Life did not intend to make us perfect. Whoever is perfect belongs in a museum.

Erich Maria Remarque

Erich Maria Remarque

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: German


Life did not intend to make us perfect. Whoever is perfect belongs in a museum. Erich Maria Remarque

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One always expects something else.

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.

The later it gets the more disturbed the city becomes. I go with Albert through the streets. Men are standing in groups at every corner. Rumours are flying. It is said that the military have already fired on a procession of demonstrating workers.

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.

We want to live at any price; so we cannot burden ourselves with feelings which, though they might be ornamental enough in peace-time, would be out of place here.

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

A hospital alone shows what war is.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.