Zweig Stefan : Beware of Pity Paperback – Apr 1984
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Beware of Pity is the most exciting book I have ever read... a feverish, fascinating novel -- Anthony Beevor Sunday Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Stefan Zweig was born in 1881 in Vienna, a member of a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He studied in Berlin and Vienna and was first known as a poet and translator, then as a biographer. Zweig travelled widely, living in Salzburg between the wars. In 1934 he briefly moved to London, taking British citizenship. After a short period in New York he settled in Brazil in 1942. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Beware of Pity" has been called a psychological novel, perhaps because the narrator (Toni) alternates in describing his feelings of self-love, power and satisfaction (when visiting Edith and thus sharing his goodness and compassion), and those of confusion and despair when realizing, unwittingly, that Edith has fallen in love with him. He is driven deeper into despair when told by Dr. Condor, Edith's doctor, that Edith may die if her love is unrequited. In analyzing the conflicted feelings of Toni, Zweig wrote a formidable novel of compassion and responsibility for one's actions. Dr. Condor serves as the literary foil of Toni; the doctor's true compassion for Edith (i.e., "unsentimental but productive, that knows what it wants and is ready to share in one's suffering to the limit, and beyond") contrasts starkly with Toni's unbridled compassion, which is nothing more than the other type of compassion, false, fleeting and unreliable, "the impatience of the heart" (which, incidentally, in the direct translation of the title from the original German). Zweig does not fault Toni for his youthful immaturity, as shown by Dr. Condor's feelings for Toni. Zweig does not, however, exonerate him from blame, and the tale moves forward, inexorably, to its tragic end.
25 years old lieutenant Hofmiller, protagonist and narrator, is the prototype of the young man who has never cared much about anything but his own career and who has taken everything for granted during his whole life. Being good hearted, he hasn't yet experienced a strong attachment to a woman, nor he had even been deeply loved by any.
He describes himself as a not very thoughtful or introspective person, whose only worries were related to his horses and his position in the army.... until he meets Edith Von Kekesfalva. She is the lamed daughter of a Jewish rich man who became an aristocrat by purchasing the nobility title and changing his name.
Due to a gaffe Hofmiller commits [inviting the girl for a dance] a dense and excruciating relationship between both starts. The author delves deep into all the intricacies such a bond entails and the situations which arise when pity rules human behavior and is entangled with sincere love. Although the book may not seem very engaging at the beginning, the interest grows as the tension increases between the characters, leading to the dramatic circumstances that trigger the wonderful end.
Most recent customer reviews
I love this book. When I read Zweig, I wonder how well he can describe the human emotions. It's not UN action or fantasy story, it's a real book about real live and real feelings. Read morePublished on Nov. 29 2013 by natalia
The very first book I couldn't finish, and God knows I TRIED. It may be a very good book, but I found that for me, it was soooo sloooow and really depressing. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2005 by EP
"Beware of Pity" is a brilliant book by one of the world's great writers.
This fascinating "psychological" novel is reminiscent of "Rebecca" in... Read more
Zweig was one of the world's best known and respected authors in the 1920s and 1930s. The burning of his books by the Nazis, and the subsequent changes in taste after the war have... Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2002 by Jeff Abell