Erich Maria Remarque Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 114 quotes)
I did not want to think so much about her. I wanted to take her as an unexpected, delightful gift, that had come and would go again? nothing more. I meant not to give room to the thought that it could ever be more. I knew too well that all love has the desire for eternity and that therein lies its eternal torment. Nothing lasts. Nothing.
Comrade, I did not want to kill you. . . . But you were only an idea to me before, an abstraction that lived in my mind and called forth its appropriate response. . . . I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony—Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?
I have been running all about; I have knocked again at all the doors of my youth and desired to enter in there; I thought, surely it must admit me again, for I am still young and have wished so much to forget; but it fled always before me like a will-o'-the-wisp; it fell away without a sound; it crumbled like tinder at my lightest touch. And I could not understand.--Surely here at least something of it must remain? I attempted it again and again, and as a result made myself merely ridiculous and wretched. But now I know. I know now that a still, silent war has ravaged this country of my memories also; I know now it would be useless for me to look farther. Time lies between like a great gulf; I cannot get back. There is nothing for it; I must go forward, march onward, anywhere; it matters nothing, for I have no goal
Haven't you ever observed how we live in an age of self-persecution? What a lot of things there are one might do that one doesn't - and yet why, God only knows. Work has become so tremendously important to-day, because so many have none, I suppose, that it kills everything else... Work, work, work . . . an abominable obsession - and always under the illusion it will be different later. And it never is different. Queer, isn't it, that anyone should do that with his life?
We're no longer young men. We've lost any desire to conquer the world. We are refugees. We are fleeing from ourselves. From our lives. We were eighteen years old, and we had just begun to love the world and to love being in it; but we had to shoot at it. The first shell to land went straight for our hearts. We've been cut off from real action, from getting on, from progress. We don't believe in those things any more; we believe in the war.
The miracle has passed me by; it has touched but not changed me; I still have the same name and I know I will probably bear it until the end of my days; I am no phoenix; resurrection is not for me; I have tried to fly but I am tumbling like a dazzled, awkward rooster back to earth, back behind the barbed wires.