All quiet on the blogging front

It is almost 93 years since Erich Maria Remarque’s memoir of the First World War appeared in the pages of the newspaper Vossische Zeitung. It emerged in book form a few months later – January 1929 – and was made into a movie the following year.

An English translation was published by Putnam in March 1929, and reprinted fourteen times between then and June the same year. I have a copy of the fourteenth reprint. Now, Remarque’s title, Im Westen nichts Neues, directly meant ‘nothing new in the West’. The English version, however, became All Quiet on the Western Front. I don’t know how much of that was due to the translator, A. W. Wheen. However, the phrase gained a life of its own in English – essentially, turning into a colloquialism meaning that although things are usually fairly frantic, nothing much is going on just now.

My Adler Gabrielle 25, seen here on the Wellington waterfront (hey, typewriters don’t often get fresh air…)

I mention this because it’s interesting of itself, but also because that colloquial meaning pretty much describes this blog just now. Not much happening. I’ve not been able to post much – or respond properly to readers. Other priorities have intruded – including the fact that I write full time for a living, and that’s hugely engulfing. That’ll pass, but for now I haven’t got a lot of time for anything but a very large project which I will tell you about in a while.

On the other hand, I have some exciting news coming up. Which you’ll find out about very soon – on this very blog. As soon as a week away, in fact. Watch this space. Meanwhile, any guesses as to what’s coming up? (Spoiler: yes, it’s a book).

Copyright Ā© Matthew Wright 2021


15 thoughts on “All quiet on the blogging front

  1. I wish I could say ‘all quiet’ over here. Delta is surging and I’m back to being focused on this damned virus again. Glad you’ve got some good news coming. We could all use some. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been bad news here too – delta got loose, via a Sydney returnee and so far there are ‘hot spots’ right across the North Island, but mostly Auckland and Wellington. We’re in total lockdown – theoretically due to end Tuesday. Government acted VERY quickly – one case only, and wham, hard lockdown. But of course the horse had bolted already and I’d be surprised if the lockdown ends any time soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah. šŸ˜¦ From all decent Australians, a sincere apology. There are days I honestly think homo sapiens is a pox on the world. We are /the/ most destructive creature ever to rise up from the primeval swamp.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I wish I could disagree about humans being the most destructive creature ever… but I can’t. There’s some recent science that points that way too – a 2016 study that found apes, in particular, were extremely violent towards each other by comparison with other families. In human society, I suspect that violence is sublimated – and so we get protests, online abuse and so forth. But it’s all symptomatic. The article is here: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature19758.epdf

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Drat…could only read the first page. The rest is behind a paywall. I assume that the authors found indications of a genetic component?
            I can’t help wondering if this all gets back to the old empathy-no empathy continuum, and its roots in our DNA.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Apparently humans are six times more violent than the average mammal, but in line with other primates. There must be a genetic component on that basis. I found a media summary here: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/09/humans-are-unusually-violent-mammals-but-averagely-violent-primates/501935/ – the study only looked at murder but I suspect is true for attitudes as well. Humans are very good at cognitively sublimating things.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Meerkats? My illusions have been shattered forever. šŸ˜¦
                I kind of agree with the guy who said that ‘how’ humans kill is as important as numbers.
                Thanks for the article. I’ve bookmarked it for reference. šŸ™‚

                Liked by 1 person

  2. My guess is you’ve written a sequel to Titanic and you’ve got Leo DiCaprio “onboard” (excellent joke, I know) for that. Congrats on that in advance!

    Or maybe I’m a bit wide of the mark, but I was reading about Titanic last week so that’s been on my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Damn – you guessed it. Well, actually it’s a script for a movie about a ship called the ‘Moronic’ which veers all over the Atlantic dodging icebergs, only to be sunk by U-boat in 1916.

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