All Quiet on the Western Front

Title and translation

The English translation by Arthur Wesley Wheen gives the title as All Quiet on the Western Front. The literal translation of "Im Westen nichts Neuescode: deu promoted to code: de " is "Nothing New in the West," with "West" being the Western Front; the phrase refers to the content of an official communiqué at the end of the novel.

Brian Murdoch's 1993 translation rendered the phrase as "there was nothing new to report on the Western Front" within the narrative. However, in the foreword, he explains his retention of the original book title:

Although it does not match the German exactly, Wheen's title has justly become part of the English language and is retained here with gratitude.

The phrase "all quiet on the Western Front" has become a colloquial expression meaning stagnation, or lack of visible change, in any context.[2]

Murdoch also explains how, due to the time it was published, Wheen's translation was obliged to Anglicise some lesser-known German references and lessen the impact of certain passages, while omitting others entirely. Murdoch's translation is more accurate to the original text and completely unexpurgated.

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