The World of Yesterday
Stefan Zweig, Anthea Bell, David Pearson
‘The time provides the pictures, I merely speak the words to go with them, and it will not be so much my own story I tell as that of an entire generation – our unique generation, carrying a heavier burden of fate than almost any other in the course of history.’
During his lifetime, Stefan Zweig’s (1881-1942) works were immensely popular and widely translated. In the decades after his death, he was largely forgotten in the English-speaking world. Recent years, however, have witnessed a resurgence of interest in this singular author, and Pushkin Press has been at the forefront of this movement.
The World of Yesterday, Zweig’s memoir, was completed shortly before his suicide. It charts the history of Europe from nineteenth-century splendour, decadence and complacency, through the devastation of the First World War, to the resultant brutality and depravity of the Nazi regime. The World of Yesterday is a heartfelt tribute to an age of humanity and enlightenment that Zweig feared was lost for ever. An incomparable record of a lost era, this is also essential reading for those who have already fallen in love with Zweig’s fiction.
‘One of the canonical European testaments… [Zweig’s] life and work tell of the perilous flimsiness of our world of security – a message that many insistently deny, but somehow need to hear’ John Gray, New Statesman
‘One of the greatest memoirs of the twentieth century’ David Hare
‘Stefan Zweig’s time of oblivion is over for good… it’s good to have him back’ Salman Rushdie, The New York Times
‘One of the joys of recent years is the translation into English of Stefan Zweig’s stories’ Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes
‘Zweig deserves to be famous again, and for good’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Indispensable’ The Times
The World of Yesterday is one of the greatest memoirs of the twentieth century, as perfect in its evocation of the world Zweig loved, as it is in its portrayal of how that world was destroyed — David Hare This absolutely extraordinary book is more than just an autobiography. (…) This is a book that should be read by anyone who is even slightly interested in the creative imagination and the intellectual life, the brute force of history upon individual lives, the possibility of culture and, quite simply, what it meant to be alive between 1881 and 1942. That should cover a fair number of you — Nicholas Lezard His memoir, The World of Yesterday, is one of his best works, a marvellous recapturing of a Europe that Hitler and his thugs destroyed. Zweig seems to have known everyone, and writes about the great figures of his day with insight, sympathy and, most unusually for a writer, modesty — John Banville One of the canonical European testaments… [Zweig’s] life and work tell of the perilous flimsiness of our world of security-a message that many insistently deny, but somehow need to hear — John Gray New Statesman Unnervingly topical The Week
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