Arch of Triumph, Erich Maria Remarque

Triumphal Arch by Edouard Cortes
Triumphal Arch by Edouard Cortes

Here is an extract of one of my favourite novels, Arch of Triumph by Erich Maria Remarque. Delight yourselves in this marvelous reading. Enjoy!

” He bent over her. He felt her trembling.

“Joan,” he said. “Don’t think about anything and don’t ask any questions. Do you see the light of the street lamps and the thousand colored signs out there? We are living in a dying age and this city quivers with life. We are torn from everything and we have nothing left but our hearts. I was in the land of the moon and I’ve come back, and here you are and you are life. Don’t ask anything more. There are more secrets in your hair than in a thousand questions. Here before us is the night, a few hours and an eternity, until the morning rumbles against the windows. That people love each other is everything; a marvel and the most obvious tiling in the world, this is what I felt today when the night melted away into a flowering bush and the wind smelled of strawberries and without love one is only a dead man in a furlough, nothing but a scrap of paper with a few dates and a chance name on it and one might as well die_”

The light from the street lamps swept through the window of the taxi like the circling beam of a lighthouse through the darkness of a ship’s cabin. Joan’s eyes were alternately very translucent and very dark in her pale face. “We shall not die,” she whispered in Ravic’s arms.

“No. Not we. Only time. Damned time. It always dies. We live. We always live. When you wake up it is spring and when you go to sleep it is fall and a thousand times in between it is winter and summer, and when we love each other enough we are immortal and indestructible like the heartbeat and the rain and the wind, and that is much. Day by day we are conquerors, beloved, and year by year we are defeated, but who wants to realize that and to whom does it matter? The hour is life, the moment is closest to eternity, your eyes glisten, star dust trickles through infinity, gods can age, but your mouth is young, the enigma trembles between us, the You and Me, Call and Answer, out of evenings, out of dusks, out of the ecstasies of all lovers, pressed from the remotest cries of brutal lust into golden storms, the endless road from the amoeba to Ruth and Esther and Helen and Aspasia, to blue Madonnas in chapels on the road, from jungle and animal to you, to you…” “