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Summary: Paul Baumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other--if only he can come out of the war alive. ...show more ...show lessEdition/Copyright: 29
Erich Paul Remark was born on 22 June 1898 into a working-class family in the German city of Osnabrück, to Peter Franz Remark (b. 14 June 1867, Kaiserswerth) and Anna Maria (née Stallknecht; born 21 November 1871, Katernberg). At the age of 16 he made his first attempts at writing: essays, poems, and the beginnings of a novel that was finished later and published in 1920 as The Dream Room (Die Traumbude).
At 18, Remarque was conscripted into the army. On 12 June 1917, he was transferred to the Western Front, 2nd Company, Reserves, Field Depot of the 2nd Guards Reserve Division at Hem-Lenglet. On 26 June, he was posted to the 15th Reserve Infantry Regiment, 2nd Company of Trench Battalion Bethe, and was stationed between Torhout and Houthulst. On 31 July, he was wounded by shrapnel in the left leg, right arm and neck, and was repatriated to an army hospital in Germany where he spent the rest of the war.
In 1924, he started to write his last name as Remarque, which had been the family name until his grandfather changed it to Remark in the 19th century. He had already been using the middle name "Maria" since November 1922. He worked at a number of different jobs, including librarian, businessman, teacher, journalist and editor. His first paid writing job was as a technical writer for the Continental Rubber Company, a German tire manufacturer.
n 1927, Remarque made a second literary start with the novel Station at the Horizon (Station am Horizont), which was serialized in the sports journal "Sport im Bild" for which Remarque was working. It was published in book form only in 1998. His best known work, All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen nichts Neues) was written in a few months in 1927, but Remarque was not immediately able to find a publisher. The novel, published in 1929, described the experiences of German soldiers during World War I. A number of similar works followed; in simple, emotive language they described wartime and the postwar years.
Biographical Sketch 9
The Story Behind the Story 17
List of Characters 20
Summary and Analysis 23
Critical Views 52
Brian Murdoch on All Quiet on the Western Front as a Weimar Antiwar Novel 52
Brian Murdoch on Remarque and Homer 57
A.F. Bance on the Novel's Best-seller Status 63
Chris Daley on the Force of Silence in All Quiet on the Western Front 68
Hildegard Emmel on All Quiet on the Western Front as a Weimar Novel 71
Vita Fortunati on the Representation of World War I in Hemingway, Remarque, and Ford Madox Ford 75
Dorothy B. Jones on the Film Version of the Novel 79
Helmut Liedloff on A Farewell to Arms and All Quiet on the Western Front 83
Alfredo Bonadeo on Paul Baumer's Relationship to German Culture 87
Modris Eksteins on the Novel as a Postwar Commentary 92
Hans Wagener on the Final Chapter of All Quiet on the Western Front 96
Robert Baird on Hollywood's Ambivalence to World War I Novels 100
Wilhelm J. Schwarz on Remarque's Memorial to the Unknown Soldier 105
Works Erich Maria Remarque 110
Annotated Bibliography 111
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