I was quite wrong about where I thought Beware of Pity was heading. At the halfway point, I noticed little if any sexual tension between the lieutenant and Edith, the crippled young woman he befriended. That changes quickly after the mid-way point. Her sudden expression of love for Toni alters the course of the novel, and the life of many of the main characters. It’s a key to subsequent events, every bit as important as pity.
Zweig does an excellent job conveying something we often forget. That people are never who they seem to be at first glance. Often, they aren’t the same people we think they are after several glances.… |To be Continued “Pity: Living Only for Others”
A bit of synchronicity and chance today. About half way through Zweig’s excellent Beware of Pity, I decided to take a break and watch The Cake Eaters, primarily because Kristen Stewart is in it. Almost right from the start, I could see her role echoed Zweig’s story in some important ways. Stefan Zweig’s novel centers on a young woman who is paralyzed, and befriended by a young lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian army. Befriended, at first, because of his sense of pity, duty, honor, guilt. Because he had asked her to dance at a lavish party, not knowing she was too crippled to.… |To be Continued “Letting go of Pity”
There is some dispute concerning the condition of The Post-Office Girl prior to Zweig’s suicide in 1942. Did he finish it? Did he intend to publish it at all? The new release of Rausch der Verwandlung, translated by Joel Rotenberg and brought out by New York Review Books, reads like a finished novel. The new publishers do not say it was unfinished and do not include a forward that may have discussed the matter.
This is a different approach than the one taken with Kafka and Max Brod.