Erckmann-Chatrian

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Erckmann-Chatrian was the name used by French authors Émile Erckmann (1822–1899) and Alexandre Chatrian (1826–1890), nearly all of whose works were jointly written. [1]

Both Erckmann and Chatrian were born in the département of Moselle, in the Lorraine region in the extreme north-east of France. They specialised in military fiction and ghost stories in a rustic mode, applying to the Vosges mountain range and the Alsace-Lorraine region techniques inspired by story-tellers from the Black Forest. [2] Lifelong friends who first met in the spring of 1847, they finally quarreled during the mid-1880s, after which they did not produce any more stories jointly. During 1890 Chatrian died, and Erckmann wrote a few pieces under his own name.[2]

Many of Erckmann-Chatrian's works were translated into English by Adrian Ross. [3]

Tales of supernatural horror by the duo that are famous in English include "The Wild Huntsman" (tr. 1871), "The Man-Wolf" (tr. 1876) [4] and "The Crab Spider." These stories received praise from the renowned English ghost story writer, M. R. James, [1] as well as H. P. Lovecraft. [2]

Partly as a result of their republicanism, they were praised by Victor Hugo and Émile Zola, and fiercely attacked in the pages of Le Figaro. Gaining popularity from 1859 for their nationalistic, anti-militaristic and anti-German sentiments, they were well-selling authors but had trouble with political censorship throughout their careers. Generally the novels were written by Erckmann, and the plays mostly by Chatrian.

A festival in their honour is held every summer in the town of Erckmann's birth, Phalsbourg (German Pfalzburg), which also contains a military museum exhibiting editions of their works.

Works[edit]

First works[edit]

Many of these were not published until the 1860s.

  • Malédiction; Vin rouge et vin blanc (1849)
  • L’Alsace en 1814, play (1850)
  • Science et génie, fantasy story (1850)
  • Schinderhannes ou les Brigands des Vosges (1852)
  • Le Bourgmestre en bouteille (by Erckmann, 1856)
  • L’Illustre Docteur Mathéus (1856)
  • Contes fantastiques: Le Requiem du corbeau, Rembrandt et L’Œil invisible (1857)
  • Gretchen et La Pie (1858)

From 1859[edit]

  • Les Lunettes de Hans Schnaps (1859)
  • Le Rêve du cousin Elof (1859)
  • La Montre du doyen (1859)
  • Hans Storkus (1859)
  • Les Trois âmes (1859)
  • Hugues-le-loup (1859) – this notable tale of a werewolf has been translated into English as "The Man-Wolf" (1876)
  • Contes de la montagne; Contes fantastiques (1860)
  • Maître Daniel Rock (1861)
  • Le Fou Yégof (1861)
  • L’Invasion ou le Fou Yégof (1862)
  • Les Contes du bord du Rhin (1862)
  • Confidences d’un joueur de clarinette (1862)
  • Madame Thérèse (1863)
  • La Taverne du jambon de Mayence (1863)
  • Confidences d’un joueur de clarinette (1863)
  • Les Amoureux de Catherine (1863)
  • Histoire d’un conscrit de 1813 (1864)
  • L’Ami Fritz (1864)
  • Waterloo (sequel to Conscrit de 1813, 1865)
  • Histoire d’un homme du peuple (1865)
  • La Maison forestière (1866)
  • La Guerre (1866)
  • Le Blocus (1866)
  • Contes et romans populaires (1867)
  • Le Juif polonais, play (1867)
  • Histoire d’un paysan (1867)

After the Franco-Prussian War[edit]

  • Histoire du plébiscite racontée par un des 7 500 000 oui, essay (1871)
  • Lettre d’un électeur à son député, pamphlet against reactionaries (1871)
  • Les Deux Frères (1871)
  • Histoire d’un sous-maître (1871)
  • Une campagne en Kabylie (1873)
  • Les Années de collège de Maître Nablot (1874)
  • Le Brigadier Frédéric, histoire d’un Français chassé par les Allemands (1874)
  • Maître Gaspard Fix, histoire d’un conservateur (1875)
  • L’Education d’un féodal (1875)
  • L’Intérêt des paysans, lettre d’un cultivateur aux paysans de France, essay (1876)
  • Contes et romans alsaciens (1876)
  • Souvenirs d’un ancien chef de chantier à l’isthme de Suez (1876)
  • Les Amoureux de Catherine and L’Ami Fritz, plays (adapted by Chatrian, 1877)
  • Contes vosgiens (1877)
  • Alsace ou les fiancés d’Alsace, play (adapted by Chatrian from Histoire du plébiscite, 1880)
  • Le Grand-père Lebigre (1880)
  • Les Vieux de la vieille (1880)
  • Quelques mots sur l’esprit humain, résumé de la philosophie d’Erckmann, essay (1880)
  • Le Banni (sequel to Le Brigadier Frédéric, 1881)
  • La Taverne des Trabans, play (adapted from La Taverne du jambon de Mayence, 1881)
  • Les Rantzau, play (adapted from Deux Frères, 1882)
  • Madame Thérèse, play (adapted by Chatrian, 1882)
  • Le Banni (1882)
  • Le Fou Chopine, play (adapted from Gretchen, 1883)
  • Époques mémorables de l’Histoire de France: avant ’89 (1884)
  • Myrtille, play (1885)
  • L’Art et les grands idéalistes, essay (1885)
  • Pour les enfants, essay (published 1888)

English translations[edit]

  • The Man-Wolf and Other Tales (1876, rpt 1976)
  • Strange Stories (1880)
  • Best Tales of Terror (1980) edited by Hugh Lamb

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mary Ellen Snodgrass, Encyclopedia of Gothic Literature. New York, Facts on File (2004). ISBN 0816055289 (p.104)
  2. ^ a b c Hugh Lamb, "Erckmann-Chatrian", in Jack Sullivan, The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking, 1986. ISBN 0670809020 (p.144-5)
  3. ^ Richard Dalby "Introduction", to Adrian Ross, The Hole of the Pit: And by One, by Two and by Three. The Oleander Press, 2013 ISBN 0900891866 (p. 10.)
  4. ^ Chantal Bourgault du Coudray, The Curse of the Werewolf: Fantasy, Horror and the Beast Within. I.B.Tauris, 2006 ISBN 1845111583, (p. 45-6).

Bibliography[edit]

  • Benoît-Guyod, G. La Vie et l'Œuvre d'Erckmann-Chatrian. Témoignages et documents. Tome 14, Jean-Jacques Pauvert, Paris, 1963.
  • Hinzelin, Émile. Erckmann-Chatrian. Étude biographique et littéraire. J. Ferenczi et fils, Paris, 1922.
  • Schoumacker, L. Erckmann-Chatrian. Étude biographique et critique d'après des documents inédits. Les Belles-Lettres, Paris, 1933.

External links[edit]