the world of yesterday quotes
I came to realize, just in time, that suicide was far too easy – and obscenely cowardly – after someone I knew, not even half my age, had been through so much worse and still marched gloriously on.” To Balzac the brilliant rise of the insignificant Lieutenant Bonaparte to the rank of emperor of the world meant not only the triumph of an individual, but the victory of the idea of youth. So it tried out its technique cautiously—one dose at a time, with a short pause after administering it. ― Stefan Zweig, quote from The World of Yesterday, “In the last analysis it seems likely that they were wiser than I, all those friends in Vienna, because they suffered everything only when it really happened, whereas I had already suffered the disaster in advance in my fantasy, and then again when it became reality.” Never—and I say so not with pride but with shame—has a generation fallen from such intellectual heights as ours to such moral depths.” Lieutenant Bonaparte had fired the minds of an entire generation of youth. You had to be photographed from right and left, in profile and full face, hair cut short enough to show your ears; you had to have fingerprints taken—first just your thumbs, then all ten digits; you had to be able to show certificates—of general health and inoculations—papers issued by the police certifying that you had no criminal record; you had to be able to produce documentary proof of recommendations and invitations, with addresses of relatives; you had to have other documents guaranteeing that you were of good moral and financial repute; you had to fill in and sign forms in triplicate or quadruplicate, and if just one of this great stack of pieces of paper was missing you were done for. Everything we forget about our own lives was really condemned to oblivion by an inner instinct long ago. I knew that the same voices which yelled “Heil Schuschnigg” today would thunder “Heil Hitler” tomorrow.”, “The herd instinct of the mob was not yet as offensively powerful in public life as it is today; freedom in what you did or did not do in private life was taken for granted - which is hardly imaginable now - and toleration was not, as it is today, deplored as a weakness and debility, but was praised as an ethical force.”, “My today and each of my yesterdays, my rises and falls, are so diverse that I sometimes feel as if I had lived not one, but several existences, each one different from the others.”, “Arrived at an age when others had already long been married and had children and held important positions, and were obliged to produce the best that was in them with all their energy, I still regarded myself as youthful, a beginner who faced immeasurable time, and I was hesitant about final decisions of any kind.”, “Wie ich heimschritt bemerkte ich mit einemmal vor mir meinen eigenen Schatten so wie ich den Schatten des anderen Krieges hinter dem jetzigen sah. In 2011, Plunkett Lake Press reissued it in eBook form.The book describes life in Vienna at the start of the 20th century with detailed anecdotes. Nimic mai fals. Er ist durch all diese Zeit nicht mehr von mir gewichen dieser Schatten er überhing jeden meiner Gedanken bei Tag und bei Nacht vielleicht liegt sein dunkler Umriß auch auf manchen Blättern dieses Buches. I have seen great mass ideologies grow before my eyes and spread, Fascism in Italy, National Socialism in Germany, Bolshevism in Russia, and above all the ultimate pestilence that has poisoned the flower of our European culture, nationalism in general. But, after all, shadows themselves are born of light. ― Stefan Zweig, quote from The World of Yesterday, “Aber jeder Schatten ist im letzen doch auch Kind des Lichts, und nur wer Helles und Dunkles, Krieg und Frieden, Aufstieg und Niedergang erfahren, nur der hat wahrhaft gelebt.” ― Stefan Zweig, quote from The World of Yesterday, “Live and let live” was the famous Viennese motto, which today still seems to me to be more humane than all the categorical imperatives, and it maintained itself throughout all classes.”

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