Friday, June 22, 2007

Nothing New in the West

One thing that's really changed in Europe since the end of the second of the "world wars" is that France and Germany are able to work together as nations. Artists, as usual, see way ahead of the game. Such was the case with Erich Maria Remarque (1/22/1898-9/25/1970). His Im Westen nichts Neues / All Quiet on the Western Front (1929) still packs a punch, an anti-war punch, a punch that says slaughtering French and Germans, indeed slaughtering anyone, was and is insane, that surely we humans can find better ways to contain our differences, to sort things out more fairly and peaceably. It is no accident that Remarque's novels, as well as the movie version of All Quiet, were denounced and burned in heaps by the Nazis in between wars, or that Remarque removed himself to the USA, and later to neutral Switzerland.

Remarque had an interesting personal life, too. He married and divorced Ilsa Jeanne Zamboui -- twice. Much later, in 1958, he married Paulette Goddard (1910-1990; pictured above), who had previously married and divorced Charlie Chaplin* and Burgess Meredith. Third time was a charm for both of them, apparently.

*(Perhaps an unofficialized marriage, as it were).

Today's Rune: Partnership.

Birthdays: Wilhelm von Humboldt, Erich Maria Remarque (b. Eric Paul Remark), Anne Morrow Lindbergh (b. Detroit), Billy Wilder, Kristoffer Kristofferson, Ed Bradley, Octavia E. Butler, Todd Rundgren, Meryl Streep, Lindsay Wagner, Cyndi Lauper, Freddie Prinze (b. Frederick Karl Pruetzel), Bruce Campbell (b. Royal Oak, Michigan), Erin Brockovich-Ellis, Jimmy Somerville, Dan Brown, Emmanuelle Seigner, Mary Lynn Rajskub (b. Trenton, Michigan), Laila Rouass.

Bon Voyage!

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