Erich Maria Remarque (22 June 1898 – 25 September 1970)
German novelist who created many works about the terror of war. His best known novel All Quiet on the Western Front (1928), about German soldiers in the First World War, was made into an Oscar-winning film. His book made him an enemy of the Nazis, who burned many of his works. (Wikipedia)
From our stacks: Cover from All Quiet on the Western Front. Erich Maria Remarque. Translated from the German by A. W. Wheen. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1929.
“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’
We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and
we had to shoot it to pieces. The first bomb, the first explosion,
burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from
progress. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in war. ―
Erich Maria Remarque,
All Quiet on the Western Front
- La guerra nos ha estropeado a todos.
Tiene razón. Ya no somos jóvenes .Ya no queremos conquistar el mundo.Somos fugitivos .Huimos de nosotros mismos .De nuestra vida. Teníamos dieciocho años y empezábamos a amar el mundo y la existencia; pero hemos tenido que disparar contra esto. La explosión de la primera granada nos estropeó el corazón .Estamos al margen de la actividad , del esfuerzo , del progreso ….
Ya no creemos en nada ; solo en la guerra.
We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces.
“Me fal qe ne dite te tilla, kur shiu bie me rrebesh ne çatine e shtepise sime, tamam si gozhde qe ngulet ne kapakun e nje arkivoli, une te bej thirrje e te lutem nga thellesia DUAME! Kjo nuk ishte qortim e si zor te jete edhe lutje.”
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)
books: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
“I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.”