Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday . 1943. Trans. Benjamin W. Huebsch and Helmut Ripperger (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1964).
This passage strikes me as perhaps the saddest in The World of Yesterday : a picture of an intellectual worker, one for whom individual freedom and European unity were the highest values, powerless as he watches the world fall apart once again.
This passage reminds me of an observation from the writer Romain Rolland, as quoted by Zweig: “Art can bring us consolation as individuals, but it is powerless against reality.” That sentence struck both Elaine and me; she wrote about it in this post.
3:57 p.m.: A comment from a reader makes me want to add: If this passage makes you think about the upcoming U.S. presidential election, well, me too. As does what Zweig says elsewhere about a desire for “order.”
Other Zweig posts
Happy people, poor psychologists : Little world : School v. city : “A tremendous desire for order” : Urban pastoral, with stationery : Zweig’s last address book
Friday, September 2, 2016
By Michael Leddy at 9:28 AM