Professor to portray famed WWI author in Prairie Talks presentation Sept. 29
September 21, 2018


Frein, who taught in the University of North Dakota department of Philosophy and Religion for 29 years, developed his first Chautauqua presentation in 1986. Today Frein has several historical characters in his repertoire, including historian Henry Adams, novelist Herman Melville, writer Mark Twain, and German author Erich Maria Remarque.

Remarque (1898-1970) fought with the Germans in World War I. It took him 10 years to recover enough to write "All Quiet on the Western Front," but once he started it took him just five weeks to write what's considered one of the best war novels of all time. Echoes of the war can be heard in all 10 of Remarque's subsequent novels. During World War II the Nazis burned his work for being critical of warfare and in 1947 Remarque immigrated to the United States.

George Frein portrays Remarque as a man of 70 presenting a lecture in 1968 in which he recalls the story he told in "All Quiet," exploring the horrors of the First World War through the eyes of a young German soldier. After his lecture, "Remarque" will accept questions from the audience. The program will conclude with Frein as himself, leading a discussion of the book and related books and ideas.

Prairie Talks is sponsored by the North Dakota Humanities Council, with support from Prairie Village Museum. Friends of the Museum will provide refreshments at the high school following the presentation.

Planned in conjunction with programming at Prairie Village Museum, this is the first of two Prairie Talks presentations commemorating World War I.

Since its founding by Rugby-area native Kristi Rendahl in 2012, Prairie Talks has hosted 12 events, attracting more than 550 people and a range of co-sponsoring organizations from the community. Speakers have included journalists, authors, historians, human rights advocates, Native American leaders, public health advocates, and artists. Donations are welcome to help defray expenses.

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- Prairie Talks


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