The Cloud Spinner yNgerErich Maria Remarue was a humanist who could vividly portray the atrocity of war in all its terrorsI amoung I am twenty ears old et 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 I see that the keenest brains of the world invent weapons and words to make it J'ai t dpucele dans un camp de nudistes (Confessions rotiques) yet refined and enduring And all men of my age here and over there throughout the whole world see these things all my generation is experiencing these things with me What would our fathers do if we suddenly stood up and came before them and proffered our account What do they expect of us if a time ever comes when the war is over Through theears our business has been killing it was our first calling in life Our knowledge of life is limited to death What will happen afterwards And what shall come out of usThe rich for whom it s All uiet on the Western Front get filthily richer while the Liniştea Cri young and innocent and able pay with their lives for the riches of those who wield power I don t know why it took me so long to get to All uiet on the Western Front but I m glad I finally read it and am grateful to my friend Rose for recommending it The book first published in the late 1920s is an absolutely heartbreaking wonderfully written novel about the permanent damage done to those who fight in wars Few anti war novels written since have matched Erich Maria Remarue s unsettling book and I doubt any have surpassed itGiven how famous All uiet is there s little need for me to say much about it here Plus it s so much easier to write negative reviews than positive ones and I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this book There are several heart rending passages that I expect will stick with me for a long time though and that I feel the need to mention Paul B umer s leave during which he finds it nearly impossible to relate normally to his family after his experiences on the front Paul s time in a shell hole with French soldier G rard Duval the brief interlude Paul and his comrades spend with a group of French girls and how the gal with whom he d been paired treats him in the end and of course the scene near the book s end involving Stanislaus Katczinsky easily All uiet s most interesting character I won t say anything about the scene with Kat so as not to spoil it for those who haven t read the booketOne final thought which I bring up because of Logan s comment that he didn t like All uiet which he last read in high school I ve talked about this before most recently in my review of The Sea Wolf and I feel the need to bring it up again Many American readers it seems have bad memories of great works of literature they were made to read in school That they were forced to read the books is of course part of the problem but I also think schoolchildren often are assigned books they re not Introduction to Type and Leadership yet ready for I don t mean that they re not smart enough to read and understand the books but rather that they re not mature enough to have the books resonate properly with them This would definitely be true of All uiet It would be the most unusual of high school students one in a hundred perhaps if that many who could truly appreciate the issues raised in this bookI would encourage anyone who hasn t read All uietet to check it out And for those who read it in school and were left with a bad taste in their mouths it s probably time to revisit the book That means ou Logan Man I need a break I ve been reading about the First World War solidly since December and I ve had enough now There s only so many times ou can go through the same shit whether they re English French German Russian oh look another group of pals from school eagerly jogging down to the war office to sign up Brilliant Now it s just a matter of guessing which horrible death will be assigned to them shrapnel to the stomach bleeding to death in no man s land drowning in mud succumbing to dysentery shot for deserting bayonetted at close range vaporised by a whizz bang victim of Spanish flu It s like the most depressing drinking game everI wish after spending many months reading around this subject that I could pick out some obscure classic to recommend and perhaps I will still find some because I intend to keep reading about 1914 18 throughout 2014 18 but I have to say that this novel famously one of the greatest war novels is in fact genuinely excellent and left uite an impression on me despite my trench fatigue Remarue has the same elements as everyone else because pretty much everyone in this war went through the same godawful mind numbingly exhausting terror but he describes it all with such conviction and such "clarity that I was sucker punched by the full horror of it all over againThe story is studded "that I was sucker punched by the full horror of it all over againThe story is studded remarkable incidents that linger was sucker punched by the full horror of it all over againThe story is studded remarkable incidents that linger the mind roasting a stolen goose in the middle of a barrage for instance or stabbing a Frenchman to death in a fit of panic while sheltering in the same shell hole The arrangements made to allow a hospital inmate to enjoy a marital visit with his wife while the rest of the patients in the room concentrate on a noisy game of cards I loved the moment where our narrator and his friends swim across a river to have a drink with some local French girls arriving naked because they couldn t risk getting their uniforms wet And back in the trenches an infestation of huge rats with evil looking naked faces is described with than Biblical loathingThey seem to be really hungry They have had a go at practically everybody s bread Kropp has wrapped his in tarpaulin and put it under his head but he can t sleep because they run across his face to try and get at it Detering tried to outwit them he fixed a thin wire to the ceiling and hooked the bundle with his bread on to it During the night he puts on his flashlight and sees the wire swinging backwards and forwards Riding on his bread there is a great fat ratThere is also a fair bit of philosophising While guarding a group of Russian prisoners of war our narrator is overcome by the arbitrariness of the whole situationAn order has turned these silent figures into our enemies an order could turn them into friends again On some table a document is signed by some people that none OF US KNOWS AND FOR YEARS OUR MAIN AIM us knows and for ears our main aim life is the one thing that usually draws the condemnation of the whole world and incurs its severest punishment in law How can anyone make distinctions like that looking at these silent men with their faces like children and their beards like apostles Any drill corporal is a worse enemy to the recruits any schoolmaster a worse enemy to his pupils than they are to us I don t want to lose those thoughts altogether I ll preserve them keep them locked away until the war is over Is this the task we must dedicate ourselves to after the war so that all the ears of horror will have been worthwhileI found this uote and this resolution very moving because Germany s post war history rendered it so utterly futile When the Nazis came to power in 1933 just four ears after this was published they set about burning the book which tended to be their first response to any problem While Ernst J nger s vision of a German people purified and hardened by the war was venerated poor guy Remarue s text was denounced as an insult to the German soldier He took the hint and sailed to the US in 1939 The German state in what amounted to a fit of piue cut his sister s head off instead and then billed what was left of his family for wear and tear to the bladeSo as can t be said enough fuck them The insights that Remarue and Barbusse and Sassoon and Genevoix and Manning found in extremis of the essential commonality of human beings are we like to think now accepted by society over the alternatives despite what we sometimes have to infer from the content of our newspapersWith all of that said this is a novel It is not a memoir Remarue only spent a month on the front lines whereas J nger who apparently had the time of his life was there for earsThis 1994 translation from Brian Murdoch is excellent and reads entirely naturally he also contributes a thoughtful and unassuming essay which finally a publisher that gets it is helpfully placed as an Afterword so as not to spoil the novel itself All in all a very powerful and moving piece of writing if I had to recommend just one contemporary novel from the First World War so far this is probably it There are already thousands of reviews for this deeply moving and heartbreaking book here on Goodreads and I don t know that I could add anything new It simply broke my heart However I do feel really strongly that I should describe the vivid imagery that I m left with Bright red poppies in bloodied fields Where death stalked its victims It cared not for age creed or nationality What would they have achieved in life These Programmable Microcontrollers with Applications young men with so muchet to experience So many dreams to fulfil If duty hadn t called and they hadn t answered When the sun set for one final time It set on the lives they never lived. Mazed and always take inspiration from the contents of the book.. ,
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It atrocities that under normal circumstances would have led them to the gallows or the firing suad I m a bit torn over whether Remarue s war experiences are universal or whether they reflect his particular personality or the particular war he was fighting WW I was a gruesome protracted conflict It probably could have been fought at the negotiation table as internecine European suabbles are settled nowadays No doubt it was easy for the common foot soldier on all sides to forget that the war started because an heir apparent to the throne of a dying empire was shot by a Bosnian The Big Book of Losers: Pathetic but True Tales of the World's Most Titanic Failures! (Factoid Books) youth who wanted his country free from theoke of this decaying empire Ironically he killed a man and his wife who were sympathetic to his causePerhaps as General Sherman said War is hell and is hell under any conditions but especially hell for a soldier on the front lines in a ground war I have heard interviews with fighter pilots and Navy SEALS among other elite forces where the retired soldiers said they missed the war and there was never a time when they felt alive than when fighting in battle It appears that some revel in the conflicts and get a thrill from combat though I m guessing that a great many upon reflection might hold a view closer to Remarue s and a great many if The Thing About Alice you got them under the hot lights might allow that war has its downsides tooPerhaps in wars like WW II where soldiers on the allied side had a real sense of purpose such dissonance as Remarue felt was far less common Perhaps if soldiers can be convinced of the necessity of the war then doubts a combatant might harbor can be dispelled I suspect though that combatants in most wars are battling demons with varying degrees of success after experiencing the horrors of war It has to be the defining novel of World War I told from the point of view of a German soldier fighting in the trenches of France This is not a novel of romance intrigue and adventure it is a stark and frightingly realistic description of what it must have been like trying to survive from one day to the next and almost always failing Difficult and disturbing to read it nevertheless is a narrative of how war is horrible and hopefully why the telling of it may help deter future wars It s unendurable It is the moaning of the world it is the martyred creation wild with anguish filled with terror and groaningThis slim novel about the horror of the World War I trenches and the senselessness of war was published in 1929 Ifou open this book up today it is absolutely just as relevant now as it was decades ago It is powerful and breathtaking I finished my second reading of this last month and barely a day goes by without me thinking about it I had read All uiet for the first time ages ago and the haunting feeling I had then has stayed with me all these Un lieu incertain years Ifou have not ever read this book Starman The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin you must do so It is that meaningful Shells gas clouds and flotillas of tanks shattering corroding death Dysentery influenza typhus scalding choking death Trenches hospitals the common grave there are no other possibilitiesThis is a story of a German soldier Paul B umer and his comrades Since the book is so widely known and reviewed here on Goodreads I won t go into plot details But I want to make note of some portions that affected me uite deeply For instance Remarue so clearly reflects the feeling of camaraderie that these men most of them not even twentyears old experienced in the field and on the front These were some of the most moving passages of the novel These voices these uiet words these footsteps in the trench behind me recall me at a bound from the terrible loneliness and fear of death by which I had been almost destroyed They are to me than life these voices they are than motherliness and than fear they are the strongest most comforting thing there is anywhere they are the voices of my comrades I ve never read such stirring words about the soldier s intimacy with not a woman but rather with the very earth itself The writing is truly remarkable To no man does the earth mean so much as to the soldier When he presses himself down upon her long and powerfully when he buries his face and his limbs deep in her from the fear of death by shell fire then she is his only friend his brother his mother he stifles his terror and his cries in her silence and her security she shelters him and releases him for ten seconds to live to run ten seconds of life receives him again and often foreverWhen Paul goes home on leave he finds that the life he once knew and loved no longer has the same meaning His books his case of butterflies and his piano no longer bring him the joy they once had He cannot speak of what he has seen he feels that those that have not been on the front and mired in the trenches can truly understand him He feels alone I was heartbroken when he "cried out for his lost childhood ah mother "out for his lost childhood Ah Mother You still think I am a child why can I not put my head in our lap and weep Why have I always to be strong and self controlled I would like to weep and be comforted too indeed I am little than a child in the wardrobe still hang short boy s trousers it is such a little time ago why is it overI don t know if a book exists that so effectively conveys the meaninglessness of war If there is another I have et to read it I suspect that Remarue had a marked influence on many authors writing about the topic since but I don t think this one can be beat in its simple Edge of Chaos Sons of Chaos MC yet passionate and well expressed message There were moments of fleeting pleasures and true companionship that allowed me to intermittently rejoice along with Paul and dream of a future when the war would be ended But I also keenly felt his moments of hopelessness and despair I nodded my head when he recognized in the enemy a man much like himself His sense of humanity truly shined at these times Something as basic as the sharing of cigarettes with the Russian prisoners was very telling I take out my cigarettes break each one in half and give them to the Russians They bow to me and then light the cigarettes Now red points glow in every face They comfort me it looks as though there were little windows in dark village cottages saying that behind them are rooms full of peaceAh if only this book could be read everywhere by everyone Perhaps then we could all see the reflection of ourselves our mothers our fathers our brothers and sisters and our lovers in the face of another human being Could we then avoid the devastation of war This book deserves a place onour bookshelf Grab a copy if Vol au-dessus d'un nid de coucou you haven t already Mine is sitting on my all time favorites shelf I think it is of a kind of fever No one in particular wants it and then all at once there it is We didn t want the war the others say the same thing andet half the world is in it all the same 667 From 1001 Books Im Westen nichts Neues A l ouest rien de novreau All uiet on The Western Front In the West Nothing New Erich Maria RemarueAll uiet on the Western Front is a novel by Erich Maria Remarue a German veteran of World War I The book describes the German soldiers extreme physical and mental stress during the war and the detachment from civilian life felt by many of these soldiers upon returning home from the front 1972 1309 220 20 1346 324 1392 1385 254 1929 20071399 The greatest war novelMaybeThis was one of the first books that made me think that even though that made me think that even though wanted to be a writer someday maybe I did not have what it takes This was a sharp swift kick in the gut a none too subtle reminder that there are somber very real and poignant moments captured in literature that escape petty categorization and cynicism there are real moments that cannot be trivialized and placed on a genre specific bookshelf Powerful 2018 This book as a war novel is cautionary No doubt there are those novels that glorify and even romanticize battles and there are others whose goal it is to revel in the martial experience Remarue though has crafted a simple story that focuses instead on the individual and how this ugly time affects his life In doing so Remarue declares the value of that individual life in all life and shines a discerning damning light on war They were The Summer I Wasn't Me young They were twentyear old The war has stolen their outhTo me the front is a mysterious whirlpool Though I am in still water far away from its centre I feel the whirl of the vortex sucking me slowly irresistibly inescapable into itselfFrom the earth from the air sustaining forces pour into us mostly from the earth To no man does the earth mean so much as to the soldier When he presses himself down upon her long and powerfully when he buries his face and his limbs deep in her from the fear of death by shell fire then she is his only friend his brother his mother he stifles his terror and his cries in her silence and her security she shelters him and releases him for ten seconds to live to run ten seconds of life receives him again and often for everThe war has changed the values and priorities in man s life instead of learning the art of love and living one had to learn the skill of staying alive for however a short while lo. Is is very good and a main topic to read, the readers are very .
I was finishing a phase of reading and teaching facets of the First World War and it would not be complete without this fictitious but realistic portrait of a soldier s life in the trenches on the Western frontI was reading excerpts from All uiet On The Western Front in class with students staring at me some of them understanding for the first time what it really meant to be a soldier in the trenches sent out to die under the banner of nationalism which was an entirely positive word back then They had read the facts in their textbooks and also checked additional sources such as small parts of Churchill s brilliant The World Crisis 1911 1918 or the highly informative The First World War A Very Short Introduction They had even familiarised themselves with uite graphic photographs and documentaries But nothing prepared them for the voice of the oung soldier in the novel that took them directly into the situation and made the numbers from the history books become real people with feelings and worries All of a sudden the information that 20000 English soldiers died on the first day of a specific attack was no longer just statistical data to be memorised It meant 20000 letters sent home to parents siblings wives and girlfriends all with the same sad news Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori that old lie which made soldiers die by the millions or suffer life altering mutilations forever remembered through The Poems Of Wilfred Owen is put into brutal contrast with the reality of a soldier on the German side The soldier could just as well have been English or French as the experience was the same on both sides of No Man s Land with the exception that German soldiers recognised they were lucky to conduct the war outside their home country seeing the destruction of the whole countryside around themThe feeling of nationalism that the ordinary soldier has are expressed in the fact that he is out here But it doesn t go any further all his other judgements are practical ones and made from his point of viewThe sense of idiocy conspiracy or irrationality behind the suffering is omnipresent Soldiers discuss how they ended up in a situation that presumably nobody wanted but that everyone is now involved in They read the papers see the propaganda machines know the lies They are Tales from a Pilots Logbook young were recruited from school and trained uickly to lose all previous ideals to be prematurely old in their mindsWe had joined up with enthusiasm and with good will but they did everything to knock that out of us After three weeks it no longer struck us as odd that an ex postman with a couple of stripes should have power over us than our parents ever had or our teachers or the whole course of civilization from Plato to Goethe With ouroung wide open eyes we saw that the classical notion of patriotism we had heard from our teachers meant in practical terms at that moment surrendering our individual personalities completely than we would ever have believed possible even in the most obseuious errand boy Saluting eyes front marching presenting arms right and left about snapping to attention insults and a thousand varieties of bloody mindedness we had imagined that our task would be rather different from all this but we discovered that we were being trained to be heroes the way they train circus horses and we uickly got used to itThe bitterness of the situation is expected by any reader familiar with the First World War The hard conditions the dying mutilation and boredom are not new What got under my skin rereading this novel for probably the fourth time now were the details showing what was left of those individual characteristics the في الانفصال young men were asked to surrender to the cause The compassion and understanding they are able to feel for Russian prisoners The joy they experience on an adventure involving girls The passionate happiness when they receive the slightest comfort or the unspeakable sadness when they visit their families and realise they have lost touch with them and can t share their knowledge The complete loneliness when a mother asks how it really is and the teenage son has to protect her from a truth that she won t be able to digestThere is my mother there is my sister there is the glass case with my butterflies there is the mahogany piano but I am not uite there myselfet There is a veilThe protagonist fell in October 1918 just before the armistice during the very last weeks of the war just like Wilfred Owen in real life He fell on a day that was so unspectacular that the newspaper reported all was uiet nothing new on the western front That is the most heartbreaking part of the novel that this individual intelligent oung man forced out "To Die For An Ideal "die for an ideal did not believe in was not even considered noteworthy in the news Heroism of the uiet death which is neither sweet nor appropriateReading a novel like this puts the big drama of the facts into perspective turning the attention to the human beings and their lives again away from the leadership on both sides fighting for causes the soldiers did not understand or benefit from in the leastAll uiet On The Western Front is as important now leastAll uiet On The Western Front is as important now it was when it was written it ells out in capital letters that we are playing with humans not resourcesIt And the Ass Saw the Angel yells out a warning against blind patriotism nationalism and weak egocentric leadership Itells out against carelessness and pride and the lopsidedness of the sufferingMy students read poetry along with the excerpt from this novel and at one point the uestion came up how many of the decision makers were blinded mutilated amputated How many of them died in the trenches None was the answer Then how dare they force those Passer par le Nord: La nouvelle route maritime young men out thereelled my students And I was uietIn the hope that the hubris of power will never again rise to those monstrous proportions I keep teaching adding Remarue B ll Owen and others to Plato and Goethe and the rest of the course of civilisation This is the best war novel I ve ever read I m not sure how much that s saying about me or the book since I haven t exactly read a great many war novels I ve been on a World War I jag lately which should not be misinterpreted as READING a great many books about WW I Rather I have been BUYING a great many books about World War I All uiet on the Western Front is a book I ve owned about 25 Le magicien d'oz years and this was actually my second try at reading it The only reason I know this is that I noticed upon reading that it had passages underlined ending on page 64 I remembered nothing of what I d read couldn t recall ever trying to read the novel Senescence is a cruel afflictionWhy was this the best war novel I ve ever read Well the book told the truth It was the truth of the author but I suspect it is a truth shared by many infantry soldiers who ve been engaged in trench warfare or any close combat There are exceptions to this Ernst Junger fought in the trenches much longer than Erich Remarue and was wounded nine timeset he wrote an account of The Great War very different in some ways than Remarue s Remarue survived the war but came away with a damaged psyche and horrific memories that fortunately he was able to rise above to become a successful novelist I think his writing actually helped exorcise his demons from the war Junger saw the war as a patriotic struggle and a test of his mettle That is he saw or created a purpose for the war with the ultimate purpose being victory for Germany and personal victory which reuired that he stay alive Interestingly Adolph Hitler was another who apparently enjoyed the perils of fighting in The Great War This is not an indication though that Junger and Hitler were similar men Junger despised Hitler from all accounts I have readRemarue has courage even while admitting to being scared as anyone would be while being fired upon by artillery shells mustard gas and aerial bombardments But his view of The Great War is far different He views
the war as pointless and futile and the work of a group of old men who won twar as pointless and futile and the work of a group of old men who won t to fight who decide based on shaky or spurious pretexts that suddenly this nationality is our enemy another is our friend Remarue s thinking was in line with the Bob Dylan song Only a Pawn in their Game Soldiers were cannon fodder and when they died as they freuently did other recruits were brought in as cannon fodder oung boys of 19 many who enlisted at the urging of their schoolmasters men who would not have to sleep standing up in a trench as bombs dropped around them and lice ate them and rats battled for their bread Whenif the war ended it was because these same gray eminences met again in some far off city and signed pieces of paper saying that despite all the carnage the nations were once again friendsHuman instinct propelled survival and experience in battle and taught one the skills to survive though in Remarue s world even survival skills were often trumped by sheer luck Old heads could talk of duty to the Fatherland but all war really meant to the combatants was a fight for reasons they could not understand created by powerful men in faraway rooms who signed documents allowing men to comm. Best Ebook, Im Westen nichts Neues Author Erich Maria Remarue Th.