Arch of Triumph

Arch of Triumph

by Erich Maria Remarque, Walter Sorell (Translator), Denver Lindley (Translator)
©1945, Item: 92998
Hardcover, 455 pages
Not in stock

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Erich Maria Remarque reaches the heights in this stirring new book, his first in five years. Once more he writes a novel which, like All Quiet, catches the heart-beat of our time. Once more, with wisdom, compassion and humor, he transmutes a story of contemporary events into a timeless commentary on the human heart. Once more he creates a group of characters who stand out as memorable individuals, yet who symbolize and interpret our common humanity.

Such a one is Ravic, who has been a famous surgeon. Now he is an ill-paid medical drudge—house physician to a Paris bardello, and ghost surgeon performing for a small fee the difficult operations of wealthy society doctors. As the story opens, he finds strength to endure only in the blind animal urge to survive, and courage in only one hope—revenge on the man who has ruined him

Such a one is Joan Madou, the singer and actress, in whom the loyal spirit and the errant flesh and no peace together. Despair brings her into Ravic's life. Together they find something of peace, something of strain and sorrow, and in the end a tragedy which is yet the source of new strength and new purpose.

Such a one, too, is von Haake, the one Kavic remembers. Sometimes he comes to Paris on secret and evil business. Sometimes he lingers to explore the nameless and obscene delights of the city by night.

Others are here, in profusion and marvelous vitality: Kate Hegstroem, American expatriate, woman of sensory pleasures and of unwavering strength; Rolande, overseer of prostitutes, planning to marry and become the most respectable of middle-class shopkeepers; Boris Morosow, ex-Czarist officer, doorman, chess-player and philosopher; Madame Boucher, living on the misfortunes of those who love too well; Dr. Veber, whose private hospital provides the setting for medical scenes of virtuoso brilliance; hotel keepers, cab-drivers, refugees, midinettes, officials, ladies of society and of the night—the whole teeming life of a great city on the brink of catastrophe, of a culture nearing its inevitable end.

Out of these elements Erich Maria Remarque has made a story that is, on the surface, compelling personal drama—a love story that is also a swift, exciting drama of revenge. Beyond that, he has freighted it with overtones of pity, terror and hope that mark it as a novel of rare excellence. A great writer and a great humanitarian has written this book. You cannot read it unmoved.

Jacket design by George Salter

from the dust jacket

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