One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Monday, February 20, 2012

Stefan Zweig's "The World of Yesterday"

When I'm not reading Beckett, I'm dreaming of Swiss landscapes (via Fodor's) or scratching away at Stefan Zweig's The World of Yesterday.

Actually I started Zweig's last testament primarily because I hate taking my Kindle out in the rain (I've been especially "oversensitive" since "RexRead" was stolen in Europe last summer; I've gotten over it, and have moved on to "RexRead2").

Haven't gotten far yet, but here's a little taste:

In its liberal idealism, the nineteenth century was honestly convinced that it was on the straight and unfailing path toward being the best of all worlds. Earlier eras, with their wars, famines, and revolts, were deprecated as times when mankind was still immature and unenlightened. But now it was merely a matter of decades until the last vestige of evil and violence would finally be conquered, and this faith in an uninterrupted and irresistible "progress" truly had the force of a religion for that generation. One began to believe more in this "progress" than in the Bible, and its gospel appeared ultimate  because of the daily new wonders of science and technology.
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