Journey Into the Past

Posted February 9th by in Literature


Poison on the Night Stand: Bodies of exiled Austrian author Stefan Zweig & his wife lying on bed, still holding hands, after they committed suicide together – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil – 1942

“A deep study of the uneasy heart by one of the masters of the psychological novel, Journey into the Past, published here for the first time in America, is a novella that was found among Stefan Zweig’s papers after his death. Investigating the strange ways in which love, in spite of everything—time, war, betrayal—can last, Zweig tells the story of Ludwig, an ambitious young man from a modest background who falls in love with the wife of his rich employer. His love is returned, and the couple vow to live together, but then Ludwig is dispatched on business to Mexico, and while he is there the First World War breaks out. With travel and even communication across the Atlantic shut down, Ludwig makes a new life in the New World. Years later, however, he returns to Germany to find his beloved a widow and their mutual attraction as strong as ever. But is it possible for love to survive precisely as the impossible?…During the 1930s, Zweig was one of the best-selling writers in Europe, and was among the most translated German-language writers before the Second World War. With the rise of Nazism, he moved from Salzburg to London (taking British citizenship), to New York, and finally to Brazil, where he committed suicide with his wife [in 1942].” You can find the newly translated Journey into the Past here.

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