The World of Yesterday
Austrian writer Stefan Zweig's final work, posted to his publisher the day before his tragic death, brings the destruction of a war-torn Europe vividly to life. Written as both a recollection of the past, and as a warning for future generations, The World of Yesterday recalls the golden age of literary Vienna; its seeming permanence, its promise, and its devastating fall. A truthful and passionate account of the horror that tore apart European culture, The World of Yesterday gives us insight into the history of a world brutally destroyed, written by a master at the height of his literary talent.
Recommended in CLIVE JAMES' Cultural Amnesia "The World of Yesterday is one of the greatest memoirs of the twentieth century, as perfect in its evocation of the world Zweig loved, as it is in its portrayal of how that world was destroyed." DAVID HARE "This absolutely extraordinary book is more than just an autobiography. (...) This is a book that should be read by anyone who is even slightly interested in the creative imagination and the intellectual life, the brute force of history upon individual lives, the possibility of culture and, quite simply, what it meant to be alive between 1881 and 1942. That should cover a fair number of you." NICHOLAS LEZARD "The World of Yesterday is ostensibly an autobiography but in truth it is much more than that. In this remarkably fine new translation, Anthea Bell perfectly captures Stefan Zweig's glorious evocation of a lost world, Vienna's golden age, in which he grew up and flourished" RONALD HARWOOD
STEFAN ZWEIG was born in 1881 in Vienna, a member of a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He studied in Berlin and Vienna and was first known as a poet and translator, then as a biographer. Zweig travelled widely, living in Salzburg between the wars, and enjoyed literary fame. His stories and novellas were collected in 1934. In the same year, with the rise of Nazism, he briefly moved to London, taking British citizenship. After a short period in New York, he settled in Brazil where in 1942 he and his wife were found dead in bed in an apparent double suicide.