Tag Archives: german

BOOK REVIEW: ‘ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT’ by Erich Maria Remarque

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Khidki (Window)

–Read Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    All Quiet on the Western Front (German: Im Westen nichts Neues, literal German translation ‘Nothing New In the West’) is a novel by a German war veteran of World War I. The book describes the German Soldiers, extreme physical and mental stress during the war, and their detachment from the civilian life, felt by, many of these soldiers, upon returning home from the front. The novel was first published in November and December 1928 in a German newspaper, Vossische Zeitung and later, in book form in late January 1929. The book and its sequel, “The Road Back” (1930), were among the books banned and burned in Nazi Germany. All Quiet on the Western Front sold 2.5 million copies in 22 languages in its first 18 months in print.

    In 1930, the book was adapted as an Academy-Award-winning film of the same name, directed by Lewis Milestone. It was adapted again in 1979 by Delbert Mann, this time as a television film, starring Richard Thomas and Ernest Borgnine.

     The main characters of the novel are as follows:

 Paul Baumer is the main protagonist.

Albert Kropp: A classmate of Paul at school. He is described as the clearest thinker of the group as well as the smallest. Kropp is wounded towards the end of the novel and undergoes a leg amputation.

Haie Westhus: He is described as being tall and strong, and a peat-digger by profession. Overall, his size and behaviour make him seem older than Paul, yet he is, the same age as Paul and his school-friend.

Friedrich Muller: He is 19 and one of Bäumer’s classmates. He too joins the German army as a volunteer, ready to go to war. He carries his old school books to the battlefield that constantly reminds him of the importance of learning and education.

Stanislaus “Kat” Katczinsky: Kat has the most positive influence on Paul and his comrades on the battlefield. Katczinsky, a recalled reserve militiaman, was a cobbler (shoemaker) in civilian life. He is older than Paul Bäumer and his comrades, say about 40 years old, and serves as their leadership figure. Kit is hit by a shrapnel at the end of the story.

    The book tells the story of Paul Baumer, who belongs to a group of German soldiers on the Western Front during World War I. The patriotic speeches of his teacher Kantorek had led the whole class to volunteer for military service shortly after the start of World War I. He didn’t have any experience when going to the war but he still went in with an open mind and a loving heart. Paul otherwise lived with his father, mother and sister in a charming German village, and attended school, where, his class was scattered along the platoons, and amongst Frisian (Germanic) fishermen, peasants, and labourers. Baumer arrives at the Western Front with his friends and schoolmates named Leer, Muller, Kropp and a number of other characters. There they meet Stanialaus Katczinsky, an older soldier, nicknamed Kat, who becomes Paul’s mentor. While in the front, Baumer and his comrades engage in frequent battles and endure the treacherous and filthy conditions of trench warfare.

   At the beginning of the book, Remarque writes, “This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure for 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.” The book does not focus on heroic stories of bravery, but rather gives a view of the conditions in which the soldiers find themselves. The monotony between battles, the constant threat of artillery fire and bombardments, the struggle to find food, the lack of training of young recruits with lower chances of survival, and the overarching role of random chance, in the lives and deaths of the soldiers are described in detail.

    The battles fought here have no names and seem to have little overall significance, except for the impending possibility of injury or death for Baumer and his comrades. Where, only, insignificant small pieces of land are gained, about the size of a football field, which are also lost again later. Remarque often refers to the living soldiers as old and dead, emotionally drained and shaken. He says, “We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing from ourselves, from our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces.”

    Paul’s visit to his home highlights the cost of war on his psyche. The town has not changed since he went off to war. However, he finds that he does not belong to here anymore, for it is a foreign world. He feels disconnected from most of the townspeople. His father asks him “stupid and distressing” questions about his war experiences, not understanding “that a man cannot talk of such things.” An old schoolmaster lectures him about strategy and advancing to Paris while insisting that Paul and his friends know only their “own little sector” of the war but nothing of the big picture.

    Indeed, the only person he remains connected to is his dying mother, with whom he shares a tender, yet restrained relationship. The night before he is to return from leave, he stays up with her, exchanging small expressions of love and concern for each other. He thinks to himself, “Ah! Mother, Mother! How can it be that I must part from you? Here I sit and there you are lying; we have so much to say, and we shall never say it.” In the end, he concludes that he “ought never to have come (home) on leave.”

    Paul feels glad upon being reunited with his comrades. Soon after, he volunteers to go on a patrol where he kills a man for the first time in a hand-to-hand combat. He watches the man die in pain for hours. He feels remorse and asks forgiveness from the man’s corpse. He is devastated and later confesses to Kat and Albert, who try to comfort him and reassure him that it is only a part of the war. They are then sent on what Paul calls a “good job.” They must guard a supply depot in a village that was evacuated due to heavy shelling. During this time, the men are able to adequately feed themselves, unlike the near-starvation conditions in the German trenches. In addition, the men enjoy themselves living off the spoils of the village and officers’ luxuries, from the supply depot such as fine cigars. While evacuating the villagers, the enemy civilians, Paul and Albert are taken by surprise by the artillery fired at the civilian convoy, when Albert is wounded by a shell. On the train back home, Albert takes a turn for the worse and cannot complete the journey, so he is offloaded from the train and sent to recuperate in a Catholic hospital. Paul uses a combination of bartering and manipulation to stay by Albert’s side. Albert eventually has his leg amputated, while Paul is deemed fit for service and is returned to the front.

    By now, the war is nearing its end and the German Army is retreating. In despair, Paul watches as his friends fall one by one. It is the death of Kat that eventually makes Paul careless about living. In the final chapter, he comments that peace is about to come, but he does not see the future to be bright and shining with hope. Paul feels that he has no aims or goals left in life and that their generation will be different and misunderstood.

    In October 1918, Paul is finally killed on a remarkably peaceful day. The situation report from the frontline states, a simple phrase: “All quiet on the Western Front.” Paul’s corpse displays a calm expression on its face, “as though almost glad the end had come.”

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

LESSON FROM POET & AUTHOR HERMANN HESSE

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    According to a study conducted sometime back, it has been established, that those who attempt suicide but don’t succeed, develop in them a great incentive to live and later emerge as heroes.

    In this context let me narrate a factual story to you. It is about Hermann Hesse. Hermann Hesse was a famous German poet and novelist who lived between (1877-1962). In his early days, Hermann experienced severe personal turmoil and conflict with his parents. The situation led to extreme frustration. So much so that at the age of 15 in 1892, he attempted suicide. But luckily he was saved.

    Thereafter Hermann completed his education and subsequently took to writing, as a career. After a long struggle, he became a great writer and in 1946 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

    Friends, human beings are not born in this world by accident. On the contrary they are born in accordance with a divine plan. The creator has endowed us with great qualities. It is therefore incumbent of every human being to unfold these qualities, unlock one’s potential, and play the role that is destined for him by providence. According to God Almighty, the Creator of this planet, every person must live in hope and should be positive. There is no reason or excuse for becoming pessimistic.

    The world is full of opportunities. If someone fails in doing something, he should, take it as a temporary setback, and not as an inordinate delay leading to a final failure. Under no situation, committing suicide is an option for an individual. One has to adopt the formula of wait and watch, rather than killing oneself, for then, one leaves, no other option open for himself because he is gone.

    Be positive … that’s the essence of life.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES AND QUOTES, EPISODE 31

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There is a tendency in India if something is good, mix some kind of politics in it and destroy it. After all politics is the will of the people.

Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.‘ is one of the most famous lines in English literature. These lines are spoken in unison by three witches who predict Macbeth’s future throughout the play. These lines show how what the witches say can have double meanings and can be contradictory.

Non-violence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed—Mahatma Gandhi.

A country has a trade-deficit when it imports more than it exports. Trump thinks of it as as something bad which it is not. I run a trade deficit with my domestic help and my local grocery store. I buy more from them then they do from me.

The greater misfortune is that the Englishmen and their Indian associates in the administration of the country do not know that they are engaged in a crime I have attempted to describe—Mahatma Gandhi in his oral statement on March 18, 1922.

That quintessential American product, the I-Phone, uses parts from 43 countries. As local products rise in price because of expensive foreign parts, price rise, demand goes down, jobs are lost and everyone is worse off.

According to a German philosopher, we are what we eat, as what we eat makes up not just our bodies but also shapes our tastes, inclinations and personality in general.

‘Don’t let the fox guard the hen house’ means don’t assign the duty of protecting or controlling valuable information or resources to someone who is likely to exploit that opportunity.

The proverb ‘fence eating the crop’ comes from a skepticism of those who break laws they are supposed to uphold.

When you are finished changing, you are finished—Benjamin Franklin.

The Kingdom of Nepal stands out today as the only Hindu Kingdom in the world whose independence is recognised by England, France, Italy and other great powers—Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, 1937.

One cannot believe that Indians are in any way inferior to the Japanese in intellectual capacity. The most effective difference between these two eastern peoples is that whereas India lies at the mercy of the British, Japan has been spared the shadow of domination—Rabindranath Tagore, 1941.

All brands of people are arrayed on Congress Platform. If there can be a magic box which contains a Cobra and a mongoose living together, it is Congress—Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.

Britishers were a representative of the West, ruled this country for over a century and, during this period adopted such measures whereby in the minds of our people, a contempt for things Bharatiya and respect for everything Western were subtly created.—Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, 1965.

Mother Teresa believed that abortion is the highest form of evil, as it is the killing of a life that has already been conceived.

It is less important, I believe, where you start. It is more important how and what you learn. If the learning is high, the development gradient is steep, and, given time, you can find yourself in a previously unattainable place. I believe the Infosys story is living proof of this—Narayana Murthy.

Sometimes when you have a goal in front of you it is easy to focus. Cyclists have pelotons who give them that focus as to what they should achieve in short bursts—Viswanathan Anand.

China and India have two of the world’s four largest militaries.

The Folger Shakespeare Library is an independent research library on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., in the United States. It has the world’s largest collection of the printed works of William Shakespeare, and is a primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period (1500–1750). The library was established by Henry Clay Folger in association with his wife, Emily Jordan Folger. It opened in 1932, two years after his death.

From Alexander onwards, the Greeks, the Turks, the Moguls, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Dutch, all of them came and looted us, took over what was ours. Yet we have not done this to any other nation. We have not conquered anyone. We have not grabbed their land, their culture, their history and tried to enforce our way of life on them. Why? Because we respect the freedom of others—APJ Abdul Kalam.

No matter how many people support you and help you, when you perform, you are alone—Abhinav Bindra.

I may never be perfect. That’s okay. But I can always be better than I was yesterday—Abinav Bindra.

India imports 90% oil, 100% gold and 100% copper.

There is an old racist saying ‘once you go black you can’t go back’ (a Google search will reveal its meaning).

What makes PM2.5 particles extremely dangerous is their cancerous ability to penetrate human body and stick onto to the insides of the lungs. According to a recent study conducted by IIT Kanpur the mix sources responsible for PM2.5 changes seasonally in the region. In winters vehicular emissions account for 25% of PM2.5; 30% is accounted for by sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions from vehicles, industry and power generation facilities; 26% comes from burning of wood, cow dung, and agricultural waste for cooking and heating; 8% comes from burning of garbage; 5% from the burning of coal and fly ash; 4% from agricultural and road dust; and 2% from construction dust.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****