Remarque, Erich Maria: All Quiet on the Western Front
(researched by Amanda McDonald)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description

1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)

Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company Place: Boston Date: June, 1929

2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?

The first edition was published in gray, woven cloth. A dust jacket was also released with the novel. The dust jacket presented the image of a soldier with a solitary tree in the background.

3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available

4 Pagination

[4 leaves], 3-291, [2 leaves]

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?

This edition was not edited. The author provides a short introduction which can be seen below (see Other, section 15).

6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?

There were no illustrations within the novel.

7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available

8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)

The novel is presented in a pleasing fashion. The text is easy to read and follow. The title is presented at the top of each page, followed by an attractive border which adds to the style of the book.

9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available

10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)

The paper of the novel is of a heavyweight value. There is a slight yellowing of the pages, but not at all what one may expect for a novel at an age of almost 70 years. Some of pages at the bottom and side are unevenly cut, with a type of scalloped edge design. This causes the pages to be different sizes (only a small difference).

11 Description of binding(s)

The edition that I examined was still in its original binding and contained no loose or missing pages. The cover is a gray, woven cloth with writing on both the front and side. The author's name and title appear on the front cover, the author's name in red while the title of the novel is presented in black. The author's name and title also appear on the side, in the same colors as the front cover, but the side also contains the name of the publisher in black.

12 Transcription of title page

ERICH MARIA REMARQUE| ALL QUIET| ON THE WESTERN| FRONT| Translated from the German by| A.W. Wheen| (publishers sta mp)| BOSTON| LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY| 1929

13 JPEG image of title page, if available

14 Manuscript Holdings

The location of the manuscript could not be found.

15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)

All Quiet on the Western Front was first published in Germany in January, 1929, under the translated title Im Westen Nichts Neues. Erich Maria Remarque was exiled by the Nazis in reaction to his novel. His introduction to the novel is as follows: "This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war."

Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History

1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A

N/A: The original publisher has never released another edition, but instead renewed the copyright and reprinted the first editio
n numerous times.

2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available

3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available

4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?

This information is pending response from the publisher. Currently, I have record of 36 printings (17 in the first seven months of publication).

5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A

Acclaim Books, 1998. Amereon House, 1983. Amereon, Limited, 1999. Ballantine Books, 1982. Bantam, 1985. Buccaneer Books, Incorporated, 1981. Chivers, 1991. Fawcett, 1930. G.K. Hall, 1997. Globe Fearon, 1995. Grosset & Dunlap, 1930. Heritage Press, 1930. International Collectors Library, 1958. Macmillian Library Reference, Sept. 1997. Milestone Editions, 1958. Scholastic, Incorporated, 1999.
London: original: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1929. Cape, 1994. The Folio Society, 1966. Heinemann Educational Books, 1970. Mayflower, 1963. Pan Books, 1987. Picador, 1993. Vintage, 1987.
Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1929.

6 Last date in print?

Still in print.

7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)

Pending response from publishers.

8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)

Pending response from publishers.

9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)

New York Times Book Review: "Here at last is the great War novel for which the world has been waiting. Herr Remarque speaks for a who
le generation- that generation of the combatant nations whose life was destroyed in the springtime- even if it escaped actual death. In his book we see the life of the common soldier in all its phases- in the trenches, behind the lines, in hospital, at h
ome on leave among civilians. It is a book of terrible experiences, at times crude because of the necessity of telling the absolute truth, at times rising to an almost incredible degree of tragedy, and at times relieved by humorous incidents and examples
of rough good-comradership. It will shock the supersensitive by its outspokenness; it will leave no reader unmoved." This is followed by 2 American quotes as reviews, 3 German, and 3 English. The ad concludes with the following quote: "Acclaimed by cri
tics of Germany. England and America 'The Greatest of all War Novels" (excerpt taken from an ad in the New York Times Book Review, June 2, 1929). Publishers Weekly: "Already the Leading Best Seller! Reorder during first week of publication, 11,572. Your Big Money Maker for the Summer." (excerpt from Publishers Weekly, Vol. 115) Publishers Weekly: "Greatest of all War novels. A world-wide best seller. $2.50 (excerpt from Publishers Weekly, vol. 115)

10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available

11 Other promotion

Poster: 1930, All Quiet on the Western Front, poster for the 1930 motion picture.

12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A

Motion picture: 1930, All Quiet on the Western Front, Universal Pictures, dir. Lewis Milestone
Motion picture: 1979, All Quiet on the Western Front, Marble Arch Productions
Videorecording: 1981, 1987, All Quiet on the Western Front, MCA Universal Home Videos (of 1930 motion picture)
Videorecording: 1988, All Quiet on the Western Front, CBS/Fox Video (of 1979 motion picture)
Videorecording: 1992, All Quiet on the Western Front, AVID Home Entertainment (of 1979 motion picture)
Computer disks: 1993, All Quiet on the Western Front, Isla Sanchez
Sound cassettes: 1995, All Quiet on the Western Front, Globe Fearon
Motion picture in another country: Im Westem Nichts Neues, 1994, CIC Video
Music: 1981, All Quiet on the Western Front, Elton John (and Bernie Taupin).
Comic Book: 1952, All Quiet on the Western Front, Gilberton, New York.
I also found reference to a Broadway production but could find no hard evidence to confirm at this time.

13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A

originally published in Germany: Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. Propylaen Verlag, 1929.
Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. Barcelona: Editorial Bruguera, 1978.
Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. Phranakh*on: R*o. Ph*o. Phrachan, 1967.
Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. Tehran: Jebi, 1981.
Remarque, Erich Maria. A L'Ouest Rien De Nouveau. Paris: Delamain et Boutelleau, 1929.

14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A


15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A


Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author

1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)

Erich Maria Remarque
Facts at a Glance: Date of Birth: June 22, 1898 in Osnabruck, Germany Death: September 25, 1970 in Locarno, Switzerland
Erich Maria Remarque, now known as one of the greatest European writers of all time, once had to change his name because he was so embarrassed after the poor reception of his first novel. He was injured during World War I, was exiled from his native country of Germany, and suffered through knowing that his sisters death at the hands of the Nazis was in part because of their hatred of him. But yet he continued on, success abounding, and integrated all of his experiences into his novels, He was born Erich Paul Remark in Osnabruck, Germany on June 22, 1898 to Peter Franz and Anna Maria Remark. He had two sisters, and the family was rather poor, moving 11 times before he left for World War I. He was drafted in November of 1916, but never saw much action, and was injured with shrapnel wounds and spent the rest of the war in a German hospital. Before the war, he attended the Catholic Teachers Seminary, and returned after the war to finish his teaching degree. He taught for a few years before leaving the profession and turning to odd jobs, including being a salesman for a gravestone company and an organist in an insane asylum. His first novel, published in 1920 entitled Die Traumbude: Ein Kunstlerroman, was poorly received, and he decided to take his mother's name Maria and his great- grandfather's spelling of Remarque. Ullstein Publishing House, at the time All Quiet on the Western Front was published, destroyed the unsold copies of this book, much to Remarque's relief. He married his first wife, Jutta Ilse Zambona (Jeanne), on October 14, 1925. Their marriage was short lived as they divorced in 1930, not long after All Quiet on the Western Front was published. He actually wrote this novel in 1927 but couldn't find a publisher for it until Ullstein published it in serialized for in November and December of 1928. It was quickly then published in book form. The Nazis rejected Remarque's novel, and he was forced to flee Germany for Switzerland. His novel was part of the famous book burnings by the Nazis in 1933. In Switzerland, he remarried his first wife so that she would not have to return to Germany. They lived apart, even when he came to the United States. They divorced again in 1951, and he married American film star Paulette Godard on February 25, 1958. Other works of Remarque include (translated into English titles) The Road Back (1931), Three Comrades (1937), Flotsam (1941), Arch of Triumph (1945), Spark of Life (1952), A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1954), The Black Obelisk (1956), Heaven Has No Favorites (1961), The Night in Lisbon (1963), Shadows in Paradise (1971), and Full Circle (1974). Several heart attacks forced Remarque to remain in Rome and Switzerland, forcing him to give up his home in New York. He stayed at his villa on Lake Maggiore in Porto Ronco, Switzerland most of the time. This was to be his final home, and he died on September 25, 1970 in a hospital in Locarno, Switzerland. He was 72.

Assignment 4: Reception History

1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

"It appeared without any advance heralding; the publishers, in fact, seem not to have realized in the slightest what they were bringing out."(Ybarra, Outlook, July 31, 1929. This quote found in Outlook a little under two months after All Quiet on the Western Front was released in the United States demonstrates the unexpectedness of the popularity of the novel. It was not Remarque's first, but was his first successful novel. It was soon heralded as "surely the Greatest of All War Novels" by Manchester Guardian. This view was soon shared by almost all who read it.
The public found the book simple, but exceptional. There was no fluff; there was nothing more than what was needed. It was the War, simple in its power and direction. Common words to describe All Quiet on the Western Front include pure, plain, able and solid, while Remarque's style is described as unemotional, but also unfurnished and unapologetic. One of the most amazing aspects of the novel was its lack of partisanship, and there appears to be no concept by Remarque on the lines of traditional nationalism expressed in All Quiet on the Western Front. Ybarra comments on this aspect, saying :...that its author is a German is simply an accident. This book might have been done by a Russian, Frenchman, Englishman, or Italian." (Outlook, 545)
Although most of the reviews were praising the novel, there were a few that were unfavorable. (Although in my research, I have yet to see a visible record of this.) As Little, Brown, and Company president Alfred McIntyre stated in the June 8th (1929) issue of Publisher's Weekly, "...while most of the reviews were favorable in the extreme, two or three reviews condemned the book as coarse and vulgar."
Overall, the reception for All Quiet on the Western Front was very positive. Everyone seemed to be reading it, and Ybarra in the same article described the novel as possessing a "craze" around it. Following are a few important reviews.
"There is one further quality about ?All Quiet on the Western Front' in addition to its magnificent physical picture of war and its burden of a lost generation and that is its humanity. It is an objective book, an ironic book, but it is never callous..." -New York Times, June 2, 1929, pg. 5
" will become, we think, what The Red Badge of Courage has become to our own Civil War- the chief authentic representation of how the man who went through it felt." - Book of the Month Club News, May 1929)
"I have said nothing in criticism of this book and there is little I will say. It is written with simplicity and candor..." - New Republic, June 19, 1929. pg. 130
Other reviews: Book of the Month Club News, May 1929 Booklist, July 1929, pg. 396 Bookman, July 1929, pg. 552 Catholic World, Nov. 1929, pg. 246 Nation,, July 19, 1929, pg. 43 Nation and Athenaeum, April 27, 1929, pg. 116 New Republic, June 19, 1929, 130 New Statesman, May 25, 1929, pg. 218 New York Evening Post, June 8, 1929, pg. 5s New York Herald Tribune (Books), June 2, 1929, pg. 1 New York Times, June 2, 1929, pg. 5 New York World, June 9, 1929, pg. 7 Outlook, June 5, 1929, pg. 229 July 31, 1929, pg. 545 Publisher's Weekly, June 8, 1929 Saturday Review, April 20, 1929, pg. 544 Spectator, April 20, 1929, pg. 624 June 29, 1929

2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

There have been few subsequent reviews on All Quiet on the Western Front that I have been able to find, and the ones that I did find were either reviews based on the movie for the novel, or the book was mentioned in a review as comparison for a new book by a different author writing in the same basic subject matter. Otherwise, there seem to be no "true" reviews after its original publication year that deal strictly with the novel.

Assignment 5: Critical Analysis

1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)

War. If one has never participated in this activity, which I think is a safe assumption that applies to most people, then there is very little that we really know about it. What goes on, what people do, and how
they view the outside world are just a few of the uncertainties of war. Most people, though, whether they want to admit it or not, are curious about these things. Since war is an event that affects, during its occurrence, almost every citizen of the cou
ntries involved, if nothing more than indirectly, everyone is fascinated by it. And when the people are presented with a novel that describes the activity that affects so many in such a realistic and simplistic way, in which there is no partisan view so
that any country's citizens can read it and think of their own boys, the response is a flocking to the bookstore to buy their own copy of war. This is what happened with Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. Erich Remarque had no real intention to write a war novel, much less one resulting in such success. In what took him less than six weeks to write gave him success in almost the same amount. (Owen 69) Serialized originally in Vossische Zeitung in the las
t two months of 1928, the results were astounding as success was instantaneous because readers could not wait to snatch the next issue. The results, once published in book form, were equally as astounding. Selling over a million copies in a single year,
and having Remarque nominated for the Nobel literary prize aided in the book gaining the title "Greatest War Novel." (Barker 32) Not all of the attention was in favor of Remarque's book, though. Germany and the National Socialists denounced it, claiming it to be an anti-war novel and "denigratory" to the German Volk. Remarque's book was even included in the famous book burning in
Germany on May 10, 1933, along with works of other famous authors, including Hemingway. The following words were spoken as Remarque's book was added to the collection: As a protest against the literary betrayal of the soldiers of the Great War, and on behalf of the education of our people in the spirit of truth, I consign to the flames the writings of Erich Maria Remarque. (33) Remarque later had his German citizenship revoked. (Barker 32-33) So why did the German government have such a problem with the novel? It has been argued that the popularity of the book contributed to the hatred of it by the Nazis. The mere fact that so many people were reading a work that they felt demoralized their e
fforts to gain support for the previous war and their future endeavors. They saw All Quiet on the Western Front as a threat to their power and their support. In turn, they burned and banned the book, while exiling the author. This, they hoped, would he
lp their cause. So why was the book so popular? Was it because it was a literary masterpiece or a page-turner? Was it filled with thrilling suspense and death-defying feats? The answer to these questions is no. The book was popular because of its style and pure conte
nt. It was simple and easy to read. As Wagener comments, "(h)e is trying to imitate the normal spoken language of the German front-line soldier with all its repetitive formulas and filler expressions...," while adding " he consciously avoided the somew
hat stilted and sophisticated language of literature and used expressions that at the time were considered not acceptable for a literary work of art." (29-30) The result of this type of language, as Wagener goes on to say, was " create the impression that a simple soldier and not a professional writer is giving a truthful report about the war." (30) Wagener is not the only one to comment on Remarque's lan
guage and style. Firda calls the language of Remarque's protagonist, Paul Baumer, as "direct, simple," and comments on the style as "identif(ing) expressively with the suffering and distress of the enlisted man's social class." (41) He even goes on to a
dd, quite correctly in my eyes, that the language, tone, and style of the book are not as one might expect, at least in relation to expecting it to "reflect the historical and cultural period 1914-1918," but instead the language is "vibrant and immediate.
" (40) The simple style and language of Remarque is not the only factor for its popularity. It is written in such a way that if a reader would not know which war was occurring and if the few references to the French and other allies would not be present periodi
cally in the novel, it would be impossible to determine which side was which. Remarque shows no favoritism nor hatred for neither his own side nor the allied contingency. He writes in a non-partisan way so that the story is important, not whose side was
right. Through this technique, he attempts to just give the cold hard facts of war. Nothing about whether Germany was right or wrong, but rather simply that war is war. He understands that it is human nature to fight, but he merely attempts, successfully, to s
how what war is. Through this, he allows readers from every nation around the world to find a piece of themselves or their experiences in the book. This is a contributing factor to the popularity because it does not limit the novel to one nation or side
, but rather opens it up to all readers. Most importantly, though, I feel that the main reason for such popularity deals with the subject matter. It can not be forgotten that without its simple style and language and its lack of partisanship that the book would not have been as successful, but
it is, I believe, the story and the war that makes the book a bestseller. While many novels may deal with a variety of topics, they are usually limited to a particular culture or nationality while the topic of war can breach all lines. Most contemporary critics seemed to overlook the impact of the war aspect of Remarque's novel, which now appears to be a mistake. They failed to see the true impact of such a subject, especially at the period of the book's release, and failed to see its
importance on the book market. The subject was still fresh in the minds of citizens around the world, which was a contributing factor to its huge sales reception. With the most comprehensive war, as far as countries and land, citizens around the globe did not survive or live without in some way being affected. Whether their involvement be actual fighting in the war, sending someone in their family off to war, or i
f just watching their own country participate or attempt to stay out of the war, it was a part of their lives. Daily news from the front kept the war close to home. There was no way for people to avoid the war creeping into their lives. With the war being a part of their lives to some varying degree, it is no wonder why it would interest readers and citizens to learn more about it. For those not participating actively (as far as fighting goes), it is their only window to see into the wo
rld of the soldier. The lives and sufferings as well as the comradeship of foot soldiers in the "Great War" was something that the average citizen would not know anything about, but which they yearned for knowledge. Battles, death, fear, and love were a
ll events and emotions that the loved ones and fellow citizens back home were told were present during war yet they would never know. All that they did know is that whatever war was, it was powerful enough to continually affect the individuals that did c
ome home. For those that did not, the book was a way for their families and friends left at home to have a remaining piece of them, and it was a way to see their death even when they were not there. For those that did participate in the war, All Quiet on the Western Front was a record of what the soldiers went through during that event. There was no way that someone could ever tell them that it was not real or that they were making too big of a deal
about something because here was a record on paper of what happened. More importantly, it showed the soldiers that they were not the only ones having certain feelings, or dreams because they, through the book, were able to see that someone else had thos
e feelings, dreams, and/or thoughts. It helped them to see that they were not unusual nor alone. It also helped them to remember past and dead comrades. Here was a record of so many deaths of so many friends, and reading the novel forced former soldiers to remember. How could one forget the new recruit that died beside them when, by reading this no
vel, Paul or another character goes through the same thing. A reader sees this, remembers, and thereby honors that poor soldier's death. It was their window for grief, but also for hope. The war was over, though it would never be truly over for them.
At least with Remarque's book in existence, all that happened there would never be forgotten by the fellow soldiers. By why does the book continue to remain popular? The answer is that it is popular for many of the same reasons that it was popular decades ago. War is a subject that can span time. It always has been and will continue to be present in our lives. Ther
e always seems to be some conflict going on in the world at some time. People are effected at every turn. War is a part of our society and of our human nature in general. As long as it is a continual part of our lives, it will continue to be a fascinat
ion, and All Quiet on the Western Front, with its vivid and realistic descriptions, will continue to be a bestseller. Is war and the realistic reason the only reasons why it was a bestseller? Obviously, the answer to that question is no. As Barker states, "(t)his does not, of course, mean that everyone reads Remarque for the same reasons: just as the pit watched Shake
speare for the farce and the fighting, some of Remarque's readers may have scanned the novel for bloodthirsty battle scenes..." She goes on to add that these reasons do not take away from the book or its validity or its strength. (66) In general, no matt
er what the reason is that one may pick up the book, the fact is that one will not be the same nor view war or human nature the same when the book is finally put down. All Quiet on the Western Front went well beyond its author's and even its publisher's expectations. They knew that it was a good novel, but it was just another war novel so they were therefore unprepared for how well the public, not just in Germany but a
round the world, would receive it. An instant bestseller, the book took the world by storm with its brutal honesty about the truths behind the glamour of war, teaching us all the pain and confusion that is rarely associated with that glorified topic. It
showed us how and why the event alters the lives of all involved so much. One must be cautious though to not read too much into it. Remarque was not attempting to take a stand for pacifism or for war. He is not trying to make some broad political or s
ocial statement. He is just merely telling a story, a story that struck the world with awe. It is a story that everyone must read. It is a story about life, death, and the struggles in between. All Quiet on the Western Front sold because of what it wa
s, plain and simple, and not what everyone wanted it to be. It was war. And it was popular.

Bibliography Barker, Christine and R.W. Last. Erich Maria Remarque. London: Oswald Wolff Ltd., 1979. Firda, Richard Arthur. All Quiet on the Western Front: Literary Analysis and Cultural Context. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1993. Owen, C.R. Erich Maria Remarque: A Critical Bio-Bibliography. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1984. Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. 1993. Wagener, Hans. Understanding Erich Maria Remarque. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1991.

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