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the joint pen name of two French writers. Emile Erckmann was born May 20, 1822, in Phalsbourgh, Moselle Department, and died Mar. 14, 1899, in Lunéville, Meurthe Department. Charles Alexandre Chatrian was born Dec. 18, 1826, in Soldatenthal, Meurthe Department, and died Sept. 3, 1890, in Villemomble, Seine Department.
Erckmann studied law in Paris from 1842 to 1846. Chatrian graduated from a college in Phalsbourgh. Their first collection of short stories, Fantastic Tales, was published in 1849. Their early stories are based on Alsatian folk legends and are written in the style of E. T. A. Hoffmann. The novels Maitre Daniel Rock (1861; Russian translation, 1869) and The Story of a Schoolmaster (1871) and many of their short stories depict scenes from peasant life, in particular, the daily life and customs of the simple people of Alsace-Lorraine. The best of Erckmann-Chatrian’s works are their patriotic and historical novels. The authors, harshly critical of the militaristic and antidemocratic policies of the Second Empire, favored a republican regime. They expressed their political views in novels dealing with the French Revolution and the First Empire, for example, Crazy Yég of (1862), The Conscript of 1813 (1864), Waterloo (1865), and The Story of a Peasant (vols. 1–4; 1868–70). The Story of a Man of the People (1865) depicts the Revolution of 1848 in Paris. Several of their patriotic historical novels portray the tragic events of the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), notably, The Story of the Plebiscite (1872), The Brigadier Frédéric (1874), and The Outcast (1882).
The significance of Erckmann-Chatrian’s work in literary history lies in their portrayal of the life and psychology of the rural working people. Erckmann-Chatrian also wrote plays, dramatizations of some of their own novels, and the librettos for comic operas. Numerous works by Erckmann-Chatrian have been translated into Russian.
WORKSContes et romans nationaux et populaires, vols. 1–14. [Paris, 1962–63.]
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch. [books 1–20]. Petrograd .
Parizhskie barrikady. Moscow-Petrograd, 1923.
Tereza. Moscow, 1963.
Istoriia odnogo krestianina, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1967.
REFERENCESIstoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 2. Moscow, 1956.
Pisarev, D. I. “Frantsuzskii krest’ianin v 1789 godu.” In Soch., vol. 4. Moscow, 1956.
Viurmser, A. Ne posmotret’ li na izvestnoe po-novomu. Moscow, 1975.
Zola, E. “Erkman-Shatrian.” In Sobr. soch., vol. 24. Moscow, 1966.
Benoit-Guyod, G. La Vie et I’oeuvre d’ Erckmann-Chatrian. Paris, 1963.
I. S. KOVALEVA