What do you think?
Rate this book
461 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1942
...after all, shadows themselves are born of light.
...toda sombra es, al fin y al cabo, hija de la luz.
I regard memory not as a phenomenon preserving one thing and losing another merely by chance, but as a power that deliberately places events in order or wisely omits them. Everything we forget about our own lives was really condemned to oblivion by an inner instinct long ago.
But we, who once knew a world of individual freedom, know and can give testimony that Europe once, without a care, enjoyed its kaleidoscopic play of color. And we shudder when we think how overcast, overshadowed, enslaved and enchained our world has become because of its suicidal fury.Once upon a time that world was beautiful. Zweig was born and brought up in luxury, both of material and intellectual wealth. Art was a way of life which didn’t limit itself within the realms of mere hobby or passion but was also a source of recreation. Although this culture of Europe had its flaws, it was also a home to a young generation which was restless for exciting discoveries and inevitable changes. If the masters of history were highly revered, the talent of present was duly encouraged too. This was a time of known unknown talents in various fields going by the names of Rilke, Freud, Rodin, Peter Hille, Emile Verhaeren, Richard Strauss, Bertha von Suttner and this was also the century where people like Hitler emerged as a demonic power. Yes, it was an indulging era which gave its citizens a sort of utopian freedom that proved to be a boon and later an irrepressible curse.