In this book, Wagener presents the life and work of the German writer Erich Maria Remarque, whose antiwar and exile novels have sold millions of copies worldwide. The author tells of Remarque's fascinating life as a child in the Westphalian city of Osnabrück, as a soldier in World War I, as a newspaper editor in Hannover and Berlin, as the famed author of All Quiet on the Western Front, and as a German living in exile in Switzerland and the United States. Wagener then provides an in-depth analysis of Remarque's novels, placing them in the context of twentieth-century history. A discussion of their aesthetic merits as well as their reception in the United States and in Germany is also included.
The first chapter gives a detailed analysis of Remarque's best-known novel, the classic All Quiet on the Western Front, while subsequent chapters deal with his sequels on life in the Weimar Republic (The Road Back and Three Comrades); the exile novels (Flotsam and Arch of Triumph); the novels about the Third Reich (Spark of Life and A Time to Love and a Time to Die); those novels questioning the meaning of life and death (The Black Obelisk and Heaven Has No Favorites); and the later exile novels (The Night in Lisbon and Shadows in Paradise). Additional chapters are devoted to Remarque's plays and to the movies made from his novels.
Hans Wagener completed his undergraduate education at the Universities of Münster/Westf. and Frieburg i. Br./Germany. In 1964, he came to the United States, where he received his M.A. and his Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. After teaching for a year at the University of Southern California, he joined the UCLA staff in 1968. His publications include numerous articles and books about seventeenth- and twentieth-century German literature.