wp fastest cache premium free download precipitates the beginning of WWI, and that makes this young man's woes seem insignificant, and yet-- There are no winners here. Hofmiller, an Austro-Hungarian cavalry officer stationed at the edge of the beware of pity stefan zweig pdf free download, is invited to a party at the home of a rich local landowner, a beware of pity stefan zweig pdf free download away from the dreary routine of the barracks. It is an exchange. I want to read her version when I pick this one up. Addeddate Identifier in.">
Walking back to our jobs after lunch after renewing our friendship we passed a homeless man that we had passed many times in the past. He provoked genuine sympathy, standing on one leg only and a crutch.
It was no longer enough now for my friend to drop bills in cup. He made a point of standing ceremoniously, extending his hand for a shake and addressing the man by name. The man said nothing in return, not even smiling at the crisp new bill. Beware of pity.
It is an exchange. Readers of novels, do not linger on the man consumed with Liberal guilt. Instead think of our one-legged man. Make him smart. Or devious. Or rebellious, kindly, heroic. Make him barely functional if you want. What does he make of the pin-striped man, bowing like Hirohito on that ship? Perhaps, like me, he appreciates the gesture.
But probably it means nothing. What if he feels the pity behind the gesture, like a knife? Any one of us, homeless or not, has felt that. But what if he was just smart enough to be fooled and thought he was going to the suburbs for dinner? Well, it's about Pity, from both sides of the exchange. I won't tell you the plot. You can find it everywhere, in the description of the book and in almost every review. I liked the storytelling but not the story.
If that makes sense. I was warned that it might be too drawing-room for me. I didn't know exactly what that meant until I read this and realized it was too drawing-room for me.
It made me think of Pity. Not made-for-TV movies Pity with Lieutenants and noblemen's daughters, good-looking horses and, well, I think you have to fit Kiera Knightley in there somewhere. Not perfumed, inchoate love. No, it made me think of Pity on a city street, in a job, in a friendship. It made me think of Pity in a room by myself.
Even then, maybe especially then, it's always an exchange. View all 18 comments. Sufi Proverb Upon finishing this, Stefan Zweig's only completed novel, after reading his memoir, The World of Yesterday , I've found that the Austrian Zweig was one of those singularly gifted observers of the human condition, that come along maybe only once a generation, able to regularly discern the profound in the mundane as if such a talent came like riding a bicycle.
Beware of Pity sated my love for an exploration of human emotions I've not yet encountered in a story but have experienced in the real world. First was pity, and the negative that can flow therefrom. Though I'd of course encountered the emotion of pity in other novels, none had made it a central theme and covered it like this novel did. As for the second--see Zweig's brilliant quote below--I look back with deep regret at how mean and callous I was to the girl, and think how I'd have handled it differently.
The surface moral of this novel is laid out by its title: pity, as an emotion, can result in disaster. The deeper message seems the old maxim, you cannot judge a book by its cover. The Austrian writer Stefan Zweig's popularity seems to be making a bit of a comeback, with the new publication of a number of his novellas and his memoir The World of Yesterday in which his writing shines.
According to a number of sources, when this novel was published in , Zweig was likely the most popular author in the world, for his short stories, novellas and biographies of famous people. He wrote it in the United States where he arrived in and then England , as a Jewish refugee from Nazi persecution. He and his wife moved to Brazil in and shortly thereafter committed suicide together. The story is set in Austria, mostly as it was on the brink of World War I. The tale is told though through a framing narrator presumably Zweig who meets the famously decorated cavalry lieutenant Anton Hofmiller at a social function.
To explain why, he must take the narrator and readers back to the time he was invited to the castle of an immensely wealthy Hungarian named Lajos Kekesfalva.
There, he asked the old man's crippled daughter to dance. A spoiled girl in her late teens, she throws a fit. Feeling pity for the girl, Hofmiller makes trips to see the Kekesfalvas nearly every day for an extended period. He is a man who gets nearly everything wrong: his gaffe that ultimately leads to awful consequences, believing Kekesfalva was a nobleman, and thinking the girl's doctor was incompetent, and leading the girl to believe she and he were engaged to be married only to deny it later in the evening, fearful of what his peers may think of him.
It is worse to see someone beside herself, burning with the flames of desire, and stand by powerless, unable to find the strength to snatch her from the fire. If you are unhappily in love yourself, you may sometimes be able to tame your passion because you are the author of your own unhappiness, not just its creature. If a lover can't control his passion then at least his suffering is his own fault. But there is nothing someone who is loved and does not love in return can do about it since it is beyond his own power to determine the extent and limits of that love and no willpower of his own can keep someone else from loving him.
View all 10 comments. It was also his only full-length novel, finished in , when he lived in exile in England. So expect his trademark nostalgia for a Europe now disfigured by totalitarianism. Told in a framed narrative — by a novelist who might as well be Zweig himself — this novel is the story of a young cavalry office, Lieutenant Anton Hofmiller, and of how one innocent faux pas derailed his life. In a small garrison town of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a few months before the Great War, Hofmiller is introduced to the wealthy and influential Kekesfalva family.
Mortified, he sends her an enormous bouquet of roses as an apology, and begins to pay regular friendly visits to the family, in an attempt to atone for the embarrassment he caused the poor girl to suffer.
But there is also an element of self-congratulation and shame there that sometimes feels very uneasy. While some of the things he does clearly come from a good place, he also ends up falling victim to emotional blackmail, conscious or not on part of the perpetrator.
How differently other people perceive our lives and actions when they have only a partial portrait of our motivations and context! The complexity of human beings is not something to be underestimated, and Zweig not only knew that, but also knew exactly how to put that intricateness on the page.
Edith is a remarkable creation: despite her sheltered life and her physical handicap, she has a strong will and personality, and refuses to let her disability define her life. Of course, this is far from easy in the particular time and place she lives in, where young women of society dance and ride, and are expected to be mobile to be considered eligible.
For a young girl of eighteen, that must have been like giving water to a person tortured by thirst, both a relief and a pleasure she is not equipped to deal with rationally. That her feelings for him shock Anton made me yell at the book: how can this be a surprise, you dweeb?! This is quite simply a masterpiece. Dec 03, Paul Blakemore rated it it was amazing Shelves: favourites.
This is one of the best books I've ever read. It does everything that really great books should do. It takes the idea of pity and really explores it as a human emotion. It left me feeling as if I might be a bit wiser about how to be a decent human being. On top of that, it is readable and I found it a bit of a page-turner due to the brilliant characters.
It is so cleverly constructed too; a layering of narrative on narrative so that as each person tells a story or relates a rumour they all begin This is one of the best books I've ever read. It is so cleverly constructed too; a layering of narrative on narrative so that as each person tells a story or relates a rumour they all begin to echo and resonate with each other. Even the word pity itself builds up in subtle shades of meaning so that everytime it is used it becomes like an ominous bell sounding.
If the writing is criticised as being melodramatic, I took it to be a characterisation of the first person narrator. He is constantly vacillating between over-zealous despondency and naive joy. I just couldn't find a fault with this and I'm stunned that it has taken me 27 years to find Stefan Zweig. Just my type of novel: detailed, psychologically nuanced, and deep. One, the weak and sentimental kind, which is really no more than the heart's impatience to be rid as quickly as possible of the painful emotion aroused by the sight of another's unhappiness, that pity which is not compassion, but only an instinctive desire to fortify one's own soul against the sufferings of another; and the other, the only one at counts, the unsentimental but creative kind, which knows what it is about and is determined to hold out, in patience and forbearance, to the very limit of its strength and even beyond.
View all 3 comments. Beware of Pity is an impressive yet incredibly sad story and one that will resonate with readers long after they've read it. Jun 20, Sharon Barrow Wilfong rated it it was amazing. This book was quite powerful. I do not know when I have become so emotionally involved with a story. I found myself involuntarily having conversations with the characters, lecturing them on their fatal flaws.
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