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🏠 |Education | Literature |

Erich Maria Remarque

Reasons to read

I recommend reading Remarque, if only to understand how people lived in the first half of the 20th century, what shocks they had to face and how differently they showed themselves.

Remarque’s novels become more relevant during the heyday of totalitarian ideologies. In a modern society of radical tolerance, a person who does not share these values can associate himself with the hero of Remarque.

It is always useful to read about what in the end any social movement leading the principle of “Who is not with us, is against us” will lead to its ideology.

This order is just a recommendation, whithout doubt. From my point of view when reading Remarque"s novels in this specific order you can easier understanb what motivated his characters and which events brougth their priorities to the point where we found them.

All Quiet on the Western Front
The Road Back *
The Black Obelisk
Three Comrades
Heaven Has No Favorites
Arch of Triumph
Flotsam
The Night in Lisbon
A Time to Love and a Time to Die
Spark of Life
Shadows in Paradise

* you can leave it till Spark of Life because these are most depressive novels.

Of course it makes sense also to read novels in the order of apparance. First there, anyway, are better to be skipped or you may not survive till the fourth one.

NameName in GermanPublished
The Dream RoomDie Traumbude1920
GamGam1924 published 1998
Station at the HorizonStation am Horizont1927
All Quiet on the Western Front Im Westen nichts Neues1929
The Road BackDer Weg zurüc1931
Three ComradesDrei Kameraden1936
FlotsamLiebe Deinen Nächsten1941
Arch of TriumphArc de Triomphe1945
Spark of LifeDer Funke Leben1952
A Time to Love and a Time to DieZeit zu leben und Zeit zu sterben1954
The Black ObeliskDer schwarze Obelisk1956
Heaven Has No FavoritesDer Himmel kennt keine Günstlinge1959
The Night in LisbonDie Nacht von Lissabon1962
Shadows in ParadiseSchatten im ParadiesPublished in 1971 after Remarque"s death by Droemer Knaur. It is a shorter version of « The Promised Land»
The Promised LandDas gelobte LandPublished in 1998. It is the last and unfished novel by Remarque

Movies

Several movies are based on Remarque"s novels.

All Quiet on the Western Front
The Road Back
The Black Obelisk
Three Comrades
Heaven Has No Favorites
Arch of Triumph
Flotsam
The Night in Lisbon
A Time to Love and a Time to Die
Spark of Life
Shadows in Paradise

Philosophy

You can blame Remark for the fact that he often professes a "defeatist-émigré" filisofia, seasoned with a portion of rather "snotty" love lines.

However, I advise you to pay attention to a number of heroes who fight with injustice even when all circumstances are against them. Actively as the 509th in The Spark of Life, either hiding as Steiner in Love your neighbor or Ravik in the Arc de Triomphe.

Ark de Triumph
Ravik from «Ark de Triumph» movie

At what age to read?

There is no exact answer to this question, but before you start reading you need to have at least a little idea of what happened in Europe in the first half of the 20th century.

History

A minimum of knowledge for those who are too lazy to read history books:

In 1914, World War I broke out: Germany and its allies against France, Russia and their allies (Entente).

The action of the novel “On the Western Front without Change” takes place on the front line between the French and German troops.

На западном фронте без перемен Ремарк
«All quiet on the Western Front.»

Two revolutions took place in Russia: the Tsar was overthrown at the beginning of 1917, and at the end of the year the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government and surrendered to Germany.

These events generated a wave of mass emigration from Russia to Europe, Turkey, China and other countries.

Representatives of the white emigration are Boris Morozov from the novel “Arc de Triomphe” Boris Volkov (“Life on loan”), Vladimir Ivanovich Moikov / Melikov (“Promised Land” / “Shadows in Paradise”)

Despite the surrender of Russia, Germany was defeated and capitulated to France and England. After that, at the end of 1918 in Germany, with the participation of soldiers returning from the front (the novel “Return”), a revolution occurred and from the middle of 1919 the Weimar Republic was proclaimed, which was permanently in economic crisis. The difficulties associated with the post-war period are described in the novel Black Obelisk.

The most difficult phase of the crisis was passed by 1923. Around the mid-twenties, the time of the novels "Life on loan" and "Three comrades"

At the end of the twenties, an economic crisis began around the world. If you watched American films, then the term "Great Depression" should be familiar to you.

Taking advantage of the decline of the economy and the dissatisfaction of the population to power in Germany, on formal legal grounds, in 1933 the National Socialists came. Representatives of this and similar parties in spirit are mentioned by Remarque in the novels “The Black Obelisk” - a fight in a restaurant and an afterword, “Three Comrades”.

The Nazi terror that began in the 1930s caused a wave of emigration from Germany. The main directions: Austria (until 1938), Switzerland, France, Portugal, USA.

The novels “Love your neighbor”, “Arc de Triomphe”, “Night in Lisbon” tell about the fate of emigrants from Germany who are in insoluble contradictions with the Nazi regime.

In 1939, the Third Reich (Germany) begins World War II during which the events of the novels “The Time to Live and the Time to Die”, “The Spark of Life”, and “Shadows in Paradise” unfold.

In 1945, the Soviet Union and its allies defeated the Third Reich, but Remark does not have a single novel about the return of emigrants to Germany, and if you carefully read his novels and biography, you will most likely make up your mind about the reason for their absence.

Connection between novels

Common features could be found among many characters. Usually the main character is a World War I veteran, a rather dreamy young man who was greatly changed by the realities of the mass destruction of people he saw.

This is Paul Boymer in “On the Western Front without Change,” Ernst Birkholz in “Return”, Robert Lokamp in “Three Comrades” and so on.

Along with this hero, there is often a more decisive and firmly standing character, such as Otto Kester in “Three Comrades” or Clerfe in “Life on Loan”. Very often they are sometimes friends of the same age as Ludwig Bodmer and Georg Krol in the novel Black Obelisk, but can be shared by a generation like Kern and Joseph Steiner in Love Your Neighbor.

In the latter case, it is no longer easy for the reader to understand whether the difference between the characters is a character trait or is it an imprint of the suffering suffered.

Remarque' signature

Автограф Ремарка

Travel to Remarque's hometown

One of the closeset connections in Hannover

Also possible to use Munster

More books

Visit Literature and read books with 8 and higher rank

Верещагин Реквием

Цитаты Ремарка

Never apologize. Don't say anything. Send flowers. No letters. Only flowers. They cover everything. Even the graves.

Фанбург

Where to buy

If I want to buy Russian translation I would use

Labirint

Erich Maria Remarque Andrzej Sapkowski - Wiedzmin - Witcher
Cormak MacCarthy Bokononism - Kurt Vonnegut

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