Erich Maria Remarque Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 111 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?
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.