Book Review on The World of Yesterday

Book Review on The World of Yesterday

Length: 1200 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Death of a Soul, The Glance of History
And meet the time as it seeks us.
Cymberline
Before the preface, I saw the sentence adopted from Shakespeare¡¯s Cymberline . All of the sudden, a sense of seriousness and heaviness mounted up in my heart. I felt the author¡¯s tone of despair and disillusionment. ¡°at most, one generation had gone though a revolution, another experienced a putsch, the third a war, the fourth a famine, the fifth national bankruptcy¡­But we, who are sixty today and who, de jure, still have a space of time before us, what have we not seen, not suffered, not lived though?¡± Such struggling words can only be composed by a writer in unbearable agonies. Actually, the author was forced to witness the most terrible defeat of reason and the wildest triumph of brutality in the chronicle of the ages. What an embarrassing situation it was to an intellectual with great concern for the humanity and morality.
Stefan Zweig was born in 1881 in a middle class family in Austria and died at his own hands in 1942 at the age of 60, crossing two centuries, witnessing two contemporary wars. He was well-known as a novelist, a playwright, a biographer a manuscript collector and a pacifist. In 1934, he was exiled to Britain and then to Brazil where he lived his rest of life with his wife. The World of Yesterday is his autobiography written between 1939 and 1940. Zweig always encouraged his friends to set down their reminiscences, not necessarily for publication but for the pleasure and benefit of their children, their families. As for his own autography, he was to ¡°give some reflection of his life before it sinks into the darkness.¡±(P.9)
It is not so much an autobiography as a ¡°biography¡± of his time. It is a vivid, moving and nostalgic portrayal of Europe before wars; it is a story about intellectual brotherhood which tried to prevent national madness that destroyed the Europe and the world, twice. In the book, we picture the dramatic progress of material wealth and despairing collapse of morality. It also provides a source for us to know other great figures like Dostoyevsky, Goethe, Tolstoy and Freud who constituted the most glorious and attractive scenery at that time, making the sky not so sad.
If we intend to figure out one of the best times in history, there is no doubt that the time before the World War I¡ªZweig¡¯s childhood and youth hood¡ªis definitely one.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Book Review on The World of Yesterday." 123HelpMe.com. 26 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=56095>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Book Review and Reflection of Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright Essays

- The book consists of three parts. The first part has five chapters of which focuses on explaining what the key questions are and why we find them difficult to answer. The second part has nine chapters explaining in detail what N.T. Wright considers Jesus’ public career and the approach he had in first century Palestine. The third part of the book, the last chapter, challenges readers to wrestle with the questions of Jesus’ life and ministry. The first part of the book begins by Wright telling the readers a little about himself and his thoughts on how people, including the church, overlook Jesus and belittles his reign....   [tags: palestine, kingdom, temptation]

Research Papers
664 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Under The Spells of Witchery. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow

- Once upon a time, somewhere far, far away, somebody told about witches to the whole world, defining them as healers, wise ones, evil spirits, and shamans. Despite the guesswork, no one ever actually knew who witches were in a real life. What would a witch be like, one from long ago, in an ancient era. Did witches actually brew herbs in cauldrons. Such an obscurity and mystery around these enigmatic people gave a birth to different tales. Some of these conjectures had led to the fact that witches became even scarier than death....   [tags: Supernatural]

Research Papers
1172 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on What is History? Book review of Edward Hallett Carr

- History is something we live with everyday. It happens every second in every part of the world. It’s been happening for centuries. Even before man embark on writing it down. History is and every changing chain of events and fact that have been spread over time. But how do historians write history. How do they know what really happened at that time. How do they find the correct facts and put them in a book or compare them to the time they are studying. In Edward Hallatt Carr’s book, What is history....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
821 words (2.3 pages)

Book Review: The New Terrorism by Walter Laqueur Essay

- THE NEW TERRORISM BY WALTER LAQUEUR Walter Laqueur’s book, “The New Terrorism: Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction”, is empowering readers with the entire spectrum of terrorism. The reasons behind terrorism are not easy to understand, but Laqueur goes into great detail to try and bring the reader to an understanding of what the terrorist is thinking in order to justify the means to the end. Laqueur sheds enlightenment into a new arena for terrorism: Arms of Mass Destruction. The chemical and biological weapons of yesterday are available and relatively cheap on today’s open market....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
758 words (2.2 pages)

Like a Hurricane Book Review Essay

- In Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee two American Indians from separate tribes join together to co-author this historically thought provoking portrayal of a time in history when playing by the rules did not work when dealing with minority rights issues. Paul Chaat Smith, a Comanche and Robert Allen Warrior an Osage join forces to create an accurate account of a time when the Native American civil rights movement took center stage television and press coverage. The world watched as Indian militants, American military, and world media covered three key events, which took place in a forty-two month period beginning with the student takeover of Alcatraz in Novem...   [tags: Book Review ]

Research Papers
1288 words (3.7 pages)

Book Review: "Enough: Staying Human in and Engineered Age" written by Bill McKibben

- Over the years humanity has experienced a significant increase in the world population, and today that number continues to rise. With an increase in people, the demand for food goes up tremendously. Agricultural science has continuously developed new technologies that have enhanced the efficiency and value of agricultural production. Although the enhancements increase the production of agricultural goods, it’s important to understand the impacts it has on our environment and food system. In this book review, I will discuss both the cultural and natural dimensions of Agricultural Biotechnology, and how it relates to our current problems in Human Relations....   [tags: Book Review]

Research Papers
2117 words (6 pages)

Book Review: Robert Kagan Paradise and Power- America and Europe in the New World Order

- Book Review: Robert Kagan Paradise and Power- America and Europe in the New World Order Robert Kagan's book ‘Paradise and Power' was a break through in writing concerning the new world order, which has especially developed during and after the Cold War. In the first part of this review, I shall endeavour to summarise the book, focusing on the difference between America and Europe's worldview's, and the historical reasoning behind the readjusting of the power balance between Europe and America....   [tags: Kagan Book Review]

Free Essays
1226 words (3.5 pages)

The World of Yesterday Essay

- Stefan Zweig wrote a breathtaking autobiography called "The World of Yesterday." This book takes a look at Europe around the turn of the century. Although recognized as an autobiography, I believe the book is more of a suicide note for the talented author. There are a few reasons that I believe lead to this conclusion. It can be interpreted that the way it is written is in the form of a suicide note. Also, the tone of the book, although written to be completely factual, has sort of a depressing side....   [tags: European Literature]

Free Essays
435 words (1.2 pages)

Lion, Witch And Wardrobe Book Review Essay

- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is set during World War II. There are four children who had to be sent to live with Professor Kirke because their mother wanted them to be safe. The children decide to play hide and seek in the house one day and the youngest girl Lucy found a wardrobe to hide in. When Lucy was in the wardrobe she found herself in a strange place. The wardrobe had led her to a land full of snow. When Lucy started walking around she met a fawn named Tumnus. He took her to his house....   [tags: Book Review]

Free Essays
1242 words (3.5 pages)

Lord of the Flies Book Review Essay

- Lord of the Flies For the study of the first amendment and censorship we had to read a banned or challenged book. I read Lord Of The Flies by William Golding. Lord Of The Flies was written in the 1950's during the World War Two era. This book is about a bunch of boys aged 6-12 that get stranded on an uninhabited island with no adults. They elect Ralph as leader and Jack and the choir members from his school as the hunters of the group. The little kids, or litluns as they are referred to in the book, believe there is a monster on the island, and as the book progresses some of the big kids believe the monster is real after a few kids mistake a dead man for the monster....   [tags: Book Review Analysis]

Free Essays
1283 words (3.7 pages)

Related Searches

It is a time that Zweig called the Golden Age of Security, a time when the first glance of the average Viennese into his morning paper was not at the events in parliament, or world affairs, but at the repertoire of the theatre which was predominant in the life of the individual and the masses. Perhaps Austria was the best place in that best time, the place where all the streams of European culture converged. As a curious and sensitive young man, enjoying the glorious inheritance, Zweig melted into the heart of the musical and academic atmosphere. Everything was orchestrated by music.
Similarly, if we are supposed to pick out the darkest time in the streaming river of history, the time after World War I may stand the ¡°notorious¡± name. After World War I, varieties of disasters emerged: war, revolutions, inflation, famine, epidemics, emigration, the rise of bolshevism, fascism and the most horrific all: nationalism in the cloak of patriotism. The ugliness and weakness of human nature was stirred out, and they brought forth tremendous catastrophes to themselves. Apparently the First World War was the watershed between the heaven and hell. ¡°World fell back morally a thousand years.¡±(P.7)
The fierce contrast, the paradox of humanity shook every nerve of an individual awakened. Numb and senseless people at that time could continue to live as if nothing had occurred. Speculators and calculators could make fortunes out of wars. However, seeing clearly the wounds of that time, Zweig, with endless passions and enormous concern for the world¡¯s future, struggled and cried in letters at his full lung as the morality collapsed all of sudden. In this time, people awake suffered and became the wounds in themselves of the time. Zweig was not so much exiled by fascists as by himself. Born in the heaven, he couldn¡¯t put up with the fact that he had fallen to the hell. Being a pacifist, he experienced two world-wide wars. As an intellectual, he saw the culture declining. Nothing can be more unbearable than that to a homeless soul. At last, he discovered Brazil was a paradise where life was serene and peaceful. But it was not his paradise. He once owned several homes, but none of them belonged to him then. In our Chinese terms, he had lost his root. French novelist Prouster once said the only paradise was the paradise that had been lost. His paradise deserted him. His own existence was doubted by himself. The tragedy of ¡°the unbearable lightness of being¡± fell upon him. Therefore, he was so impatient as to follow the trace of the never-never land.
Overall, the book is immersed in an air of nostalgia and pessimism (sometimes it seems to be author¡¯s self-communing), but between lines we still can see author¡¯s pride as an Austrian and excitement in working at artistic creation. His flowery and generous compliments to his intellectual friends impress me much. Through his skillful psychoanalysis and keen insight, his autobiography is a magnificent world displaying the mutual relation between the materialized society and profound inner world, the mentality and the personal behaviors.
Zweig shows us the reflection of the shattering yesterday. Yesterday is history; history is a paradox. On one hand, it helps the next generation grow wiser, but on the other hand, it is repeated again and again just in different forms throughout the history. The paradox of history is the embodiment of humanity¡¯s paradox. What leads to wars? According to Freud, it¡¯s the instinct of aggressiveness. He also points out that instinctual passions are stronger than reasonable interests. The primary mutual hostility of human beings always threatens the civilized society. In daily life people are regulated by morality and laws, but in the war time, killing is justified by the patriotism. The passions that accumulated for the romance of war are vibrating in the chests of people. Then the worst is brought out by the blood and tears from them. Wars accompany peace as shadow accompanies its master.
The World of Yesterday is a story of yesterday. However, we are heading for the future. The so-called civilization has reached its new peak with the full help of technology and science. It¡¯s rather dangerous. It¡¯s so similar to the time before the First World that I begin to worry about the fate of human beings. Some superpowers begin to do things at their own wills.
Stefan Zweig committed suicide before the arrival of Brazil¡¯s next carnival. He was exhausted by the homeless wandering. I believe more that he died to protest the polluted and foul world. Let us remember him, remember his autography¡ªmemory of yesterday.




Bibliography:
Stefan Zweig. The World of Yesterday (¡¶´ÄÍþ¸ñ×Ô´«¡·). ±±¾©£º±±¾©¹ã²¥Ñ§Ôº³ö°æÉ磬2002£¬10
ËÎÏþÏÍ ¡¶ÀúÊ·¼ÇÒä¡·ÄÏ·½ÖÜÄ© 2004£¬4£¬9




















Book Review







Return to 123HelpMe.com