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By Stefan Zweig

By the writer who encouraged Wes Anderson’s movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Written as either a recollection of the prior and a caution for destiny generations, The international of Yesterday recollects the golden age of literary Vienna—its seeming permanence, its promise, and its devastating fall.

Surrounded through the prime literary lighting of the epoch, Stefan Zweig attracts a bright and intimate account of his lifestyles and travels via Vienna, Paris, Berlin, and London, referring to the very center of eu tradition. His passionate, evocative prose paints a beautiful portrait of an period that danced brilliantly at the fringe of extinction.

This new translation via award-winning Anthea Bell captures the spirit of Zweig’s writing in arguably his so much revealing work.

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Humans believed in ‘progress’ greater than within the Bible, and its gospel message appeared incontestably confirmed by way of the hot miracles of technology and expertise that have been published day-by-day. in truth a normal upward improvement grew to become increasingly more obtrusive, and on the finish of that peaceable century it used to be rapid and multifarious. electrical lighting brightly lit the streets through evening, exchanging the dim lamps of the earlier; outlets displayed their seductive new brilliance from the most streets of towns all of the technique to the suburbs; due to the phone, those that have been some distance aside might converse to one another; they have been already racing alongside at new speeds in horseless carriages, and pleasing the dream of Icarus via emerging within the air. the relief of upper-class dwellings now reached the houses of the center sessions; water now not needed to be drawn from wells or waterways; fires not needed to be laboriously kindled within the fire; hygiene used to be frequent, dust was once disappearing. humans have been changing into extra appealing, more suitable, more healthy, and now that there have been physical games to aid them continue bodily healthy, cripples, goitres and mutilations have been visible within the streets much less and not more often. technology, the archangel of growth, had labored a lot of these miracles. Social welfare used to be additionally continuing apace; from 12 months to yr extra rights have been granted to the person, the judiciary laid down the legislations in a milder and extra humane demeanour, even that final challenge, the poverty of the loads, now not appeared insuperable. the ideal to vote was once granted to circles flung wider and wider, and with it the chance for electorate to protect their very own pursuits legally. Sociologists and professors competed to make the lives of the proletariat fitter or even happier—no ask yourself that century basked in its personal feel of accomplishment and thought of each decade, because it drew to an in depth, because the prelude to a good greater one. humans not more believed within the probability of barbaric relapses, resembling wars among the countries of Europe, than they believed in ghosts and witches; our fathers have been doggedly confident of the infallibly binding energy of tolerance and conciliation. they truly proposal that divergences among countries and spiritual faiths could steadily circulate a feeling of universal humanity, in order that peace and defense, the best of products, might come to all mankind. this present day, now that the notice ‘security’ has lengthy been struck out of our vocabulary as a phantom, it is simple for us to grin on the positive fantasy of that idealistically dazzled new release, which notion that the technical development of mankind needs to unavoidably bring about an both fast ethical upward thrust. We who, within the new century, have learnt to not be stunned through any new outbreak of collective bestiality, and anticipate each new day to turn out even worse than the day simply prior, are significantly extra sceptical approximately clients for the ethical schooling of humanity. now we have came upon that we have got to consider Freud, who observed our tradition and civilization as a skinny veneer wherein the harmful forces of the underworld might holiday at any second.

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