Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Little world

Stefan Zweig, The Post-Office Girl , trans. Joel Rotenberg (New York: New York Review Books, 2008).

Lord Elkins, speaking of aristocrats sojourning at a hotel, has given us a perfect characterization of any petty elite, from a junior-high clique to a workplace’s players and plotters.

The Post-Office Girl is a terrific novel. I wish I had known it when I was teaching: it would have offered a great opportunity for students to think about matters of class and poverty, poverty of both means and spirit.

[I have come to think of the New York Review Books imprint as pretty much a guarantee that a book is worth my time: like the Criterion Collection for books. Wes Anderson cites this novel in particular and Zweig’s life and work more generally as inspiration for his film The Grand Budapest Hotel .]

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