Liviu's Reviews > World Of Yesterday

World Of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig
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's review
Sep 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009_release_read, non-fiction, read_2012
Read from September 22 to 24, 2012

I read the Romanian language (2012) reissue of the book (Lumea de Ieri) but i will keep the book under the English language edition for obvious reasons; many years ago (one can say in another life) I read all of the available Zweig' works in Romania under the communist regime (mostly non-fiction, biographies, but also The Chess Player, the turning points in the history...) and I greatly enjoyed them at the time as a breath of fresh air among the stuffiness of official history, but I have to say I never opened another Zweig book since

This one is worth reading for its first part though the author (from a rich Viennese Jewish family) sort of swims high in the air and misses the undercurrents with some notable exceptions - any book about Austro-Hungarian empire and especially a nostalgic one like this that does not take into account the huge nationality conflicts, the forced Magyarization and the oppressive Magyar laws against the local majorities in Transylvania, Slovakia and even Croatia to a lesser extent is a book I cannot take truly seriously; here the dominant versus oppressed fracture that we see today in other context in fiction, rears its head for me and I (of Transylvanian origins) react correspondingly...

The second part when the shoe is on the other foot, the author and Austria find themselves as pariahs (and later the author doubly so as Austrian and Jew) comes to some extent as the retribution of history against the empire and as the reward for blindness that allowed the glitter of Vienna on the backs of the oppressed peasants of the provinces

The last Hitlerian part is poignant but dated
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Wanda (new) - added it

Wanda I have this one - The Post-Office Girl on my TBR. Have you read it? World of Yesterday sounds good too. Thanks for the great review.

Liviu will take a look - I do not remember reading it though as mentioned it's been 20+ years since i last read S. Zweig

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