erich-maria-remarque

But I also knew that there was no going back. One can never go back; nothing and no one is ever the same. All that remained was an occasional evening of sadness, the sadness that we all feel because everything passes and because man is the only animal who knows it.
—  Erich Maria Remarque, from Shadows in Paradise (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 1998; first published 1971)

8

He fell in October 1918, on a day that was so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front. He had fallen forward and lay on the earth as though sleeping. Turning him over one saw that he could not have suffered long; his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come.

It was something in my blood; I hardly understood it myself, but I knew it would lead me to my destruction. I fought against it; I tried to get away from it, and sometimes I thought I was almost succeeding; but then came a memory, a dream, or, as now, an opportunity to set the wheels of destiny in motion, and that was the end of my illusions; then I knew that there was no escape for me.
—  Erich Maria Remarque, from Shadows in Paradise (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 1998; first published 1971)

“In any case, the bayonet isn’t as important as it used to be. It’s more usual now to go into the attack with hand-grenades and your entrenching tool. The sharpened spade is a lighter and more versatile weapon - not only can you get a man under the chin, but more to the point, you can strike a blow with a lot more force behind it. That’s especially true if you can bring it down diagonally between the neck and the shoulder, because then you can split down as far as the chest. When you put a bayonet in, it can stick, and you have to give the other man a hefty kick in the guts to get it out.”

—Erich Maria Remarque, in ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’