It's only terrible to have nothing to wait for.

Erich Maria Remarque

Erich Maria Remarque

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: German

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I am often on guard over the Russians. In the darkness one sees their forms move like stick storks, like great birds. They come close up to the wire fence and lean their faces against it. Their fingers hook round the mesh.

We were all at once terribly alone; and alone we must see it through.

It was a melancholy secret that reality can arouse desires but never satisfy them.

You may turn into an archangel, a fool, or a criminal ? no one will see it. But when a button is missing?everyone sees that.

The music enchanted the air. It was like the south wind, like a warm night, like swelling sails beneath the stars, completely and utterly unreal… It made everything spacious and colourful, the dark stream of life seemed pulsing in it; there were no burdens any more, no limits.

Modesty and conscientiousness receive their reward only in novels. In life they are exploited and then shoved aside.

They are more human and more brotherly towards one another, it seems to me, than we are. But perhaps that is merely because they feel themselves to be more unfortunate than us.

Keep things at arm's length... If you let anything come too near you want to hold on to it. And there is nothing a man can hold on to.

A hospital alone shows what war is.

Life is a disease, brother, and death begins already at birth. Every breath, every heartbeat, is a moment of dying - a little shove toward the end.

On the steps is a machine-gun ready for action. The square is empty; only the streets that lead into it are jammed with people. It would be madness to go farther - the machine-gun is covering the square.

Anyway the war is over so far as they are concerned. But to wait for dysentery is not much of a life either.

Any non-commissioned officer is more of an enemy to a recruit, any schoolmaster to a pupil, then they are if they were free.

To forget is the secret of eternal youth. One grows old only through memory. There's much too little forgetting.