This is a blog about my reads as well as everything related to them.
My taste is for good quality literature - old and new. Some of it I review here or on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany.
The Night in Lisbon by Erich Maria Remarque
During World War II Portugal was for many the last stronghold of peace and freedom in Europe, moreover one situated at the Atlantic Ocean. It’s no wonder that the country, although under the terror regime of António de Oliveira Salazar at the time, attracted countless refugees from the war-torn and Nazi-infested continent. The Night in Lisbon by Erich Maria Remarque is set in the Portuguese capital, but its major part is taken up by the flight of a refugee with false identity who doesn’t trust his memory. In return for – saving – two ship tickets to the USA he asks the narrator to stay with him during the night and to listen to his story. The a critical journalist from Osnabrück lived as an illegal alien in France for five years, but then he inherited valid papers from another refugee known under the name Josef Schwartz. This gave him the (risky) opportunity to return to Germany and see his wife Helen. From then on it was a flight together across Europe, first to Switzerland then to France. Somehow they managed to get to Marseille from where they had to flee in a hurry again, this time across the Spanish border and eventually to Lisbon. For Helen the city of hope was the final destination.
The Night in Lisbon is a dense and easy-to-read novel which gives a gripping insight into the typical fate of refugees during World War II as the famous author himself experienced it to some extent. With thousands of people erring through the world in search of a safe place to settle down or just of a future worth living, Erich Maria Remarque’s The Night in Lisbon could hardly be more up-to-date. All things considered the novel is a very instructive and valuable read calling for humanity and understanding like all works of Erich Maria Remarque. I highly recommend this one.