Erich Maria Remarque

Erich Maria Remarque



user pages

system statistics

Remarque, Erich Maria (b. June 22, 1898, Osnabrück, Germany ---d. Sept. 25 1970, Locarno, Switzerland), novelist who is chiefly remembered as the author of Im Westen nichts Neues (1929; All Quiet on the Western Front), which became perhaps the best-known and most representative novel dealing with the first World War.

He was born into modest circumstances. His father was a bookbinder.

Remarque began his studies at the University of Münster, but was drafted into the German army at the age of 18 and was wounded several times. After the war he worked as a teacher, racing-car driver and as a sportswriter while working on his novel.

The events of All Quiet on the Western Front are those in the daily routine of soldiers who seem to have no past or future apart from their life in the trenches. It's title, the language of routine communiqués, is typical of its cool, terse style, which records the daily horrors of war in laconic understatement. Its casual amorality was in shocking contrast to patriotic rhetoric. The book was an immediate international success, as was the American film made from it in 1930. It was followed by a sequel, Der Weg Zurück (1931; The Road Back), dealing with the collapse of Germany in 1918.

Remarque left Germany for Switzerland in 1932. His books were banned by the Nazis in 1933. In 1938 he lost his German citizenship. In 1939 he went to the United States where he was naturalized in 1947. After World War II he settled in Porto Ronco, Switzerland, on Lake Maggiore, where he lived with his second wife, the American film star Paulette Goddard, until his death. He wrote several other novels, most of them dealing with victims of the political upheavels of Europe During World Wars I and II. Some had popular success and were filmed (e.g., Arch de Triomphe, 1946), but none achieved the critical prestige of his first book.


$Id: about_remarque.html,v 1.7 2005/12/05 07:26:23 rob Exp $

William Robertson < >