Pushkin Press £8.99 (460pp) £8.54 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Beware of Pity, By Stefan Zweig
Friday 11 November 2011
Why re-translate a 20th-century novel? When the book concerned is Zweig's sole full-length work of fiction, and the translator the superlative Anthea Bell, the question answers itself.
In its earlier English version, almost 70 years old, this throat-gripping, heart-wringing tale of a blithe young Austrian cavalry officer who inspires the hopeless love of a disabled girl in a garrison town in 1914 read like a deeply touching story about the perils of trifling with another's soul.
Now it appears as the disquieting masterpiece it is. For all Zweig's excursions and digressions, the narrative truly gallops along, with the psychological suspense of Hofmiller's toxic pity and its outcome matched by the looming doom of crippled old Europe.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 North Korean prison officers 'cooked prisoner's baby and fed it to their dogs', more horrific accounts from UN report reveal
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
- 4 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever