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Erich Maria Remarque

Erich Maria Remarque (1929)
Born 22 June 1898(1898-06-22)
Osnabrück, Germany
Died 25 September 1970 (aged 72)
Locarno, Switzerland
Occupation Novelist
Nationality German
Notable work(s) All Quiet on the Western Front
Spouse(s) Paulette Goddard (1958-1970)

Erich Maria Remarque (born Erich Paul Remark; 22 June 1898 – 25 September 1970) was a German author, most famous today for his anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front.

Contents

Life

Erich Maria Remarque was born on 22 June 1898 in a working-class family in the German city of Osnabrück, the son of Peter Franz Remark (b. 14 June 1867, Kaiserswerth) and Anna Maria Remark, nee Stallknecht (b. 21 November 1871, Katernberg). At the age of sixteen or seventeen 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 eighteen 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 Reserves Guards 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.[1]

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[2]. His first marriage was to the actress Ilse Jutta Zambona in 1925.[3] Their marriage was stormy and, on both sides, unfaithful. After a divorce, they remarried each other in 1938.

Remarque in Davos, 1929.

In 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 most famous book, 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.[4] 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.

In 1931, after finishing The Road Back (Der Weg zurück) Remarque left Germany. He bought a villa in Porto Ronco in Switzerland and lived both there and in France until 1939, when he left Europe for the United States of America with his wife and they became naturalized citizens of the United States in 1947.

In 1933, the Nazis banned and publicly burned Remarque's works and issued propaganda stating that he was a descendant of French Jews and that his real last name was Kramer, a Jewish-sounding name, and his original name spelled backwards. This is still claimed in some biographies despite the complete lack of evidence. Furthermore, despite contrary evidence, the Nazis claimed that he had never seen active service during WWI. In 1943 the Nazis arrested his sister Elfriede Scholz, who had stayed behind in Germany with her husband and two children. After a short trial in the "Volksgerichtshof" (Hitler's extra-constitutional "People's Court") she was found guilty of "undermining morale" for remarking that the war was lost. Evidence supports the contention that the verdict and the associated death sentence were issued to punish her brother: Court President Roland Freisler declared, "Ihr Bruder ist uns leider entwischt - Sie aber werden uns nicht entwischen." ("Your brother has unfortunately escaped us - you, however, will not escape us"). Elfriede Scholz was decapitated by guillotine on 16 December 1943.[5]

Remarque's next novel, Three Comrades (Drei Kameraden) spans the years of the Weimar Republic, from the hyperinflation of 1923 to the end of the decade. Remarque's fourth novel, Flotsam (Liebe deinen Nächsten), first appeared in a serial version in English translation in Collier's magazine in 1939, and Remarque spent another year revising the text for its book publication in 1941 both in English and German. His next novel Arch of Triumph, first published in 1945 in English translation, and published in German as Arc de Triomphe in 1946, was another instant best-seller and reached worldwide sales of nearly five million.

In 1948 Remarque went back to Switzerland, where he spent the rest of his life. There was a gap of seven years—a long silence for Remarque—between Arch of Triumph and his next work, The Spark of Life (Der Funke Leben), which appeared both in German and in English in 1952. While he was writing The Spark of Life Remarque was also working on a novel, Zeit zu leben und Zeit zu sterben (Time to Live and Time to Die). It was published first in English translation in 1954 with the not-quite-literal title A Time to Love and a Time to Die. In 1958, Douglas Sirk directed the film A Time to Love and a Time to Die in Germany, based on Remarque's novel. Remarque makes a cameo appearance in this film in the role of the Professor.

In 1955 Remarque wrote the screenplay for an Austrian movie, The Last Act (Der letzte Akt), about Hitler's final days in the bunker of the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, which was based on the book Ten Days to Die (1950) by Michael Musmanno. In 1956 Remarque wrote a drama for the stage, Full Circle (Die letzte Station), which played successfully both in Germany and on Broadway. An English translation was published in 1974. Heaven Has No Favorites was serialized (as Borrowed Life) in 1959 before appearing as a book in 1961 and was made into the 1977 movie Bobby Deerfield. The Night in Lisbon (Die Nacht von Lissabon), published in 1962 is the last work Remarque finished. The novel sold some 900,000 copies in Germany and was a modest best-seller abroad as well.

Remarque married the Hollywood actress Paulette Goddard in 1958 and they remained married until his death in a hospital at Locarno on 25 September 1970 at the age of 72.[6] He was interred in the Ronco cemetery in Ronco, Ticino, Switzerland after a Catholic funeral. Goddard is also interred there. Goddard left a bequest of $20 million to New York University to fund an institute for European studies which is named after Remarque. The first Director of The Remarque Institute was Professor Tony Judt. The Erich Maria Remarque Papers are housed in the Fales Library at NYU.

List of works

Note: the dates of English publications are those of the first publications in a book form

Novels

  • (1920) Die Traumbude. Ein Künstlerroman; English translation: The Dream Room
  • (written 1924, published 1998) Gam
  • (1928) Station am Horizont; English translation: Station at the Horizon
  • (1929) Im Westen nichts Neues; English translation: All Quiet on the Western Front (1929)
  • (1931) Der Weg zurück; English translation: The Road Back (1931)
  • (1936) Drei Kameraden; English translation: Three Comrades (1937)
  • (1939) Liebe deinen Nächsten; English translation: Flotsam (1941)
  • (1945) Arc de Triomphe; English translation: Arch of Triumph (1945)
  • (1952) Der Funke Leben; English translation: The Spark of Life (1952)
  • (1954) Zeit zu leben und Zeit zu sterben; English translation: A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1954)
  • (1956) Der schwarze Obelisk; English translation: The Black Obelisk (1957)
  • (1961) Der Himmel kennt keine Günstlinge (serialized as Geborgtes Leben); English translation: Heaven Has No Favorites (1961)
  • (1962) Die Nacht von Lissabon; English translation: The Night in Lisbon (1964)
  • (1970) Das gelobte Land; English translation: The Promised Land
  • (1971) Schatten im Paradies; English translation: Shadows in Paradise (1972)

Other works

  • (1931) Der Feind; English translation: The Enemy (1930-1931); short stories
  • (1955) Der letzte Akt; English translation: The Last Act; screenplay
  • (1956) Die letzte Station; English translation: Full Circle (1974); play
  • (1988) Die Heimkehr des Enoch J. Jones; English translation: The Return of Enoch J. Jones; play
  • (1994) Ein militanter Pazifist; English translation: A Militant Pacifist; interviews and essays

References

  1. ^ Remarque Frieden-Schiessen.
  2. ^ "Exactly as it happened... (the story of an encounter in Ticino with Remarque and the coach-built Lancia Dilambda which, following the commercial success of "All quiet on the Western Front", he purchased in 1931 and retained till the late 1960s)". Motor 3506: pages 26 - 30. date 30 August 1969. 
  3. ^ "Erich Maria Remarque". http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/remarque.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  4. ^ Robertson, William. "Erich Remarque". http://remarque.org/about_remarque.html. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  5. ^ "Elfriede Scholz Obituary" (in German). Osnabrück Cultural Website. 15 December 2005. http://www.osnabrueck-net.de/kulturnachrichten/151205a.html. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  6. ^ Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 56: German Fiction Writers, 1914-1945. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Edited by James Hardin, University of South Carolina. The Gale Group, 1987. pp. 222-241.

Further reading

  • Mariana Parvanova, "... das Symbol der Ewigkeit ist der Kreis." Eine Untersuchung der Motive in den Romanen von Erich Maria Remarque. Tenea, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-86504-028-4 (in German)
  • Mariana Parvanova: E.M.Remarque in der kommunistischen Literaturkritik in der Sowjetunion und in Bulgarien. ReDiRoma Verlag, Remscheid 2009, ISBN 978-3-86870-056-5 (in German)

See also

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Erich Maria Remarque (1898-06-22 – 1970-09-25) was the pseudonym of German author Erich Paul Remark.

Sourced

  • Aber das ist wohl so, weil ein einzelner immer der Tod ist — und zwei Millionen immer nur eine Statistik.
    • The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Erich Maria Remarque
File:Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R04034, Erich Maria
Occupation Novelist
Nationality German

Erich Maria Remarque (June 22, 1898 – September 25, 1970) was the pseudonym of Erich Paul Remark, a German author.

Contents

Life

Erich Paul Remark was born in Osnabrück. His parents were of the working-class. The family was Roman Catholic.When he was eighteen, he had to go to war. The Army sent him the front lines of World War I. He was wounded there, by stray shell fragments. After the war, he changed his last name to Remarque. This had been the family-name until his grandfather's time. He worked at a number of different jobs. He also took the jobs of librarian, businessman, teacher, journalist and editor, at some time.

In 1929, Remarque published his most famous work, All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen nichts Neues) under the name Erich Maria Remarque. He Changed his middle name to honor his mother. The novel described the utter cruelty of the war from the perspective of a twenty-year-old soldier. A number of similar works followed; in simple, emotive language they realistically described wartime and the postwar years. An opposite view is found in Storm of Steel (In Stahlgewittern) by Ernst Jünger.

In 1933, the Nazis banned and burned Remarque's works. They made propaganda materials. In the materials, they said that he was a descendant of French Jews and that his real last name was Kramer, his original name spelled backwards. This is still listed in some biographies despite the complete lack of proof. He had been living in Switzerland since 1931, and in 1939 he emigrated to the United States of America with his first wife, Ilsa Jeanne Zamboui, whom he married and divorced twice, and they became naturalized citizens of the United States in 1947. In 1948 he went to Switzerland, where he spent the rest of his life. He married the Hollywood actress Paulette Goddard in 1958. He was married to her until his death in 1970. at age 72. He is buried in the Ronco cemetery in Ronco, Ticino, Switzerland. Goddard is also buried there Goddard left $20m to New York University to fund an institute for European study which is named after Remarque.

Awards

  • In 1967, he was awarded the Great Cross of Merit (which is a class of the Bundesverdienstkreuz. The Bundesverdienstkreuz is the only Order of Merit that Germany currently awards.)
  • In 1991, the city of Osnabrück, where he was born, instituted the Erich-Maria-Remarque-Friedenspreis (Peace Prize named after Erich Maria Remarque); It is awarded in the week of his bithday, in the history city hall.
  • Tony Judt, a historian, founded the Erich-Maria-Remarque institute at the University of New York, in 1995.

Work

  • Die Traumbude (1920) Debut novel
  • Im Westen nichts Neues (1929), (All Quiet on the Western Front), its film adaptation
  • Der Weg zurück (1931), (The Road Back)
  • Drei Kameraden (1937), (Three Comrades), its film adaptation
  • Liebe deinen Nächsten (1941), (Flotsam)
  • Arc de Triomphe (1946), (Arch of Triumph), its film adaptations Arch of Triumph (1948 film) and Arch of Triumph (1985 film)
  • Der Funke Leben (1952), (The Spark of Life)
  • Zeit zu leben und Zeit zu sterben (1954), (A Time to Love and a Time to Die )
  • Der schwarze Obelisk (1956), (The Black Obelisk)
  • Die letzte Station (1956, play), (Full Circle)
  • Der Himmel kennt keine Günstlinge (1961), (Heaven Has No Favorites), its film adaptation Bobby Deerfield
  • Die Nacht von Lissabon (1963), (The Night in Lisbon)
  • Schatten im Paradies (published posthumously, 1971), (Shadows in Paradise)

His books have been translated into at least 58 languages.

References

  • Mariana Parvanova, "... das Symbol der Ewigkeit ist der Kreis." Eine Untersuchung der Motive in den Romanen von Erich Maria Remarque. Tenea, Berlin, ISBN 3-86504-028-4 (in German)

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