If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contactE. B. Davisat firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.
Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
Shari Randall's"Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood'sshort story, will also bepublished. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.
In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.
week my Third Thursday Book Club met at my house to discuss the book All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich
Maria Remarque. It is a classic written by a German who served in World War I and
wrote it in 1928. The book has beautifully written prose that was almost
lyrical at times, but so depressing in the details of what happened to the
young men sent to war. Although the characters were fictional, one gets the
feelings that the main character written in first person was based on what
Erich Remarque himself went through. He was wounded in the war.
but one of the six of us had read the book, and even though it was sad in so
many ways, we were glad we read it, and saw how lessons weren’t learned from
the horrors of WWI and continue still to this day where most of those who go to
fight aren’t the sons of the wealthy, but the poorer young men who are rather
clueless on what to expect. Yes, there were some young men of wealthy people
who went to war like John Kerry and John F. Kennedy, but most of the wealthier
young men managed to get out of being drafted. As it said on the cover of the
book, “On the threshold of life, they faced an abyss of death.”
the book, the main character, Paul Baumer says “I am young, I am twenty years
old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous
superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow . . .”
got all of us is when he went home on leave after watching so many die or be
seriously wounded in a gruesome way, and being so hungry much of the time
because food when it did reach them wasn’t all that good. Everyone except his
mother wanted to know what was going on, and the men especially thought they
knew just what should be done. And because there wasn’t much food for those
left behind in the small German towns (farmer’s horses had been confiscated for
the war) the people in the towns seemed to think that the soldiers were all
being fed generously when nothing was further from the truth, unless it was the
officers. He didn’t feel like he belonged in his small town anymore. No one had
any idea what he and the others had gone through and would still be going
through when he went back to the war. He didn’t feel right about telling them
the truth for fear they’d think he was against the German government and be
considered an enemy.
Paul realizes that the enemies are no different than they are. They are young
men fighting a war of hate perpetrated by higher ups in the governments for
their own purpose.
the back cover, The New York Times Book Review said “The world has a great
writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first
frank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of
inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm and sure.”
his bio at the back of the book I learned he was born in 1898 and lived to
1970. He was in combat in World War I, and was wounded five times, the last
time was severely. After the war he taught briefly, became a stonecutter in the
cemetery of Osnabruck, the town where he had been born, and served as an
assistant editor of Sportsbild. He
worked as a librarian, businessman, journalist and editor. Remarque came to the
United States in 1939 after he’d moved to Switzerland, and remained until after
World War II, but returned to Switzerland afterwards.
to know more about him, I went to Wikipedia, In addition to the book we read,
he wrote many other books and essays about the war. All Quiet on the Western Front was made into an Oscar-winning film.
This book and his other works made him an enemy of the Nazi propaganda
minister, Joseph Geobbels, who banned and publicly burned Remarque’s works. Apparently they didn’t question his German
background or Catholic faith, but hated his writings. They claimed he had not
seen active service in World War I and revoked his German citizenship. He was
born Erich Paul Remark, but changed his middle name to Maria in honor of his
mother. Changing his last name Remark to the French spelling of Remarque was
another thing that angered the Nazis.
first marriage was to the actress Ilse Jutta Zambona. Their marriage wasn’t a
good one. They divorced in 1930, but in 1933 they fled together to Switzerland.
In 1938 they remarried, to prevent her from being forced to return to Germany.
They immigrated to the United States where they both became naturalized
citizens in 1947. They divorced again in May 1957.
the 1930s, he had relationships with Austrian actress Hedy Lamar, Mexican
actress Dolores del Rio, Marlene Dietrich, and Greta Garbo. (You can learn more
about this at Wikipedia.) In 1958 he married actress Paulette Goddard and they
remained married until his death from a heart collapse from an aneurysm in
1970. In his lifetime he sold millions of copies of his books and became quite
wealthy, but I think the book that still remains a classic is the one we read.
1943 they arrested his younger sister, Elfriede Scholz, who had stayed behind
in Germany with her husband and two children. After a trial, she was found
guilty of “undermining morale” for stating that she considered the war lost.
Court President Roland Freisler declared, “Your brother is unfortunatelybeyond
our reach – you, however, will not escape us.” She was beheaded on December 16th,
1943. Remarque was not aware of this until after the war, and would dedicate
his 1952 novel Spark of Life to his
of the things that left us bothered is that the world hasn’t changed all that
much. There are still wars being fought and so many people uprooted from their
homes and lives being lost, and people not trusting those of different
nationalities. Maybe if this book was
required reading in high school or college, things might change for the better.
However, it was well read in Germany and didn’t stop World War II, did it, but
maybe it was because it was burned before more people had a chance to read it.