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. Editorial Reviews. Review. "An unremittingly tense parable about emotional blackmail, this is a Beware of Pity - Kindle edition by Stefan Zweig, Anthea Bell. Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig - Penguin Random House. Free download or read online Beware of Pity pdf (ePUB) book. The first edition of this novel was.
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if you are searching for a ebook by stefan zweig, phyllis blewitt beware of pity ( european classics) in pdf form, in that case you come on to the. beware of pity by stefan zweig - alrwibah - of pity (new york review beware of pity stefan pdf free download or read online beware of pity pdf. You can easily download Beware of Pity Pdf, Beware of Pity Pdf by Wes Anderson on Stefan Zweig: “I had never heard of Zweig when I just.
The title of this novel—and its overriding theme— Beware of Pity --has its ironies too. How can pity—the exercise of simple human compassion—be considered a corrosive force? And why would a man like Zweig, wounded by a pitiless tyrant, choose the dangers of pity for his theme? The novel tells the story of a young Austrian lieutenant, Anton Hoffmiller, who, invited to the home of the great landowner Kekesfalva, performs the gentlemanly gesture of asking his host's daughter to dance.
When she bursts into tears, he realizes that the young lady's legs are paralyzed. Humiliated, he immediately flees from the house, but sends her a dozen roses the next day. So begins a series of visits—motivated primarily by pity—which lead to disaster, not only for Lieutenant Hoffmiller, but for the Kekesfalva family too. I disagree. The novel would be poorer without these stories: The tale is compelling, and there were even a few moments two moments, to be precise that had me gasping small gasps, but real gasps , my hand raised to my mouth.
The general course of the narrative may be tragically predictable, but there are plenty of little surprises--and pleasures--to be encountered along the way. And of course, there is the moonlight which suffuses all: View all 41 comments. View all 35 comments.
Aug 15, Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it Shelves: Truth in advertising: A young cavalry officer is invited to a party at the home of the most wealthy family in the town he is stationed in. Everything goes downhill from there. The young woman falls in l Truth in advertising: The young woman falls in love with the officer. Her elderly father essentially begs him to marry her with the incentive of inheriting his money. The officer is also egged on by the doctor of the young woman. Part of the value of this book is seeing the sea change in attitudes toward people with physical challenges.
Who would have thought? She writes to the officer in a letter: How should I, broken, shattered being that I am, be anything but a burden to you, when to myself I am an object of disgust, of loathing. A creature such as I, I know, has no right to love, and certainly no right to be loved. I had created the world and lo! It was full of goodness and justice. I had created a human being, her forehead gleamed like the morning and a rainbow of happiness was mirrored in her eyes.
There are breaks in the writing but no chapters. Top image of Austrian cavalry officers in WW I from http: Photo of the author from alteruemliches.
View all 6 comments. Jul 26, Steven Godin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Beware of Pity, Zweig's one and only novel, was a book that had eluded me for quite some time, but learning of a new translation by Oxford Academic Dr Jonathan Katz who has worked on writings by Goethe and Joseph Roth , I followed through and got hold of a copy whilst on a trip back to my home City of Bath, and as things would have it, I also learned Zweig actually stayed in Bath for a time after fleeing mainland Europe during the war.
Reading 'Impatience of the Heart' was well worth the wait, Beware of Pity, Zweig's one and only novel, was a book that had eluded me for quite some time, but learning of a new translation by Oxford Academic Dr Jonathan Katz who has worked on writings by Goethe and Joseph Roth , I followed through and got hold of a copy whilst on a trip back to my home City of Bath, and as things would have it, I also learned Zweig actually stayed in Bath for a time after fleeing mainland Europe during the war.
Reading 'Impatience of the Heart' was well worth the wait, I would put it up there with one of the best novels I have ever read, It captivated me from first page to the last, with moments that had me wanting to look the other way, through it's depiction of pity.
This is a story of painful and almost unbearable disillusionment swept along with a saddening nostalgia, composed by Zweig over a period of years and completed by , in which a young Austrian cavalry officer, Hofmiller, befriends a local millionaire, Kekesfalva, and his family, but in particular the old man's crippled daughter, Edith a character I will simply never forget and the terrible consequences that follow a moment of sheer horror for the officer at a dance, thus a chain of events are triggered that Hofmiller due to his weak minded pity can not escape from.
I don't want to link Zweig with Hitchcock, but there were moments of utter tension that had me peeping through my fingers in trepidation at what might or might not happen. There is also an interior psychological precision that shows just how sharply Zweig could pay attention to his characters inner workings, and this he pulls off as good as anything else I have come across, here is a man 'Hofmiller the hero', on whom everything is lost, in more than one sense of the phrase.
When first introduced to a decorated Hofmiller many years later in a cafe he spills his history to a novelist the framing narrator whom we may as well assume to be Zweig himself, he treats his decoration, the greatest military order Austria can bestow, with disdain bordering on contempt, and only speaks to the narrator when they meet accidentally at a dinner party later on.
After this point, we should realise that the message of the book is not only the ostensible one, that pity is an emotion that can cause great ruin, but also that we must not judge things by appearances. Hofmiller, in his case, what others might regard as courage is actually the result of a monumental act of cowardice which will burden his soul for eternity.
Others have viewed this work as actually two novellas of unequal length stitched together, there is an entire back story as to how Kekesfalva obtained his wealth, but this only adds depth, it doesn't read as though it could benefit from any trimming, and something I did notice was the fact this contained no chapters, or breaks in writing, keeping a continually flowing narrative.
From front to back it's a novel, pure and simple. It's length for some may be an issue. Me, I would have gladly read another pages of this, and this coming from someone who is normally put off reading huge novels. Kekesfalva, along with daughters Ilona and Edith played such a despairing role in the narrative, I spend the whole time just praying their outcome would be a good one, I felt everything they were going through, down to the finest details.
Crippled Edith, I can't think of any other literary character that has had such an impact on me, my own pity for her was tenfold.
Albeit in a complex and ambiguous fashion, when Hofmiller discovers, to his horror, that Edith has sexual desires for him, his existence spirals into chaos, in fact, if it didn't sound so off-putting, "Disillusionment" could be a perfectly plausible title for the novel to go with Zweig's other one-word titles for some of his novellas: Beware of Pity has passages of high melodrama that had an immense power to make me put a hand over my gasping mouth, something that I can't think I have ever done before whilst reading a novel.
A masterpiece. View all 13 comments. Sep 24, David rated it liked it Shelves: Despite whatever I say in the following review, and no matter how much I mock Beware of Pity , I did actually enjoy it.
To a limited extent. Stefan Zweig is an enormous drama queen. Every emotion in his novel Beware of Pity is hyperbolic, neon-lit, hammy. His narrator doesn't feel anything as prosaic as mere mere joy. No way.
He's more apt to be 'blithe as a twittering bird. And these reactions aren't even for big surprises—like, I don't know, World War I—but rather for banal things like the mail being late and the improper buttoning of one's dinner jacket. I'm slightly exaggerating. But only very slightly. This book was written in the s. If you didn't know that, however, you'd be just as likely to think it was written in the s.
Stylistically speaking, Zweig completely missed the memo on literary modernism. It's as if it never happened. He embraces the hopelessly stodgy language [at this in translated form] and hyperdescription of the worst of the 19th century.
There is no emotion or thought or physical appearance which manifests an emotion or thought that he will not describe into the fucking ground. 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. In other words, Zweig thinks you're a moron.
He doesn't trust you to know what embarrassment, hand-holding, intoxication, guilt, or hearing strange noises feels like. But he'll try his damndest to explain 'em all to ya, ya inexperienced rube.
Have you been living in your bubble boy bubble all these years? Zweig's got your ass covered. If you trimmed all the fat, this novel probably would have been one hundred pages instead of And that's a conservative estimate of the editorial purges required. But the story at the center of all this prissy, rococo language is The narrator recounts at length how as a twenty-five-year-old lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian Imperial Army, he met this young crippled woman and accidentally asked her to dance at a party.
Can you imagine the descriptions of his profound embarrassment? Total elbows and ass goin' on here. This minor incident sets off a chain of melodramatic events in which his pity for the absurd little cripple ruins him. His pity takes over his whole life.
He actually makes a career of it. He just spends all his time kissing the ass of this incredibly bitchy crippled girl. She's able to walk two steps! But then she falls like a ton of bricks at his feet.
Not bothering to help her, he flees again. The narrator is actually an accomplished flee-er. He does it three times during the novel. You just want to smack the living shit out of the narrator, the cripple, and everyone else because they're all so emotionally volatile all the time. They're either sweating and shaking or glowing with joy like a nuclear holocaust or trying to kill themselves. Interesting side note: Zweig and his wife killed themselves together while living in South America just a few years after this novel was published.
The single most galling thing about this whole novel—and there are quite a few things to be galled about—is that four pages before the end, the narrator has the audacity to say: View all 25 comments. Mar 23, Dolors rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Those not afraid of being found out. It had never dawned upon me what a double-edged feeling pity is. Neither had I dwelled for long on the ramifying consequences of actions triggered by that feeling.
Human minds work in bewildering ways and Zweig combines the sharp scalpel of his precise words with the sumptuousness of his transfixing prose to probe strenuously into the nooks and crannies of the psyche of his Freudian protagonists, unfolding the serpentine passages that give shape to the sentiment of pity.
Like the dexterous magician who masters his tricks, Zweig uses the first person narrative impersonating an impressionable Lieutenant during the convoluted months previous to World War I to unravel a chain of intricate relationships that will invite the reader to contemplate the fragile boundary that separates charitableness from weakness of character.
Lieutenant Anton Hofmiller finds himself entangled in a compromising situation after asking Edith Kekesfalva, the daughter of a distinguished nobleman and sole heir of his vast property, for a dance without realizing the girl is paralyzed from waist down. Plagued by guilt and moved by a disciplined sense of honor typical of the military, Anton obliges himself to visit the girl evening after evening and basking in his own righteousness to play good Samaritan he obviates the blossoming truth of a capricious and over pampered woman falling in unhinged love for the first time.
Condor, whose godlike skills are expected to perform a scientific miracle to save Edith from her underserved impairment, is boundless. Inspired by the honorable conduct of the doctor when he married one of his blind patients after failing to fulfill his promise to heal her, Mr. Kekesfalva embraces the young officer his daughter dotes on, hoping for another unlikely miracle to happen.
Credulous Hofmiller absorbs the conflicting emotions arising in him, allowing to be whirled around by the currents of gratification that flow from self-pity and remorse.
But history has a humbling lesson to teach him when collective atrocity strikes with WWI and petty individual turmoil is implacably buried under the weight of mass killing and cosmic destruction, making Hofmiller aware of his own insignificance and erasing all notions of grandiosity and masked integrity.
A dense silence of parching deluge preys upon the reader with torrential questions and a drought of answers. Pity or vanity? Need for validation or hedonistic egocentrism?
Honest sympathy or hollow pretence? It's all so very simple in the end, you only need to brace yourself, take a deep breath and Beware of Pity. View all 31 comments. Oct 02, Adam Dalva rated it liked it.
Here is the spoiler-free plot, in full: It's a bit like a filler Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, now that I see it written out. The central question is: This reminds me a bit of The Captive in Proust, which is another melodrama that revolves around an author's misconception of the world, but here the misconception is, yes, offensive, and Zweig isn't a good enough writer to find his way out of it.
This is decidedly NOT a love story. Every time the protagonist cringes in horror at the sound of tapping crutches or the sight of the girl being wheeled around, we cringe too, for Zweig. I have seen this character defended as an aspect of the time in other reviews, but we turn to writers to be ahead of their time in one thing and one thing only: The best parts of B. It has a preoccupation with suicide that is, of course, upsetting in retrospect. And I never put it down, because as with all Zweig, the world is pleasing to be in.
But the false promise of the opening is never answered this is a novel about a war hero that will never show us war , and it's all something of a trudge. Tempted to knock it down for the stranger on the subway who praised the "gripping action" and "brilliant characters" for 5 straight stops when he saw what I was reading even though my headphones were in, but I suppose we'll leave him out of it.
View all 3 comments. View all 22 comments. Sep 11, Rakhi Dalal rated it it was amazing Shelves: It is charged with the evocation of that emotion which surfaces when one witnesses human suffering in any form; an emotion which leads to feeling of compassion and sympathy. But what does the feeling of pity really employs? Is it only a positive emotion which paves the way for better understanding of humans and their sufferings?
Can it be an emotion which may let us sympathize with those suffering but may make us indifferent when presented with uncomfortable situations while dealing with them? Can there be a limit as to what extent a person may engage due to pity?
Can a person really only act out of pity for someone over a longer period? Alternatively, does a person who has suffered much over a long period of time take kindly to such acts of pity? Can such acts invoke anger on the part of sufferer? Who is to judge then when a person, in the heat of much compassion, engages in actions which may prove further fatal for the sufferer. These are the questions that this work raises in mind. For me, it is a hugely loaded word and which I really view with some skepticism.
A genuine concern and empathy are held much higher in regard than merely pity. There is never a dull moment in the work. You are constantly engaged and on the edge. It was like a ride through a kindergarten where all the kids were engaged in their own make belief world and resorted to whining when disagreed with or brought to reality.
View all 12 comments. Sufi Proverb Upon finishing this, Stefan Zweig's only completed novel, after reading his memoir, The World of Yesterday , I've found that the Austrian Zweig was one of those singularly gifted observers of the human condition, that come along maybe only once a generation, able to regularly discern the profound in the mundane as if such a talent came like riding a bicycle. Beware of Pity sated my love for an exploration of human emotions I've not yet encountered in a story but have experienced in the real world.
First was pity, and the negative that can flow therefrom. Though I'd of course encountered the emotion of pity in other novels, none had made it a central theme and covered it like this novel did. As for the second--see Zweig's brilliant quote below--I look back with deep regret at how mean and callous I was to the girl, and think how I'd have handled it differently.
The surface moral of this novel is laid out by its title: The deeper message seems the old maxim, you cannot judge a book by its cover. The Austrian writer Stefan Zweig's popularity seems to be making a bit of a comeback, with the new publication of a number of his novellas and his memoir The World of Yesterday in which his writing shines.
According to a number of sources, when this novel was published in , Zweig was likely the most popular author in the world, for his short stories, novellas and biographies of famous people.
He wrote it in the United States where he arrived in and then England , as a Jewish refugee from Nazi persecution. He and his wife moved to Brazil in and shortly thereafter committed suicide together. The story is set in Austria, mostly as it was on the brink of World War I. The tale is told though through a framing narrator presumably Zweig who meets the famously decorated cavalry lieutenant Anton Hofmiller at a social function.
To explain why, he must take the narrator and readers back to the time he was invited to the castle of an immensely wealthy Hungarian named Lajos Kekesfalva. There, he asked the old man's crippled daughter to dance. A spoiled girl in her late teens, she throws a fit.
As a student, he watched his father waste away from diabetes, which was then untreatable. He decided to specialise in incurable conditions, reasoning that cases are only incurable within the compass of present knowledge, and that it is precisely the incurable that the doctor should try to cure. Condor sees sickness as an offence against natural law and order, and so the doctor must attack it ruthlessly, using every weapon at his command.
There must, he insists, be no pity for the sick, for, as he says, goodness and truth never yet succeeded in curing a single human being. In contrast to this harsh-sounding philosophy, his life is actually ruled by his compassion for the sick. Most of his waking hours are taken up by his patients. Zweig was a friend and admirer of Freud see also BMJ ; Zweig himself, in the introduction, differentiates two types of pity.
The second type, compassion, is unsentimental but creative, and persistent in its efforts. For this reason, the novel is worthy of consideration as a medical classic.
Beware of Pity Ungeduld des Herzens. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List BMJ v.