In this deep and personal book,Rezzori reflects on a world-in the main a Germany-as experienced through his lifetime,from the collapse of the Hapsburg empire through the insanity of Hitler to the reconstruction 'miracle' to eventual reunification.
He makes a special journey back to his homeland-now part of Romania-following the overthrow of Ceasescu,couples this with a trip to India and the Cologne Carnival and tries to draw conclusions as to what was the point of existence through these diverse changes.
This is a profound,in places flawed book by a man oft compared to great East European minds such as Musil and Zweig,that acts as an epilogue ,if you will, to his novels 'The Death of my Brother Able' and 'Snows of Yesteryear'.
Rezzori is haunted and fascinated by his witnessing of events in Vienna on 12 March 1938 when Hitler came in triumph to annex Austria into the third reich;when Austria ceased to exist. His chief recollection of this tragedy is that he 'Couldn't have given a hoot'about Austria or Hitler,his personal world was shaped by different things,and this is where Rezzori's reflections come in.Why do such mediocrities (certainly of lower intelligence than the fake status of genius they give themselves) like Hitler,Stalin and Ceasescu gain such unlimited power? Do they merely take hold of and exploit the Zeitgiest of the moment,or is it deeper? Instead of believing in a God of order,love and justice, do they merely cotton on that mankind is governed by chaos,hate and injustice and use this to their ends,while the rest of us look to be governed and controlled.
A fascinating last book from Rezzori that leaves you with his thoughts of a lifetime and a host of questions you would like to have posed to probe further.
Always readable and frequently witty,Rezzori desreves his place with the greats.
- Hardcover: 261 pages
- Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux (1 January 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374222959
- ISBN-13: 978-0374222956
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 431 g
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