Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Wild West Germany Why do cowboys and Indians so captivate the country?
The northern German town of Bad Segeberg is renowned for two things: a vast cave visited each winter by twenty-two thousand bats, and an annual Karl May Festival visited each summer by three hundred thousand people. Karl May (pronounced “my”) is an adventure writer from the late nineteenth century whom most Americans have never heard of but whose stories of the American West are to this day better known to Germans than the works of Thomas Mann. His books have sold more than a hundred million copies. Though May never visited the American West, he told everyone that he had, and he wore a necklace of bear teeth, as if in proof. All his life, he was a confabulator, even when it was of no benefit to him..