Le voyage dans le passé
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Le voyage dans le passé

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  680 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Louis, jeune homme pauvre, tombe amoureux de la femme de son riche bienfaiteur. Passion folle et réciproque. Mais il est envoyé au Mexique pour une mission de confiance. La Grande Guerre éclate, ils ne se reverront que neuf ans plus tard. L’amour résiste-t-il à tout ? À l’usure du temps, à la trahison, à la guerre ?
Paperback, 115 pages
Published August 2009 by France Loisirs (first published 1929)
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Andre Aciman wrote a great introduction to this book (with spoilers). In it he lauds Zweig’s fluidity in writing:

“He never quarrelled with his tools; his tools were happy to oblige. He didn’t spend nights searching for the mot juste; the mot juste just simply came…Zweig is firm and fluent. Everything in its time, everything just right, never a false move, not one sleight of hand.”

Having just spent hours editing a report I would very much like to have been gifted with even a fraction of Zweig’s...more
Like Chess Story, another flowing, perfectly phrased, psychologically and historically charged, emotionally moving novella by Zwieg, this time about life before, during, and after WWI as Nazi shadows gather. About thwarted desire, great physical distance followed by insurmountable temporal distance, lives interrupted by war, the pleasures of memory over the anxieties of the present, especially when the present involves goose-stepping rows of uniformed men parading through a quiet college town, H...more
In the old park, in ice and snow caught fast
Two spectres walk, still searching for the past.

I planned a review with all the things I didn't like and quotes to back them up. However, after contemplating these pages for awhile, I realized I couldn't. It is not Zweig's fault. I can't blame it on his writing, his idea and execution. I liked his lyrical prose and the psychological depth he gave to his characters, always haunted by their past. Past? “Nothing is lost, nothing is past” (20), he say...more
Camille Stein
JACK SPENCER - World Watcher,  2009

World Watcher, 2009 / Jack Spencer Photography - http://ow.ly/wM80R

Volvía a sentirse pequeño, doblegado y vencido bajo el peso de aquel mundo presuntuoso y opulento fundado sobre el dinero; era un sirviente, un mozo, un parásito lameplatos, mobiliario humano que se puede comprar y alquilar, al que le han hurtado su propio ser.

«El tiempo no ha podido con nosotros —pensó para sus adentros— no ha podido nada contra nuestro sentimiento: nueve años desde entonces y ni siquiera el tono de su voz ha
Sam Quixote
Ludwig begins a passionate affair with the wife of his employer but is relocated shortly after by the company to work in Mexico for two years. World War One begins and those two years stretch to much longer until Ludwig forgets her and moves on, meets someone new and starts a family of his own.

After the war and some more time passes, the company sends him back to Europe on business where he decides to meet his long-lost love and catch up - and that’s when he realises he’s still in love with her...more
Viji (Bookish endeavors)
A journey back to reclaim something which he always wanted,something that had been left unfinished in the past. This is the story of a man who makes that journey. With the beautiful interplay of shadows,the continuos hugging and separating,he understands that what he wants to reclaim with his old love is something that they have left long back,one can't simply blind oneself to the present and pretend to be like nothing has happened. He listens to the poem sung by his love long back and is stunne...more
I read this book because its author, Stefan Zweig, was referenced in 'The Sense of an Ending' by Julian Barnes. I wanted to know why the reference was made. The Sense of an Ending is concerned with the inexact nature of memory. What i found in this particular novella was a dreamy and sad reflection upon the swift movement of time and lives and the deep unspoken nature of a doomed love. Written about European characters of the early 20th century it holds that melancholic tone that encompasses the...more
Journey Into the Past is a well written novella about love tested by years of physical separation. It reminds me of Henry James in the depiction of inner passions and conflicts, but with a more fast paced and electric prose. Not to say that James is less intense, but his is a kind of cold intensity that withers a flower in a single glance. Stefan Zweig's intensity is a fever-pitch evocation of desire and disappointment.

Ludwig, a man of humble beginnings, fell in love with his employer's wife, an...more
M. Sarki
I was expecting a bit of a wilder experience with this title based on my first exposure to Zweig with his novella Confusion. It was still a good reading experience, but one I am sure will rank much lower than than most as I continue on with my new study of Stefan Zweig. The other problem I had with this book was its being written much earlier on in Zweig's writing career and a segment had already been published in an earlier form, but Zweig was never satisfied with it. He continued to work on th...more
I really love Stefan Zweig's writing. It's simple yet eloquent and manages to convey intense meaning. I've been so impressed by his work, having so far read The Post Office Girl and Beware of Pity, both being exceptional reads. It's taken me a while to pick up another book, in this case one of his later novellas, Journey Into the Past, but it's equally as remarkable and reminds me there are some authors who really should be shuffled to the top of the reading pile. Very briefly this is a story of...more
Stefan Zweig is the master of the novella and the short story. This tale, which oscillates between the two forms, is, as always with this writer, fascinating in its mechanism (the simplicity of it is also what makes it so powerful), and in the bittersweet (but never sweetly sentimental) emotions it diffuses. The inevitability of the ending – not tragic, but infinitely sad nevertheless in what it says about human nature – is typical of Zweig, as is the way he narrates the story, mixing complex an...more
Un joyau ! Une de ces nouvelles ciselées par un orfèvre de la littérature.
Un art pratiqué par des écrivains comme Henri James...A des époques différentes par Eudora Welty ou Truman Capote. La littérature française connaît très peu l'art de la nouvelle porté à ce degré de perfection et, en fait, le pratique fort peu! Vive les traducteurs et les éditeurs qui, même avec retard ( cette nouvelle a été traduite en français il y a seulement à peine deux ans!), nous font découvrir cet univers.
I think if you read a brief summary of this story, you might come to the conclusion that you’d forego wanting to read it, thinking it too simple, or too bland...labeling it as one of those sentimental stories you could easily watch on TCM. Yet in Zweig’s capable hands, this journey into the past seems a personal one and because of this, this simple story, plainly told transforms into something that is truly special. The story is beautifully rendered, telling a tale that is true to life. Love is...more
I literally felt my heart squeezing, pounding, aching and yearning to see them together. I don't know what it is, but the very few words shared between the two lovers were so precious and impactful. One does not have to say much to validate one's feelings, it is through the consistent act of kindness, the personal touch, the care to listen, the unconscious presence of your mind and the desire to love with your heart- that matters.

Their love was real, free and nonpossessive of each other. Their f...more
We might think we're the same person we were in our past, but our present changes who we are; we try to capture those feelings from the past, but they are gone and the course of our future can be violently derailed by forces out of our control...this brief novella explores this theme of how time - and history - shape our lives and take us in a direction we never intended. Specifically, how war can prevent a person from fulfilling their destiny. No matter how hard they try, the characters in the...more
Scarlet Rose
Est-ce que l'amour résiste à tout? Tel est la question centrale du livre
apré 9 ans de séparation ils sont la dans le présent mais ils vivent toujours dans le passé,Les souvenirs sont tout ce qui est resté ...Sans oublier le style émouvant et troublant de Stefen Zweig.so deep.
Tragedie over wat tijd met mensen kan doen. Zweig schrijft mooie zinnen die een universele waarheid bevatten. Bijvoorbeeld op blz. 45: 'Het ligt niet in de menselijke aard alleen op herinneringen te teren, en zoals planten en welk schepsel dan ook voedsel uit de aarde en steeds nieuw gefilterd licht uit de hemel nodig hebben, zodat hun kleuren niet verbleken en de bloemkelken niet verwelkt hun bladeren verliezen, zo hebben ook dromen, ook dromen die schijnbaar niet van deze aarde zijn, voedsel n...more
The day I started reading Journey Into the Past, I saw an article for a movie trailer featuring Alan Rickman and Rebecca Hall. Clicked on it, thought the plot sounded familiar but didn’t connect the dots until about halfway through when the trailer mentioned Stefan Zweig (in my defense for not realizing it sooner, the movie is titled A Promise).

In other words, for those who are waiting for the film adaptation of Journey Into the Past: Good news. Your wait is almost over. Although the book's only...more
Will you keep your promise?

First of all, I recommend to NOT read Introduction first because, as it often happens in introductions, it describes the entire plot of the novella. I could never comprehend that fact - introduction should stick to its title and write about things surrounding the book or plot, not describing it in details. But that's beside the point. Anyway, because of my past experiences I didn't read it at the beginning but came back to it afterwords. It's really worth the read an...more
Adrian Curcher
"But then gradually, the jolting and rattling turned to a rhythmic swaying, like a steel cradle rocking the couple into dreams. And while he rattling wheels invisible below them rolled onward, into a future that each of them imagined differently, the thoughts of both returned in reverie to the past."

Sitting down on a long train and reading that sentence I knew I had picked the right book to read on my trip up to London to visit some old friends. It was one of these perfect marriages of reality a...more
Après avoir vu Une promesse, j’avais vraiment envie de découvrir le texte de Zweig, un de mes auteurs favoris. De lui, j’ai lu Vingt-quatre de la vie d’une femme et La confusion des sentiments, Le voyage dans le passé se rajoute à la liste. A chaque fois, je suis bluffée par sa description des personnages tout en finesse servie par une écriture magnifique. Et pour Le voyage dans le passé, traduit en français seulement en 2008, je n’ai pas été déçue (enfin presque pas).

Louis est un jeune homme am...more
Pierre Fortier
Talentueux, fin psychologue et subtil observateur du geste et de l'émotion, Zweig parvient encore une fois à nous suspendre par ses mots dans le temps et l'oubli. Ce bref roman saura ressasser en vous des amours que vous aviez cru oubliés, jettera le voile du doute sur votre destin et entraînera votre intellect pendant deux heures. Deux heures qui traverseront votre vie. Densément simple. Puissamment serein.

"Toute cette amitié n'était qu'un masque plaqué sur un visage nerveux, changeant, troublé...more
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
‘Ah, the dark, endless years between then and now, a grey sea between shore and shore, between heart and heart!’

This novella by Stefan Zweig is so beautifully written and even in a short work such as this, there were so many sentences and passages I found myself marking to return to and enjoy again.

The story is of a man born into poverty, working for little money as a private tutor, who takes up a position offered to him by a famous industrialist which enables him to raise up from his humble beg...more
Marvelous. Only 81 pages. The reminiscences of Ludwig going back over ten years. His relationship with the wife of the Councillor. The impact of time on a relationship. From the introduction “time does indeed commit terrible crimes”. The militarism of German society following WW I, as exemplified by the military march in the square in Heidelberg a few years after the war ended. His description of that scene in just four pages was incredible. The symbolism of the shadows of Ludwig and his potenti...more
Jan 05, 2012 Kim added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
juist. dit is prachtig.


Zweig vertelt in Journey Into the Past het verhaal van Ludwig, een jonge, ambitieuze man met een bescheiden afkomst. Hij wordt verliefd op de vrouw van zijn rijke werkgever, maar komt hier pas achter op het moment dat hij heeft toegestemd om naar Mexico te gaan voor business. Net voor het moment van zijn terugkeer breekt de Eerste Wereldoorlog uit en Ludwig ziet geen enkele manier om naar zijn liefde terug te keren: er is geen enkele manier om terug te reizen en ook commu...more
Zweig's command is wonderful. The actions of his characters ring true, and his prose flows so easily. A nice novella, but to me it falls short of the absolutely sublime _Chess Story_ and his monumental and devastating _Beware of Pity_. Word on the street is that his memoir _World of Yesterday_ is where it's at, though. I need to get to that one soon.

Though it's probably too troubling to ever exist, I've sometimes thought it would be interesting to design a literature course studying only the las...more
Using very few words, Zweig is able to evoke deep, contrary feelings at the heart of the human condition, as well as a wistful regret and sense of time and place, that other authors don't reach with many. It could well be because his prose is so sparing that he can cut to the quick.

The tumultuous lust and romance in this novella is undercut by the hard reality of such feelings, which is what makes it so delicious and sad.
Journey into the Past is short, but intense and evocative, with a wonderfully bittersweet ending. It's passionate, without falling into melodrama; and the story blends well with the little historical background that Zweig gives us. Andrea Bell's excellent translation captures the fluidity of Zweig's writing well. This is a brilliant little read.
Yet another excellent Stefan Zweig translation from New York Review Books and prize winning translator Anthea Bell. In this novella, lovers separated by World War I are reunited years later, and struggle to recover their old feelings. Simple premise, but Zweig brilliantly plays out the psychology of loss, recovery, and transformation. For Zweig, what was old definitely does not become new again, but rather is changed. I find it interesting that a story written in 1924 could have such curious rel...more
A punto estuve de ponerle un 2/5, pero la verdad es que por la prosa que tiene Zweig se merecía un punto más. La historia, desde el punto de vista de él, con muchas analepsis y narración en el "momento actual", para ver cómo hemos llegado hasta aquí y hacia dónde nos dirigimos, hasta dar lugar a un final completamente insatisfactorio en el que puede ser un si que parece un no o un no que parece un sí; aunque más bien diría yo, y la vida sigue.

Me ha llamado la atención eso de que en ningún moment...more
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NYRB Classics: Journey Into the Past, by Stefan Zweig 1 3 Oct 23, 2013 02:36PM  
  • Irretrievable
  • Soul of Wood
  • Berlin Stories
  • The Outward Room
  • Wish Her Safe at Home
  • Skylark
  • No Tomorrow
  • Mr. Fortune's Maggot
  • The Pilgrim Hawk
  • A Meaningful Life
  • Monsieur Monde Vanishes
  • Alien Hearts
  • Short Letter, Long Farewell
  • My Fantoms
  • Don't Look Now: Selected Stories of Daphne Du Maurier
  • Varieties of Exile
  • Rock Crystal
  • The Furies
Stefan Zweig was one of the world's most famous writers during the 1920s and 1930s, especially in the U.S., South America and Europe. He produced novels, plays, biographies and journalist pieces. Among his most famous works are Beware of Pity, Letter from and Unknown Woman and Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles. He and his second wife committed suicide in 1942.

Zweig studied in Austria, France,...more
More about Stefan Zweig...
Chess Story Beware of Pity The World of Yesterday Amok and other Stories Vingt-quatre heures de la vie d'une femme

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“He listened yet more intently to what was within him, to the past, to see whether that voice of memory truly foretelling the future would not speak to him again, revealing the present to him as well as the past.” 3 likes
“But love truly becomes love only when, no longer an embryo developing painfully in the darkness of the body, it ventures to confess itself with lips and breath. However hard it tries to remain a chrysalis, a time comes when the intricate tissue of the cocoon tears, and out it falls, dropping from the heights to the farthest depths, falling with redoubled force into the startled heart.” 2 likes
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