The World of Yesterday

“The greatest curse brought down on us by technology is that it prevents us from escaping the present even for a brief time. Previous generations could retreat into solitude and seclusion when disaster struck; it was our fate to be aware of everything catastrophic happening everywhere in the world at the hour and the second when it happened.” — Stefan Zweig

Zweig would be overwhelmed by the current state of affairs, as many now are. The World of Yesterday and The Royal Game (Schachnovelle) are my two favorite Zweig works. On the former see Nicholas Lezard in The Guardian (ignore all the marketing tripe of a year ago that accompanied the so-called revival of Zweig via a certain film).

On the latter check out this brief discussion:

If you’re are a German speaker then here is a decent rendering of this psychologically wrought novella — I have seen it with subtitles but I can’t find an online version — anyway, you really should read the novella first:

And then if you are inclined, check out a seminal academic paper by Chase and Simon entitled Perception in Chess.

Here is a discussion featuring the recent Zweig bio by George Prochnik called The Impossible Exile: