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All Quiet on the Western Front: Job (German Library)





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About the book:

Both of these classic novels were written during the Weimar period in Germany, 1919 - 1933. All Quiet on the Western Front is the story of Paul Baumer, a young soldier who enlisted in the German army with youthful enthusiasm just before World War I, only to find himself destroyed by the brutality of trench warfare. His poignant tale is not a treatise on the inhumane nature of combat, but rather the story of one ordinary young man s life-changing experience. As Remarque opens his novel: "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". Joseph Roth is a writer who, in the words of Joan Acocella in The New Yorker, is being rediscovered. Job, the Story of a Simple Man tells the tale of Mendel Singer, a Russian émigré on his way to New York. He is confronted by a series of devastating misfortunes that challenge his faith in God. Roth parallels the biblical book of Job in the style of a Yiddish story: his ordinary protagonist survives the worst before experiencing a miracle that restores his faith. Both authors served during World War I, Remarque with the German army and Roth with the Austrians. The shared thread of hope and endurance through these stories serves as a reflection of their times: here are two versions of the young World War I soldier s experience - one a vivid depiction of the reality of combat, the other a parable of faith through life's trials.

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