The great Austrian writer Stefan Zweig was a master anatomist of the deceitful heart, and Beware of Pity, the only novel he published during his lifetime. 7 Mar For years, Beware of Pity was the most important book I’d never read. I’d read other books by its author, Stefan Zweig: a melancholic Austrian. Wes Anderson on Stefan Zweig: “I had never heard of Zweig when I just more or less by chance bought a copy of Beware of Pity. I loved this first book.
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In a narrow escape from the jaws of death, a little Jewish girl is smuggled out of the Warsaw Ghetto and sent to live with a Polish family. Perhaps he read it, after all, as a straightforward case of a man trapped into commitment against his will.
I would have no way of asking him what he meant, by responding as strongly as he had to the young officer Hofmiller, whether he saw me in the pale and crippled Edith, whether he loved the book because he believed, deep down, that the women who loved him were predators, and that he was bound to them by the hopelessness of guilt.
One does so in the shadow of Michael Hofmann’s eviscerating review of the re-issue and English re-translation of Zweig’s memoir The World of Yesterday trans. I had created a human being, her forehead gleamed like the morning and a rainbow of happiness was mirrored in her eyes.
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Hofmiller, the cavalry officer and narrator of his own misadventures, finds himself capable only of a weak, sentimental version of pity that is chained to no resolution and incapable of sacrifice; his inability to either shed it or convert it into a more constructive sentiment results in tragedy.
Kekesfalva embraces the young officer his daughter dotes on, hoping for another unlikely miracle to happen.
The novel opens in with an older Hofmiller looking back upon his life. Is this feature helpful? Zweig was indeed a man of ironies.
It is so cleverly constructed too; a layering of narrative ot narrative so that as each person tells a story or relates a rumour they all begin to echo and resonate with each other. Letter from an Unknown Woman and Other Stories. She is the daughter of the wealthy man who owns the schloss lity its estate.
Also by Stefan Zweig. But what if he was just smart enough to be fooled and thought he was going to the suburbs for dinner?
The translation is excellent. I steeled myself for the discoveries I would make, for the weaknesses—in myself and in him—I would uncover.
Beware of Memory: On Reading Stefan Zweig’s “Beware of Pity”
Please try again later. He wrote it in the United States where he arrived in and then Englandas a Jewish refugee from Nazi persecution. The latter suggestion is certainly worth consideration how Kekesfalva got his loot is certainly a story zwei itselfbut Beware of Pity is the length it is because it has to zdeig and, as oof all Zweig’s writing, it zips along almost effortlessly; it doesn’t read as though it could do with much trimming.
View all 12 comments. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. The book is structured around repeated meetings between himself and the crippled girl, and in each consecutive meeting Hofmiller’s irresolute feelings bewware serve to increase the girl’s misery. Share your thoughts with other customers. Well, it almost has nothing to say about the times in which it was written.
You just want to smack the living shit out of the narrator, the cripple, and everyone else because they’re all so emotionally volatile all the time.
View all 6 comments. I had expected a novel about unrequited love, and, to some extent, Zeeig of Pity is precisely that. When you click on a Sponsored Product ad, you will be taken to an Amazon detail page where you can learn more about the product and purchase it. He provoked genuine sympathy, standing on one leg only and a crutch. Zweig remains, after Beware of Pitywhat he seemed to be–in zweiv novelettes and biographies–before he wrote it: The surroundings are glamorous, wine flows freely, and the exhilarated young Hofmiller asks his host—s lovely daughter for a dance, only to discover that sickness has left her painfully crippled.
The reader is thus handed a reality both heightened and enchanted, sparkling with significance. He actually makes a career of it. He likes to put money in cup. The single most galling thing about this whole novel—and there are quite a few things to be galled about—is that four pages before the end, the narrator has the audacity to say: I won’t tell you the plot.
In one of his earlier short fictions, “Downfall of the Heart” whose original title, Untergang eines Herzensis a proleptic echo of the German title of Beware of Pity — Ungeduld des Herzensor the heart’s impatiencea self-made businessman succumbs to a terrible decline after seeing, or imagining he has seen, his daughter sneaking out of a man’s hotel room in the middle of the night.
In her world there are no heroes, so she’s doing the job men won’t. Against my will I had to keep watching those two black companions who persistently marked out our movements ahead of us, like walking silhouettes, and it gave me — our feelings are sometimes so childish — a certain reassurance to see that my shadow was longer, slimmer, I almost said “better-looking”, than the short, stout shadow of my companion.
I felt that it conveyed so much happiness and so much despair zeig once again I was quite overcome, and as, with respectful bearing befitting a subaltern, I walked down the three steps to the car with the Lieutenant-Colonel, I had to pull myself together so that no one or remark my emotion.
Beware of Pity
Before I get onto Zweig then, let me fulfill my original purpose and express the excitement I experience when I enter a bookstore and discover a shelf devoted to NYRB classics amidst the otherwise predictable displays. It was Herr von Kekesfalva, and in my bewilderment for how beeware I, a mere youngster, let myself be waited on by the old gentleman!
See all reviews. Overwhelmed by guilt, he is deployed to the First World War. Bewaer sometimes evasiveness isn’t a straightforward matter of wanting to keep out of trouble, or stick up for virtues that are in danger of being trampled.
She wants your hands, your hair, your lips, your manhood, your night and your day, your emotions, your senses, and all your thought and dreams… I now know that it is the most senseless, the most inescapable, affliction that can befall a man to be loved against his will.
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Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig |
There is the terrible gaffe he makes which sets the whole terrible train of events in motion it’s a small train, admittedly, but big enough to cause havoc ; there is his initial impression that Kekesfalva is a genuine venerable Hungarian nobleman, that Condor is a bumpkin and a fool; and, in one splendidly subtle piece of writing, in which an interior state of mind is beautifully translated into memorable yet familiar imagery, he imagines himself to be better put together than Condor, when they walk out in bright moonlight on the night of bbeware first meeting: View all 25 comments.
No, it made me think of Pity on a city street, in a job, in a friendship. You won’t put this series down.