`The Novels of Erich Maria Remarque

`The Novels of Erich Maria Remarque

Sparks of Life

Brian Murdoch

New view of Remarque's novels as a chronicle of the century yet more than a mere reflection of historical events.
Erich Maria Remarque is a writer of great popularity who has rightly been described as a "chronicler of the twentieth century." He is both a German writer and a genuinely international one. Although he spent much of his life in exile from Germany, most of his novels reflect its twentieth-century history: the two world wars and the Weimar and Nazi regimes, and especially their effects on the individual. His portrayals of the lives of refugees from Nazi Germany are especially vivid. His themes are universal, dealing with human relationships, with love in particular, and with the provisional nature of life. Often seen as a one-novel writer due to the immense success of All Quiet on the Western Front, Remarque wrote many other novels, major works that have nearly all been filmed and have remained popular. Nor should it be ignored that his works are above all else immensely readable: not a negligible criterion. This new study of Remarque's novels treats them as a chronicle of the century, but also looks at them as works that go beyond the reflection of historical events.

Brian Murdoch is Emeritus Professor of German at the University of Stirling, Scotland.

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Table of Contents

Erich Paul Remark and Erich Maria Remarque: The Writer and His Works: Die Traumbude and Gam
From the Frog's Perspective: Im Westen nichts Neues and Der Weg zurück
Rootless in Weimar: Der schwarze Obelisk and Drei Kameraden
The First Europeans: Liebe Deinen Nächsten and Arc de Triomphe
Shadows: Die Nacht von Lissabon and Schatten im Paradies/Das gelobte Land
Educating Germany: Der Funke Leben and Zeit zu leben und Zeit zu sterben
The Lap of the Gods: From Station am Horizont to Der Himmel kennt keine Günstlinge
Select Bibliography


This book champions Remarque's novels as representing a solid track record of first-class literature. Murdoch successfully strives to overcome the stigma of critics who have relegated Remarque as a trivial writer.... GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

Murdoch has consolidated his and others' research in this useful treatment of Remarque's life and work. Those new to Remarque will find this an excellent introduction to the author's entire literary corpus. CHOICE

Murdoch aims to present Remarque as a German writer who was also prominent internationally and, beyond this, a writer whose significance goes far beyond his best-known work, Im Westen nichts Neues. At the same time he attempts to show that he was no mere writer of escapist literature. MONATSHEFTE

Murdoch has . performed a great service in registering exactly what Remarque published, in what order and when, and how various films relate to the writings-tasks made all the more difficult because Remarque enjoyed playing the mystery-man. MLR

This book offers a concise survey of Remarque's novels that underscores the values of his novels that have been previously overlooked. As an introductory survey, it will be an important contribution to the teaching of Remarque's works. H-NET REVIEWS

Author Bio

Brian O. Murdoch is Emeritus Professor of German in the School of Languages, Cultures, and Religions at Stirling University, Scotland.

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