Wussten Sie, dass Ferngläser Literaturgeschichte geschrieben haben?

Did You Know ...

… that binoculars wrote literary history?

Ernest Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in Literature exactly 60 years ago. His most famous works include "A Farewell to Arms", "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "To Have and Have Not". All these have all been made into movies – featuring stars such as Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck and Humphrey Bogart. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1944, and was nominated in eight other categories.

The story describes the exploits of American dynamiter Robert Jordan who is tasked with blowing up a strategically important bridge during the Spanish Civil War. One place in the original reads as follows: "Robert Jordan, looking through the Zeiss 8-power glasses, watched his face as he leaned against the wall of the sentry box drawing on the cigarette."

This is not the only mention of ZEISS binoculars. As Hemingway writes in "The Green Hills of Africa": "We started out with the brother ahead, wearing a toga and carrying a spear, then me with the Springfield slung and my small Zeiss glasses in my pocket…" Or in "Voyage to Victory": "I got my old miniature Zeiss glasses out of an inside pocket, where they were wrapped in a woolen sock…"

Ernest Hemingway actually owned several pairs of ZEISS binoculars. One photo shows him with a Turita 8x24. In others, he is pictured with a pair of 6x30 military binoculars and an x50. As a hunter and war reporter, he had a special relationship with his binoculars. This was also expressed in his works, through which the binoculars became part of literary history.


5 February 2014