|I was born in Germany in 1953 and became interested in the works of Karl May after receiving my first Winnetou book from my father. Ever since then I have been a Karl May fan.Since English translations of the Karl May books are few and usually abridged, I undertook to translate the entire Orient saga of Karl May’s works. My translation project started in January 1999 and the initial book took one year to complete. During the following year, an extensive editing effort was undertaken to polish the translated work and ready it for publication.Shortly after the first book was published, my wife and editor, Elaine, lost her battle with cancer. Yet it was her desire to have this epic work completed and so, in 2002, the second book, which Elaine had partially completed editing before her death, was published. Driven by the promise I made to Elaine, I continue the translation of this series.I emigrated to Australia with my parents in 1965 and now reside in the United States of America.The Oriental Odyssey series of books was the first unabridged translation of a Karl May work. With the translators who have joined this project, we hope to publish many more of Karl May’s epic narratives.
I thank the many readers and fellow translators who have helped in keeping this project alive.
Karl May Translations
Finally! The last volume of the Oriental Odyssey series is complete!
Kara ben Nemsi, Hajji Halef Omar and the faithful companions Omar and Osko are hot on the trail of the Schut. The wounded old Mübarek still seeks vengeance, but his injuries force him to seek shelter with Junak, the coal pedlar. Hajji Halef Omar, wanting to be a great hunter, does battle with a bear and is saved by Kara ben Nemsi. But the old Mübarek is not so lucky. The little troop almost falls into the trap set by the Schut’s men, is almost trapped in the infamous ‘Jewel Cave’, from which they manage to rescue Lord Lindsay and his Dragoman, and they almost fall prey to the Schut himself. Now read this final harrowing tale of how Kara ben Nemsi battles with the Schut in his own stronghold and pursues him in the final bid to bring him to justice.
This book is the seventh part of the Oriental Odyssey series. Kara ben Nemsi and Hajji Halef Omar face Turkish justice in Ostromja. After exposing the corrupt officials and the fake holy man known as the Mübarek, they leave town after being warned of an ambush plot by two brothers known as the Alajy. Kara ben Nemsi disguises himself as a Sherif and foils their plan but is later trapped with his companions in the bandits’ stronghold. During their subsequent escape the old Mübarek is wounded and one of the robbers is killed. But Kara ben Nemsi is far from safe, he falls prey to the law of blood vengeance. Now guided by one of the Schut’s men, the little troop is lured into another trap. Their lucky encounter with Anka, a servant girl, forewarns them of a plot against all their lives. Later, whilst crossing a storm swollen river, Kara ben Nemsi rescues a woman and learns more about the Schut’s stronghold.
This book is the sixth part of the Oriental Odyssey series. Kara ben Nemsi and Hajji Halef Omar continue their pursuit of a murderous band that is in league with the Schut. Along the way Kara ben Nemsi rescues Schimin the blacksmith and his wife. Traveling further, our hero uncovers a smuggler’s cache and falls prey to the beggar Saban. Believing that Kara ben Nemsi has been killed, the beggar and his cohort divide their ill-gotten gain. Halef arrives just in time to rescue his beloved Sihdi but one thief escapes upon Rih and a mad ride to regain this valuable horse ensues. Later Kara ben Nemsi and Hajji Halef Omar find themselves in a pigeon loft, from where they spy on the ones they pursue. As their ride continues, they expose a vampire and finally face the Turkish law in Ostromja.
This is the third volume of the Winnetou trilogy, which was later followed by a final fourth volume that dealt with the legacy of this great Apache chief. This third volume was translated by Michael M. Michalak and transformed into an Audio Book by Victor Epp. Here for your enjoyment is a short movie clip.
This book is the final part of the Winnetou trilogy. It is a fascinating look at the Wild West, seen through the eyes of a unique author who made it his mission to hold up a mirror so that we might see ourselves and realize who we are.
Winnetou, the Apache Chief, who sacrificed his life for the sake of white settlers, is another symbolic reminder that we all live and die upon this one earth we all share. What good is war and killing? What good is greed and avarice? In the end, we must all depart this world with empty pockets, leaving but a memory of who we once were.
Karl May meant to tell us that we must do what we can whilst we live, for after death, we are powerless.
The tale of Winnetou describes an ideological journey of a Native American, culminating in an inner struggle and final acceptance of a teaching so foreign to him. The reader is left pondering the legacy that Winnetou wished to bestow upon his brethren, both red and white. What might that last testament have said and what hope was torn asunder and cast into the wind? As the last remnants of this lost document molder out there on the once great plains, we are asked to recognize ourselves. Are we like Santer or like Winnetou? Do we love our fellow man or only ourselves?
Here is an excerpt from Karl May’s Autobiography, entitled ‘My Life and My Mission’, translated by Michael M. Michalak and narrated by Victor Epp.
In this short video clip, Karl May, having attained his freedom once more, speaks of his hopes and fears. Would the demons of his past return? Would he be able to climb out of the abyss into which he had fallen?
To discover the truth about Karl May, read his autobiography.
Mr. Michalak continues his epic translation work assuring that Karl May’s humanitarian legacy will be available to an English speaking world.
Karl May’s Autobiography is a tale of anguish and horror and is an indictment of man’s inhumanity to man. It is also a journey from the morasses of the deepest and darkest Ardistan up towards the bright and shining Jinnistan, where the souls of the noble spirited people abide.
We have a long way to go before we reach that place of sublime bliss where a being is his neighbor’s angel. We are mired in this swamp of hate, this hell of our own creation for no other reason than our fear of the Forest of Kulub and the terrible ‘Spirit Forge’ that lies within.
Two thousand years ago, one man dared to enter it. He died brutally, nailed to a cross for the sins of all mankind. Whilst Karl May is not a Saint, he did have the right idea. He recognized our inhumanity and he strove to give us a second warning. Here in these pages, he explains his life and his self imposed mission.
It almost seems that this novel is about to lead us to the culmination of an epic journey. Kara Ben Nemsi is preparing to return home to his Fatherland so that he may write about the adventures he experienced. Yet as past events are resolved, a new thread is spun and our quest for justice continues. This novel is thus the gateway to a mystery that will not be resolved until the end of the greater tale that is called the ‘Oriental Odyssey’.
This is the fourth volume of the Oriental Odyssey series. Here we are in Iraq with more spellbinding adventures and nail-biting action. Will our intrepid traveler survive the onslaught of bandits and the terrible illness that is carried on the putrid air? Here is a short movie preview of this fourth volume. It is translated by Michael M. Michalak and Victor Epp is working hard to transform the tale into an Audio book.
The living and the those close to death, believing in the magic of their deity, will bury their dead and accompany those who stand at death’s door to those mythical places. They carry their dead, they ferry them in coffins or wrapped in blankets, upon donkey, horse or camel to those mythical places. These convoys of the dead and dying pilgrims, this ‘Caravan of the Dead’ moves on, hoping to join their prophets in the garden of their Deity. Such then is the title subject of this book. In these pages you will find the reason for the trail, the reason for the fervent belief system and the reason for the psyche of the people that populate the region that is known today as Arabia, Iraq and Iran.
This is the third volume of the Oriental Odyssey series. In it we ride across Wild Kurdistan and experience many more exciting adventures. This third volume was translated by Michael M. Michalak and will soon be transformed into an Audio Book by Victor Epp. Here is a short movie clip for your enjoyment.
This is the third volume of this epic series. It embodies Kara Ben Nemsi’s adventures in Kurdistan. The rescue of a prisoner and battles with the local tribes. This truly is a ‘Wild’ country.
This is the second volume of Karl May’s Oriental Odyssey. The journey begun in the first volume continues into what is nowadays called Iraq. We visit the Jesidi [Yezidi] who are also known as ‘Devil Worshippers’. This second volume was translated by Michael M. Michalak and will soon be transformed into an Audio Book by Victor Epp. Here for your enjoyment is a short movie clip.
This is the second volume of the adventures of Kara Ben Nemsi in the Turkish Empire. It continues the tale started in volume one. We visit the ‘Devil Worshippers’ and encounter new adventures under the ‘Shadow of the Padishah’
This is the first volume of Karl May’s Oriental Odyssey. It is a tale filled with excitement and adventure. It describes an epic journey from Algiers through the world’s largest desert and beyond – a journey that uncovers a mystery and hopes to solve a crime. This first volume was translated by Michael M. Michalak and will soon be transformed into an Audio Book by Victor Epp. Here for your enjoyment is a short movie clip.
This is the book that started the Karl May Translation Project. It was a joint effort by Elaine and Michael who spent the first year translating this manuscript from the original serial version published in the “Deutscher Hausschatz” (German Home Treasure) periodical. The following year, Elaine and Michael edited the work (read The Trials and Tribulation of Translating Karl May into English)
As you might know, travel in the Orient is a dangerous affair. But as you travel with the hero of these narratives and join him on his journey around the Mediterranean from Algiers to Albania, through the many, at times hostile, lands and encounter the grizzly remains of a murdered man, follow the tracks of the perpetrators across the sands of the world’s largest desert, meet with corrupt Turkish officials and rescue a maiden from a kidnapper and become involved in the battle between warring Arabian tribes, you are no longer just an impartial reader. You are part of this epic journey, a part of the action and the struggle to solve the mystery that is unfolded in this first book of this ongoing series.
Peek Inside Oriental Odyssey I
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It has finally come to this then, my earthly remains are held captive in a bronze vessel. The metal container that holds my earthly remains stands atop my dresser, facing the very mirror in which I used to inspect my visage only a few months before. How many times had I watched my reflection look back at me from the opposite side of this very same mirror when I still breathed this worldly air? Yet during the last two years of my life I had looked at that reflected image with dread as I watched how my therapy eroded my vibrant features and drew dark circles beneath my eyes. Now my face will never again appear in this looking glass. All that will be there is a refection of the vessel that now holds what remained of me after the flames had consumed my body.
To the left and right are two candles and bathed in their warm glow are framed pictures of my family, Michael’s family and also of Michael and I together, in happier times.
Here I am now, in the loft bedroom of our small log cabin, located in this small country town in South Dakota, USA. My remains are half a world away from my family, yet it was here, in this tiny cabin, where I found a purpose in my life. It was here where Michael and I spent so many happy hours together and it was here in that bed where I finally departed from this world nestled in his arms …