The great Austrian writer Stefan Zweig was a master anatomist of the deceitful heart, and Beware of Pity, the only novel he published during his lifetime. 7 Mar For years, Beware of Pity was the most important book I’d never read. I’d read other books by its author, Stefan Zweig: a melancholic Austrian. Wes Anderson on Stefan Zweig: “I had never heard of Zweig when I just more or less by chance bought a copy of Beware of Pity. I loved this first book.

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He bombards you with loooong paragraphs seeking to explain the most obvious and commonplace emotional responses to you again, in hyperbolic form as if you are a cyborg who is newly assimilating human experience.

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See all reviews. Hofmann whose only complimentary phrase throughout the review falls to the translator, Anthea Bell calls Zweig any number of names, not one of them flattering: Ot Video Shorts 0 Upload your video.

The choice to avoid the book became less and less conscious as the years went on. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. Zweig and his wife killed themselves together while living in South America just a few years after this novel was published.

But the story at the center of all this prissy, rococo language is We tell ourselves stories about what is going on; but sometimes these are the wrong stories. Walking back to our jobs after lunch after renewing our friendship we passed a homeless man that we had passed many times My friend and I both pity the homeless, but I prefer to do it from a distance.

Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig”. Gradually, it occurs to Hofmiller that he might actually love Edith. Hofmann’s main concern in all o seems to be that Zweig’s bweare achievements not be mistaken for those of a Robert Musil or a Joseph Roth, and indeed one surmises that it is the heartfelt zwfig for Roth’s art in particular an admiration I shareand the humiliations endured as a result of Roth’s sometime dependence on Zweig’s wealth, that have goaded Hofmann into some of the more personal aspects of his attack on all things Zweigian.

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Beware of Pity | Northwestern University Press

I had created the world and lo! At her insistence he calls on her almost every afternoon at the beaare of his military duty gradually becoming entrapped by her romantic love for him and her horrible, at times suicidal feelings of her inadequacy and unworthiness by reason of her paralysis.

Even then, maybe especially then, it’s always an exchange.

But there is nothing someone who zwelg 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. Hofmiller’s subsequent attainment of hero status based on his feats in the First World War is diminished by his own acknowledgement that his “heroism” was based on not caring about his own life in the wake of Edith’s death.

Wes Anderson on Stefan Zweig: View all 13 comments.

Dan Vyleta reviews Stefan Zweig’s Beware of Pity – Asymptote

When Hofmiller at last, fatally, repudiates his love for Edith, it is due not to his lack of feeling for her but rather to his embarrassment at being connected to a woman seen by the town as ugly and undesirable.

But then she falls like a ton of bricks at his feet. They’re either zwejg and shaking or glowing with joy like a nuclear holocaust or trying to kill themselves. This happened when she was about Hofmiller is a coward, he tells us; he is a fool.

Rereading: Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig

Read more Read less. There was infinite tenderness, infinite gratitude in the very reserve and reticence of the gesture. There was a problem filtering reviews right now.

Literary Fiction Military Fiction. In Beware of Pity we have a hero who makes a habit of getting things wrong.

Beware of Memory: On Reading Stefan Zweig’s “Beware of Pity”

To my mind, we are left by Zweig to consider how much our words and actions are the result of genuine feelings such as compassion, pity bewae love, and how much they are the result of our desire that others think well of us, and that we fit in with our social groups.


I loved this first book. Similarly, when staying in London, he found that while he loved English people’s way of not getting too het up about things, their civility and general decency, he found the regular denunciations of the Third Reich a little too much: I steeled myself for the discoveries I would make, for the weaknesses—in myself and in him—I would uncover.

This caused a commotion, the girl got hysterical, and Toni left, mortified, but he could not forget his blunder and sent a card apologizing next day. There’s a problem loading this menu right now. The next moment a shudder passed through the whole convulsed body. Zweig studied in Austria, France, Stefan Stedan was one of the world’s most famous writers during the s and s, especially in the U.

He is well-meaning to the point of buffoonery, but his good intentions lead Edith into her own psychic hell. I didn’t know exactly what that meant until I read this and realized it was too drawing-room for me. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. I just couldn’t find a fault with this and I’m stunned that it besare taken me 27 years to find Stefan Zweig.

His weakness of character and his selfish, superficial pity for Edith drive the woman to commit suicide and break her father’s heart. Like modern thrillers with gripping historical twists? Instead think of our one-legged man. The book is structured around repeated meetings between himself and the crippled girl, and in each consecutive meeting Hofmiller’s irresolute feelings only serve to increase the girl’s misery. Hofmiller, the cavalry officer and narrator of his own misadventures, finds himself capable only of a weak, sentimental version of pity that is chained to no resolution and incapable of sacrifice; his inability to either shed it or convert it into a more constructive sentiment results in tragedy.