr schön aus, gut aufgemacht, und die vielen Extras, die Du anbietest, ne Menge interessanter Vorworte! Und die Recherchen zum Henrystutzen, etc etc. Also, Marlies, nochmals: You absolutely made my day and it will be your fault that I will add a couple of extra years to my life, so hab' ich mich gefreut. So kritisch ich auch manchmal klingen mag in Sachen K[arl] M[ay], er ist doch ein essentieller Bestandteil von mir seit Kindheitstagen...und da war das eine wirklich tolle, tiefe Freude, "mit ihm zusammen" in einem Buch zu erscheinen. "So long apart, and finally united." […]
Danke, danke noch einmal, Marlies! Du ahnst gar nicht, welche freude Du mir bereitet hast. I will be forever in your debt!
Ich schicke Dir ein ganz herzliches Dankeschön und viele Umarmungen!

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From: Pandu Ganesa*, Indonesia, 20 March 2012
The Treasure In Silver-Lake
Dear Marlies
I just received the book with many thanks, very useful. I have [only browsed through it quickly], but I believe I can learn so much from the book. That is what I expect from any Karl May book and [related works], to lean more more and more.

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From: Reiner Boller*, Germany, 2 March, 2012
The Treasure In Silver-Lake
Liebe Marlies
herzlichen Dank und Glückwünsche für Dein neues Buch. Habe es heute bekommen. Bin überrascht über die vielen Seiten - und das erste Blättern brachte auch schon schöne A-ha-Erlebnisse[…]
Bin mir sicher, dass da eine Menge Arbeit und viele, viele Recherchen drinnen stecken! Kann nur "meinen Hut" davor ziehen - ich weiß wie hart diese Arbeit ist. Aber jetzt mit dem Ergebnis lohnt sich doch alles rückblickend, da bin ich mir sicher.
[…]nochmals herzlichen Glückwunsch für das schöne Werk! Mögen es die internationalen Freunde Karl Mays im Jubiläumsjahr geniessen.

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From: Philip Colston*, USA, 24 February 2012
The Treasure In Silver-Lake
Hello Marlies
[...]
[The work] conveys a sense of substance, and leafing through the book, the reader will see how much extra material went into it. All those different sections at the front are like a treasure. The volume as a whole presents like an objet d’art. The cover picture is luminous, and the design, with the Silver-Lake “cigar label” is gorgeous and exciting. One thing that can certainly be said in praise of Lulu is that the covers of both hard-cover and trade paperback editions are always printed perfectly, and faithful to the original files.
[...]
It’s really quite wonderful to finally have the book in hand, after that year-long adventure. It was a super idea to choose this novel, and to create this special anniversary edition with the extra material!

(* Contributors to / Collaborators on The Treasure In Silver-Lake, commenting on the printed book; German comments will be translated to English shortly.)

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Karl May translations
From: Michael, Marcy L'Etoile, France, 31 Jan 2012
Dear Marlies
I am a Belgian who grew up with Winnetou and old Shatterhand in the sixties and as a result, I am quite convinced Karl May's values have become part of the fabric of my life. I have lived in the US for a good decade and even visited the Mescalero reservation in New Mexico! I have followed your work from a distance, and am very grateful that you are opening his work up to a wider audience. [...] With best wishes; keep up the great work!

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Karl May translations
From: Sr, Mirjam , Mönchhof, Austria, 29 Jan 2012
Dear Ms. Bugman,
having a vivid correspondence with switzerland and vienna karl-may-fan-club I take the opportunity tonight, to write you austrian greetings to tasmania. One of our sisters (+2009) was born in Sydney, always talking to us about her beloved home-country so far away.
All the best and thanks for all the hours giving Karl May a real English-speaking tradition!
Sr. Mirjam

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Winnetou Trilogy & Old Surehand
From: Volker, Texas, USA, 22 Jan 2012
I very much enjoyed the Winnetou trilogy and Old Surehand.

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Karl May translations
From: Jack Whelan, USA, 5 December 2011, via facebook
Marlies, your work is a fabulous endeavor. Unlike my many German friends, I became a fan of Karl May late in life. So I didn’t read his books or learn from Old Shatterhand and Winnetou when growing up. Rather, I was influenced by TV characters such as the later Hopalong Cassidy, the Lone Ranger and Roy Rogers strongly influenced by May’s tales. The timing for more of your translations is appropriate in the English speaking world, particularly here in the United States. The need for more stories to which young people can relate that teach integrity, honesty, decency, compassion, resourcefulness, independence, personal responsibility and so many other fundamental lessons that lead to a productive, happy life is greater now than ever before. Wow, your twelfth full-length novel! What an incredible effort. Your writing style comes shining through. Your unabridged work, research and no evidence that English is your second language is amazing!

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Karl May translations
From: Frits, The Netherlands, September 2011
Hello Marlies,
Nice to hear from you. A compliment first: I greatly admire your energy, translation skills and beautiful illustrations.

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Karl May translations
From: Jack, Boston, Massachusetts, September 2011
Hi Marlies,
Yes, I am familiar with Karl May's work. I'm a born American and got hooked on May's work when I got older, not like my many German friends. To me, May is completely fascinating. His work is incredible, amazing that he could write such stories with such depth such clarity. Amazing that he was able to write about the physicality of his stories without having been there. How did this fascinating man do is research?
My hero as a young boy was Hopalong Cassidy, but May's work came to me much later. So it's no surprise that I eagerly wait to see more of your work, Marlies. Thank you.
Jack

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Winnetou trilogy
From: Sergej, Serbia, October 2010
Very glad to have bought your edition of Karl May's Winnetou. Since a kid I was reading and adoring his books...and now I'm almost on a same track with you. I would like to publish them in Serbia anew after almost 50 years of no Karl May's books whatsoever[…] The Karl May books are biggest love to my friend and me[…]

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'Winnetou, that's his name"
From: Hans, Canada, October 2010
I used to be a big fan of Karl May (must have read all of his novels) but it is so long ago. However, I have never forgotten the day when I worked at the ABC Hotel in Chur [Switzerland]. One night I came back to the hotel and my boss was sitting in the office and repeating to himself:
"Winnetou, that's his name". I asked him what he is talking about and he said his grandchild's name is going to be Winnetou. At the time I thought that was very funny and thus probably never forgot it.
I think the translation into English is a great idea and [the English editions] should become compulsory reading in our schools-system.

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Winnetou -- Book 4 (100th Anniversary Expanded Edition), hard cover
From: Angie Swinger, Colorado, USA, March 2010
I have this book, I am reading it now. I love it, it is so exciting, I can hardly put it down. I got in trouble the other day for taking it to the dinner table. Both the kids yelled: "Mom"! heeeheee. Love, Mama Bear (Assineboine).

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Comment to Karl May translation work
From: Friedrich Abel, Arizona, September 2009
Dear Marlies, I am a writer myself, I live in Apache country in Arizona, north of the Mexican border. Developed a fascination for Indians partly through Karl May as a youth in Austria, then became a journalist (Stanford Univ), lived on the Navajo reservation in Arizona for 2 years, wrote a book about my experiences there, mostly with medicine men, "Nur der Adler sprach zu mir" (Scherz 1986). Now I'm working on a book about the Mexican border, the drug wars, Sonora desert, Apaches (!)...am a retired border officer also. Great work you are doing with your translations, would be wonderful to communicate! (I saw your website). Best wishes from AZ! Yours, Friedrich.

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Old Surehand I, Old Surehand, Quest II, Winnetou II
From: Mel Larson, Palatine, Illinois, via facebook, August 2009
'I had an Uncle from Germany, that I was very close with. He only read Karl May and I was always interested in what was so fascinating about the books. I could never find English translations. When I found your work I got the sense that you loved the work like he did ...'

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The Inca's Legacy
From: Wil Hutson, via email June 09
Wil Hutson, California:
“I got the book, and am once again struck by the similarities to Edgar Rice Burrough’s writing.”
A few days later:
“I'm simply loving being in the Pampas with the latest incarnation of Old Shatterhand.”

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Philip Colston, via email June 09:
“We often focus upon the higher aspects of Karl May’s work, but the fact is that by any standard, and even
generally irrespective of chronological displacement between author and reader, May wrote splendid adventures.
I love his philosophical works, but am enjoying “Inca” as much as Mr Hutson.”

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Savage To Saint
Paperback edition
From: Norbert, via Facebook 24 March 09
Hi Marlies , I finished reading Savage To Saint with great interest. I learned quite a few new facts about Karl May. You did a great job with this book, keep up the good work, Norbert
My Facebook

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Complete Winnetou Trilogy
Hard cover with dust jacket
From: Will Hutson, Eureka, California, January, 2009
"I am enjoying the HECK out of it! I'm on page 434 already."
...and a few days later...
"...just an excellent book...a German Zane Grey! I loved the mention of Humbolt Bay, because I can SEE it from the corner on my street..."
[Complete Winnetou Trilogy, hard cover with dust jacket]

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Savage To Saint
Book Review by Dr D.H. Tolzmann, Ohio, 24 December 2008
Advance copy for ‘German Life’, February / March 2009 issue.
Savage to Saint: The Karl May Story by Marlies Bugmann (BookSurge, 2008) provides a fascinating biography, the first one in English, of bestselling German author Karl May (1842-1912). His adventure novels took place in exotic places like the Middle and Far East, but most popular were those dealing with the American West. His many novels no doubt influenced the German image of America, a factor making them all that more interesting. This exceptional biography is interspersed with selections of May’s writings, finely translated by Bugmann, which illuminate his life and work. She focuses on exploring May’s Weltanschauung (world view), and how it found expression in his works. Although he wrote adventure novels, he had an underlying thought in mind. May himself explained: “I have set myself the difficult task of becoming the monograph of the ‘human soul.’ That is why I traverse all of its regions in the form of symbolic travel stories, of which each one deals with one interesting segment from the realm of the human soul.” Sales of his works in many languages numbered in the millions, and fans ranged from Einstein to Hesse. Unfortunately, his phenomenal success led to enmity and envy among his critics, who viciously attacked his works “simply out of sheer greed and jealousy.” Fortunately, his works are still being published and translated, while his enemies have long since been forgotten. Bugmann’s biography delivers an inside view of May that is as engaging as the adventure novels he wrote. To delve further into his life, see Karl May’s My Life and My Mission, translated by Michael Michalak (Nemsi Books, 2007), a poignantly and eloquently written autobiography that first appeared in 1910 as Mein Leben und Streben.

Don Heinrich Tolzmann, Book Review Editor, has published widely on German and German-American topics, and served on the boards of many national and regional German-American organizations.

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Complete Winnetou Trilogy
From: Markus, USA, December 2008
My ten year old son Henry has read the trilogy three times already, he loves it and wants more!

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Complete Winnetou Trilogy
From: Will Hutson, Eureka, Ca, USA, December 2008
"What a beautiful book, Thanks! I love the flavor of Winnetou, which is sitting right here next to me as I write this. I've been showing it off to friends and family."

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Savage To Saint
From: James Chalmers of Shoreline Film and Theatre in England, November 2008
'First of all what an unusual and interesting approach to a biography - a blend of his life with his writings.   I concentrated on his life story though.  I'm always interested in the background of people of note.   Westerns aren't my genre at all - nevertheless I can appreciate the parallels with other grand adventure stories like The Count of Monte Cristo.  And I do have a liking for some of Clint Eastwood's Western movies and in a way Carl May was the seed from which Eastwoods career germinated.  It must have taken you a very long time to undertake the research then put it all together in this book and for this you should be congratulated.

What struck me about Carl May's life was that he was like Cervantes - the author of Don Quixote.  Cervantes lived his life very much in his imagination and seemed to have difficulty in telling reality from fantasy - which is reflected in the character of Don Quixote - although this hasn't happened in the case of Carl May's characters as far as I can see.   Cervantes was in prison and had a hard life - so that's another comparison.'

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Savage To Saint
From: Frank Werder, Germany, October 2008
"...Ich gratuliere herzlich zu dem interessanten Band. Er gefällt mir sehr gut. Ich danke vielmals für die Widmung und die Bereitschaft, das Belegexemplar für meinen Wunsch zu opfern..."

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Savage To Saint
From: Philip, July 2008
'First, let me say that I found the book delightful. It provides enormous insight into May, his work, and the complex and evolving interaction between them. [...] You have laid out the literature examples and discussions perfectly, and the book is both a pleasure and a reward to read. [...] STS is far, far more important than a standard biography.'

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Savage To Saint, The Karl May Story—a review by Walter J. Langbein, March 2008
Walter J. Langbein is an authority of theology and the great mysteries of our world, best-selling author of books like Das Sakrileg Und Die Heiligen Frauen (The Sacrilege And The Holy Women, an analysis, interpretation and reply to Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code), Maria Magdalena, and Eine Kurze Geschichte Von Gott, (A Brief History Of God).

During my childhood I learned to read with Karl May. During my adolescence Karl May planted the yearning for exotic lands into my heart. As an adult I travel the world. However, no journey through the desert, to the hunting grounds of the Amerindians or the pyramids on this planet can really still my hunger for Karl May’s works.
Karl May continues to belong to the most-read and most-translated authors of the German language, nearly a century after his demise. But the public at large knows very little about the human being Karl May and his life’s work. Marlies Bugmann is not only an outstanding translator of May’s writings, she is also one of the world’s leading May aficionados. With her book Savage To Saint, she has authored a unique work about Karl May’s life, mission, achievements, objectives…and more!
Savage To Saint is an accomplishment as a fundamental work about one of the most important writers not only in the German language. It is as exciting to read as an outstanding novel and yet it is a non-fiction work that explores and depicts reality. Karl May’s life evolved like one of his novels; in reality, not imagination.
Savage To Saint follows Karl May’s development, his seemingly unbelievable progression from the child who grew, through bitter poverty, into a young man who failed as a member of society…from the young and desperate lawbreaker to the old philanthropist and philosopher who already more than one hundred years ago formulated surprisingly modern thoughts about the great human conundrum.
Savage To Saint is not only a milestone of Karl May research. It is a captivating work about the extremes of which human beings are capable. Marlies Bugmann has written an important book—not just for Karl May enthusiasts. It is the story about a best-selling author who became a wise philosopher and humanist. I am not aware of a comparable work that offers as much food for thought about chances and risks, about desire and failure, and about dreams and reality as does Savage To Saint! It is a book about being human; deeply philosophical and as full of suspense as an adventure novel! It is one of the most important books I have ever read!
I began to read and love Karl May’s works during my childhood. As a teenager I admired him for his great, effervescent fantasy. As an adult I value in him the charitable and noble representative of the human species. By reading Marlies Bugmann’s Savage To Saint I gained a genuine understanding of Karl May’s nature, and more: while reading it I also learned so much more about humans in general. Savage To Saint is a valuable, endearing, delightful and important book worth reading! Why? Because Karl May was a good writer? Of course. However, the main reason is: a reader of Savage To Saint makes astonishing discoveries about his or her own Self.
Within each one of us lies the nucleus for the ‘Savage’ as well as the ‘Saint’. Some display more ‘savage’ others more ‘saintly’ traits. The choice of which will be permitted to rule our lives is entirely up to each individual.
Savage To Saint is an extremely important book and I give it my heart-felt wishes for a broad reception!
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Savage To Saint, The Karl May Story—a review by Reiner Boller, May, 2008
Reiner Boller is an authority on the ‘golden years of the cinema’. He has authored the biographies of several movie stars who have played Karl May characters on the silver screen, among them Lex Barker—Die Biografie the ‘sensational’ work of ‘gigantic’ proportions for the ‘Old Shatterhand’ actor of the 1960s. His Winnetou-Melodie, Martin Boettcher, Die Biografie is his latest tribute to the world of Karl May, the jubilee edition for the composer of the world-famous film scores to the 1960s Karl May movies.

Savage To Saint is the portrayal of the life and universe of the ‘Winnetou’ creator—Karl May (1842-1912). May’s Red Indian tales belong to the classics in German literature, yet he and his legendary protagonists in the American Wild West are virtually unknown outside of the German speaking area.
Marlies Bugmann delivers a well-informed, clear insight into the world of the German author with her Karl May biography, Savage To Saint—the first such work in the English language. Marlies not only describes the development of the ‘Winnetou’ figure, its message as well as the relationship between the Apache chief ‘Winnetou’ and his white blood brother ‘Old Shatterhand’, but also the placing of it in an historical context with the added consideration of German Karl May research interpretations.
Savage To Saint takes Chief ‘Winnetou’ and his legacy closer to his real-life fellow Amerindians for the first time. This delights not only the Apache but also everyone, worldwide, who is seeking a deeper understanding of this German literature phenomenon and its attraction to generations of readers.
The contemporary evaluation of Winnetou’s testament in particular doesn’t just offer a rendition of the last will of an unusual Red Indian. More precisely, Marlies aims to illustrate that Karl May’s philosophy on life, as published during the nineteenth century, is standing up to our present time, and reveals that Karl May clearly wasn’t about religious enlightenment or hyper-Germanness but the conveying of human values.
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Savage To Saint, The Karl May Story—a review by Elizabeth K. Burton, author of The Everdark Wars and The Ugly Princess.

Although you won't hear about it from the publishing industry, interest in pulp fiction—the kind Karl May wrote—is both alive and in excellent health. The one frustration for those who read it avidly is that it's so hard to find. Savage to Saint not only offers superb translations of some of the finest Western pulp fiction of its era but a penetrating yet gentle study of the man who created it.
Most Americans have never heard of Karl May, which is their loss. Ms. Bugmann’s book seeks to correct that loss by introducing a writer whose talent has not only survived the efforts of those who envied him his success to destroy both him and his work but the test of time.
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Reader feedback from Marlies Bugmann's Amazon blog:

By voter 'UpRight Ape'
Hello, I was watching "Rampage at Apache Wells" this afternoon on The Westerns channel here in the US when I realized that I should look into the Surehand and Winnetou characters. I don't know why this hasn't occurred to me before this, since I've been a fan of Louis L'Amour for many years. I've also seen "Rampage..." many times. Finally - one of my hobbies is book collecting. How did I miss Karl May??? A quick search of the usual web sites immediately got me hooked for more info. Your name turned up almost immediately, along with praises at Amazon from European readers. In particular these reviewers note that your English translations are more accurate than any others they've seen. Now I find the Karl-May-Friends site, the forum, and this blog. This is fantastic. I want to thank you for making these translations available for English readers and compliment you for all of the work you're doing on these web sites. I know how much work the latter is for everyone involved. Greetings and appreciation from New Hampshire, US

From Dora Badzey, 10 March 2008:
Delighted to find you still interested in one of my favorite authors from our youth. Now one of our sons is interested in reading Karl May. So far he has read Winnetou, and is deep into Through the Desert. Would love to give him your Old Surehand translations for his b.day and am delighted in the prospect of a May biography.

Emails:

From Markus, Seattle (7 Mar 2008)
... I’ve been in the US for twenty years and have three children. The oldest one [...] is nine and he’s ready for Karl May. He just read Old Surehand and what a wonderful translation! ...

From Volker, Texas (25 Feb 2008)
I just received Old Surehand I and II and started reading them to my son.
Having read most of the 70+ works of Karl May in German, I am just thrilled how wonderfully you captured in your translation the epic, sometimes poetic, sometimes trivial language and spirit of the original with all its complexities (I have to admit as a young boy I tended to skip the lengthy descriptions of sceneries only later to come to appreciate these in particular). I am also very grateful for the foreword you added. I find it very useful because it appropriately addresses the complexity of reading a work written more than 100 years ago in a different epoch, which requires careful consideration of the context, language, culture, lifestyle and belief-systems of that time.

From: Tania (personal phone call, September 2007)
Reading Old Surehand Quest II
..."Just a 90 second call to let you know that I've started reading 'your' book, I'm only 20 pages into it but ... it's 'bleep' fantastic mate, can't put it down!" One week later: "...what a precious thing, I cried when I finished it! Now I'll read it again..."

More emails:
From: Angela
July 2007
Hi Marlies,
I have just finished «Holy Night!».  It is great! I had a marvellous time with Winnetou and his friends. Many many thanks.
I liked the cover too. All in all a good experience.
All my regards to you, David and of course the Menagerie
Angela, Yolande and Nana

By: Susanto Purwo
June 2007
Dear Marlies,
I just read your new book OLD SUREHAND-1. It is a great book [by] Karl May as well as yourself. A very good translation, and I [have] read it and finished the book within a week!
And when will  Old Surehand-2 and -3  be published by you?
July 2007
And it is very important to know that a translator who really loves the book(s) that he/she translated will give the best book! For that you have achieved it!


By: Philip Colston
June 2007
Hello, Marlies,
I have read “Black Mustang”, and have begun “Old Surehand I” (which is already a delight). “Black Mustang” is a wonderful adventure. I am writing, in particular, to let you know that, in my opinion, you accomplished wonders for Hobble-Frank. Your approach was entirely different than in the other translations (meticulously detailed and careful, but also “alive”), and it worked extremely well. You made Hobble-Frank, in his humorous “dissertations”, a character again ...
I can not thank you enough for these superb translations of Karl May! “Holy Night!” is quite a powerful book, and one that, not too long ago, I would have thought could never appear in an English translation, let alone in a version so clear and
potent as yours.


By: Philip Colston
May 2007
First, I must thank you for your superb work in making so many wonderful Karl May works available in English!
I have read your translation of “Winnetou II”, am currently reading “Holy Night”, and have here waiting “The Black Mustang” and “Winnetou’s Heirs”. […] Until recently, the only useful English translation was Michael Shaw’s version “Winnetou”, which includes (progressively abridged) parts I, II, and III. It was very interesting to compare the spurious Old Firehand section in that book, with the correct version in your translation of “Winnetou II”.
[full message: here ]


Subject: Black Mustang                       >>>plot spoiler warning<<<
by Albert E. Lovejoy,
March 2007
What I tried to do in my report on “Black Mustang” was to emphasize the cleverness, the logic, the mastery of survival skills in the “Wild West,” the basic fairness of Shatterhand and his friend Winnetou, the Apache Chieftain, and the unusual peaceableness and lack of violence or bloodshed in most of their dealings with others (Native Americans or Whites).

Also, of course, there was the legendary power and almost magical properties imputed to their steeds and their rifles.  In this book, they were aided in their efforts by the newly established railway train in a place where it was most useful for their purposes.  I very briefly described the main features of each of the four chapters of the book.

Also, I alluded to the German-ness of many of the characters as well as the bits of humor by the master of Malaprop-itis, Hobble Frank.  “Aunt” Droll is also a character to be remembered, a sort of contradiction in terms, but a sturdy and knowledgeable frontiersman as well.  Both of these characters give the work a kind of unique and piquant flavor, I think.

I derive a feeling from the book that the West, in the latter years of the 1800’s, is changing and one day may be under the control of White settlers and the Native Americans relegated to a subordinate status OR maybe this is my overlay, as one somewhat familiar with the history of the American West.  The signs of status and rank may be seen – even in this region where almost anyone can start anew, regardless of his or her tawdry or insignificant background.

I love the ending in which the seekers of the bonanza, the Timpes, find, alas, that it is a will of the wisp, in other words, a hoax and thus conclude, “Money wouldn’t have made us any happier.”  That, to me, is the capstone of the work. In other words, values like honor, fairness, and a spirit of adventure far surpass mere wealth when it comes to the things in life that really matter.

As I have written above, I think Hobble-Frank is a delightful and funny character.  He reminds me a bit of the “Sunday Courier” comic strip characters, “Frank and Ernest.”  Like some Shakespearean characters, he is puffed up by his own misplaced sense of his great erudition and feels annoyed at his detractors and scoffers. Again, like Shakespeare’s comic interludes in his tragedies, Hobble-Frank introduces a note of unintended levity when it is needed.

***

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Dear Marlies,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read the advance reader copy of  ‘Savage to Saint’.

As a keen reader of Karl May in my teenage years, I am thrilled to revisit him now, with a more mature outlook on life, looking for more then mere heroes, wishing to find the deeper meanings of things. That in mind, it moves me deeply to find that in your Savage to Saint.

You have captured the much wider picture of Karl May as a person, you portray his personal and spiritual growth in a way which is unique, and therefore your book is a MUST READ for all those readers, who wish to get to know Karl May, the man.

Your dedication and thorough knowledge of his works and also his life’s journey, is evident. Your skill to apply your knowledge, to capture the essence, then translate it into English without losing the original feeling, is truly amazing, especially since English is your second language. You have researched extensively, [...] to link his life with his work, into a captivating and spellbinding book of your own.

I can recommend it to all readers of Karl May, and I feel it will enrich the pleasure of reading future works, in their native form and also those already translated into English by you. Equipped with your insight and wisdom, expressed in Savage to Saint, the reader is now enabled to also ‘see’ that bigger picture of Karl May’s storytelling.

The overall flow of the story is easy to follow and educational at the same time. I loved it.
Thank you Marlies

G. Sowelu

***

Marlies, I  bought already your Holy Night! Great!!!
Pandu [Ganesa, Indokarlmay.com, Indonesian Karl May Association]

***

My friend read "Holy Night!" in one sweep. She said it got her roped in and she couldn't stop. She liked it very much.
(Gabriela)

***

A friend dying, at home with hospice.
Yesterday I read to him from “Holy Night!”
(Herbert)

***

It is such a pleasure to bring this adventure and the spirit of my (and yours) teenagehood into todays world, by reading Karl May translated by you into english…magnifico, such a delight.
(Gabriela)

***

I've advanced to page 72 [of “Holy Night!”] ... I haven't laughed as much in a while! Great job of translation and—a thank you to a funny Karl May!
(Herb)

 


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