Sunday Morning! “Fantastic Night” by Stefan Zweig


Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does a bunch of other stuff.

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar Aaron David says:

    I haven’t dipped my toe into Zweig, though there is much on my wife’s bookshelves. She was a German major at uni, and thus has read quite a bit of him and his contemporaries such as Mann. And yes, much did die off in Europe with WWII, but I would argue that the century before was every bit as bloody, what with pogroms in eastern Europe and Russia, not to mention the wars of expansion that much of the continent fought on farther shores. But these were further away and someone like Zweig could comfortably ignore them.

    As far as Williams goes, it is a shame that he seems lost to time, as he was a wonderful writer, and the like of which we need now. As we sink further into the YA as literature world (not surprising as we are become completely the video age), a good dose of actual adult work is quite nice. Stoner, Augustus or Butchers Crossing, all are good and worth the read.

    Still working on Farrell’s End of Empire books, with Siege of Krishnapur next. I had taken a break to reread that most Proustian of SF works, Wolfs Book of the New Sun. And more is revealed with each reading.Report

  2. Avatar Mark says:

    I’m also reading about pre-WW I Vienna. I started “The Man Without Qualities” by Robert Musil. It is so profound, so timeless I will probably need to read it about three times to get everything that I can out of it. It is probably too big for me (age 74) to get this done in my lifetime. I wish I had read it at age 50; before 50 I was lacking in enough life experience to appreciate it. A certain life experience helps with some books. I didn’t get Steppenwolf when I read it in my twenties, but I found it very good earlier this year.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Mark says:

      You know, I’ve got a few years to go until 50, but I have a feeling Steppenwolf will go better this time. A girlfriend wanted me to read it and I never got around to it, but suddenly I find myself with an abundance of free time. I’ll see if I can find my copy.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Mark says:

      Well, there is the best suggestion for a book to read next year! I will be 50 then and I can’t think of a better way to mark a milestone such as that, than by reading something quite fitting. Musil had been on the back burner, so to speak, of things to get around to, but now I have a place setting for him.

      And I agree with you about some books being more appropriate for a person as time goes by. Also, that we can look at a book differently as we age. I makes some books quite special as you change with them. Heart of Darkness works this way for me.Report

  3. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Stefan Zweig looks like he is trying desperately hard to not burst into laughing in that photo.Report

  4. I was just reading about Zwieg in Barbara Tuchman’s The Proud Tower. He wrote the libretti for several Richard Strauss works until the Nazis would no longer allow the publishing or presentation of works by Jews.Report

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