2 February 2008

Enemy alien – on Stefan Zweig’s The World of Yesterday

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‘First published in 1943, The World of Yesterday could scarcely be less like the popular confessional autobiographies of our time, which tend to be soft-centred victimologies in which the self is presented as an innocent, child-like entity, while history comes across as a form of abuse…’

An article from Guardian Review, 2 February, 2008.

 ‘A few  years ago, at a conference in Istanbul, I heard a speaker raise loud cheers by denouncing the invasion of Iraq with the words “the Enlightenment with bombs”. I felt I understood his fury, but I was disconcerted by the contempt with which he pronounced the word “Enlightenment”. There were, to be sure, many flaws in the Enlightenment ideal. Yet, whether the dismissal comes from an enraged Turkish artist or from critics such as Camille Paglia or John Gray, it should be asked just what it is that is being flushed away…’

 Written for the Guardian Review in September 2007, this article was finally published on 2 February 2008.  Some quotation marks have been lost in paragraphs 5 & 6 (largely written by Zweig)  but it remains a pleasure to place a piece like this in a national newspaper.

Read full article here»

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This entry was posted on Saturday, February 2nd, 2008 at 7:43 pm and is filed under Articles General, Literature, War & peace. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.