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March 2018: Autobiography > The World of Yesterday | Stefan Zweig | 4 stars

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message 1: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments Stefan Zweig was an Austrian author. The book looks at his life from childhood till 1939 when the 2nd world war started.
though it is an autobiography, there are actualy two heroes to this book. Zweig and Europe.
He contrast Europe before the wars with Europe of wartimes, and gets more and more hopeless as the time progress.
One of the amazing things is that the book was written in 42 - in the middle of the war. so his perspective is very different than ours today. (He and his wife killed themselves soon after)

The book is far from being perfect. as I’m reading it I can hear two Zweigs - the one that he tries to portray - who embodies his ideals and the one that is weak, flawed and more honest that I get glimpses of.
(o tends to meander a bit with his description of literary friends, and his fame)

But some parts are great, and it was worth reading it for them. examples -His genuine mourning to a place he loves is touching.
His descriptions of his school days were fascinating
I liked how he described the jews as bunch of strangers that were forced into a group, and how he described Austria as a country that didn’t want to become independent (after wwi).


message 2: by Cora (new)

Cora (corareading) | 1359 comments This sounds interesting. Thanks for the review.


message 3: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 2809 comments Idit wrote: "Stefan Zweig was an Austrian author. The book looks at his life from childhood till 1939 when the 2nd world war started.
though it is an autobiography, there are actualy two heroes to this book. Zw..."


You piqued my curiousity. I don't think I'd heard of this writer. But, apparently many people are better informed than I am. There are other reviews on good reads that are like books themselves! This sounds very worth reading. Thanks!


message 4: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments I think part of what’s interesting in the book is his flaws that makes it more humane and a personal journey of one man in a dehumanising time.
Before you read - lower your expectations - it’s not a masterpiece. But it does have a lot of wonderful in it


message 5: by Cynda (new)

Cynda I am glad you said that Idit. I have too often placed writers on pedestals just to watch them tumble and be angry at the writer, not like the writer or the writing.
Who put writer there? Oh ha hah. . . . I did 😶


message 6: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments Cynda wrote: "I am glad you said that Idit. I have too often placed writers on pedestals just to watch them tumble and be angry at the writer, not like the writer or the writing.
Who put writer there? Oh ha hah..."


I know what you mean! A lot of things can crumble by the weight of my expectations...
Sometime I have to stop mid-book to re-calibrate things and get rid of my assumptions
(at least we have time to do it while reading a book. a movie is too short for that :-)


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