Journey Into the Past

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Journey Into the Past

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A focused new translation of the late Zweig's (1881–1942) gorgeous and sad novella spotlights the hopeless passion between a young man and his employer's wife. Ludwig, an ambitious young man from an impoverished background, finds employment with a famous industrialist in Frankfurt-am-Main and is eventually pressed into service as the industrialist's private secretary, living in his house, where he befriends his boss's radiant, sympathetic wife and finds in her an artistic kinship. A passion develops, cut short by the exigencies of the metals business, then by the eruption of WWI, and the two, despite the intervening years and Ludwig's own marriage, eventually embark on an overnight trip together. Moving back and forth through time, Zweig pursues the couple to their destination, where they are confronted by a military demonstration that bludgeons their fragile memories with the cold, crass present. Bell's faultless translation easily conveys the smoldering engine of Zweig's writhing inner consciousness. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"A brilliant Austrian writer whose work brings to mind that of his compatriot Joseph Roth…a treat of prewar European literature" —Sylvia Brownrigg, The New York Times

“The latest novella available to English-speaking readers, Journey Into the Past—found among Zweig’s papers after his death and now published by New York Review Books Classics in a masterly translation by Anthea Bell and with an introduction by André Aciman…” —Words Without Borders 

"Journey into the Past is vintage Stefan Zweig—lucid, tender, powerful and compelling.” —Chris Schuler, The Independent

“The art is in the telling…a powerful love story…Excellent Foreword by writer Paul Bailey” —David Herman, The Jewish Chronicle

"One hardly knows where to begin in praising Zweig’s work. One gets the impression that he actively preferred to write about women, and about the great moral crises that send shivers down the spines of polite society" —Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian

"My advice is that you should go out at once and buy his books" —Anthony Daniels, The Sunday Telegraph

“a brilliant writer." —The New York Times

"Admired by readers as diverse as Freud, Einstein, Toscanini, Thomas Mann and Herman Goering." —The New York Times

"A remarkable tour de force…this is a masterclass in the language of beautiful storytelling." —Paul Blezard, The Lady

"Zweig belongs with three very different masters who each perfected the challenging art of the short story and the novella: Maupassant, Turgenev and Chekhov" —Paul Bailey

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590173671
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 11/23/2010
  • Series: New York Review Books Classics Series
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 268,370
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Stefan Zweig
Stefan Zweig (1881—1942) spent his youth studying philosophy and the history of literature in Vienna and belonged to a pan-European cultural circle that included Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Richard Strauss. In 1934, under National Socialism, Zweig fled Austria for England, where he authored several novels, short stories, and biographies. In 1941 Zweig and his second wife traveled to Brazil, where they both committed suicide. NYRB Classics published his novels Chess Story and Beware of Pity.
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