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The Post-Office Girl (New York Review Books…
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The Post-Office Girl (New York Review Books Classics) (urspr publ 1982; utgåvan 2008)

av Stefan Zweig

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
9905415,977 (4.1)1 / 185
  Wes Anderson on Stefan Zweig:  "I had never heard of Zweig...when I just more or less by chance bought a copy of Beware of Pity. I loved this first book.  I also read the The Post-Office GirlThe Grand Budapest Hotel has elements that were sort of stolen from both these books. Two characters in our story are vaguely meant to represent Zweig himself -- our "Author" character, played by Tom Wilkinson, and the theoretically fictionalised version of himself, played by Jude Law. But, in fact, M. Gustave, the main character who is played by Ralph Fiennes, is modelled significantly on Zweig as well."  The post-office girl is Christine, who looks after her ailing mother and toils in a provincial Austrian post office in the years just after the Great War. One afternoon, as she is dozing among the official forms and stamps, a telegraph arrives addressed to her. It is from her rich aunt, who lives in America and writes requesting that Christine join her and her husband in a Swiss Alpine resort. After a dizzying train ride, Christine finds herself at the top of the world, enjoying a life of privilege that she had never imagined. But Christine's aunt drops her as abruptly as she picked her up, and soon the young woman is back at the provincial post office, consumed with disappointment and bitterness. Then she meets Ferdinand, a wounded but eloquent war veteran who is able to give voice to the disaffection of his generation. Christine's and Ferdinand's lives spiral downward, before Ferdinand comes up with a plan which will be either their salvation or their doom. Never before published in English, this extraordinary book is an unexpected and haunting foray into noir fiction by one of the masters of the psychological novel.… (mer)
Medlem:mont1ms
Titel:The Post-Office Girl (New York Review Books Classics)
Författare:Stefan Zweig
Info:NYRB Classics (2008), Paperback, 224 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:to-read

Verkdetaljer

Förvandlingens rus : [roman] av Stefan Zweig (1982)

Senast inlagd avprivat bibliotek, YoavCohen, ycc, jooniper, monicamargolis, twharring, KittyCatrinCat, TanyaTomato
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» Se även 185 omnämnanden

engelska (48)  bosniska (1)  spanska (1)  franska (1)  katalanska (1)  italienska (1)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (54)
Visa 1-5 av 54 (nästa | visa alla)
this made me want to quit my job. There was a lot of parts of this that were really astute especially if you've worked customer service. the bit where she is caught up in the frivolities of being rich and so is the reader then suddenly the perspective switches to the aunt and you see how she's changed was genius, it reminded me of the part in Mean Girls when linsday lohan becomes a bitch. ( )
  jooniper | Sep 10, 2021 |
We cannot rewind self-awareness! Once we have that glimpse of ourselves, deleting is not an option. But, is oblivion bliss? Are the self-ignorant happier?

Zweig doesn’t try to answer this question explicitly, his focus remains in the protagonist, Christine, and her late coming of age self-discovery and her sudden awareness of the limited life she leads on post WWI Austria.

What happens if after the ball, Cinderella returns to the cinders, rejected by the prince? What happens when war robs our youth, and post war society remains drowned in poverty? What happens when economic poverty translates into intellectual and emotional poverty?

What would I do if like Christine and her – justly so - disgruntled boy-friend, the prospects in front of me were so bleak? Would I contemplate suicide, like they do? Or would I contemplate robbery, as they also do? Would either ever be justifiable, though?

Corruption is a theme that consumes me. Brazil, my birth country is ripe with corruption, and it sadden and irate me in the same proportion. Most Brazilians feel justified in robbing the state, from the highest paid politician to the small clerk taking a miniscule bribe for whatever reason. But maybe my comparison is unfair. In Christine’s case it is not a matter of corruption, but of life or death – existentialism in its most radical form. I don’t know. I am unsure of the ethics of it. Unsure if I have a right to judge. Those are fictional characters, but – in a very surreal correspondence - they do mirror the life story of the author, who at the end did chose suicide.

I should just be grateful that my own life was not wrecked by war and poverty. I should also realize that if totalitarian governments are not ruling Europe any longer, war and totalitarianism still rages in third world countries. Poverty abounds bellow the Equator. How many Christines are there in Haiti, Sudan, or Brazil?

Back to the book, it won the Pen Best Translation of the year sometime ( I am too lazy to find out when). The prose does sound effortless, and very contemporary. The end is too abrupt though, and I am struggling with the idea that it was intentional. This book was published after Zweig’s death, and I have to wonder that he would polish it more had he intended on publishing it. There is a difference in the writing, the first pages where he describes so completely and with the most literary care the post-office of the title differs too much from the point form format of the end. One could argue that it reflects his brilliance, as the vocabulary and pace of his prose seem to change with the changes on Christine. Well, maybe... but I am not convinced.

I am putting his other books published in English on books to check it out.
( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
The title character is Christine Hoflehner, postal clerk in the Austrian village of Klein-Reifling in 1926 postwar Austria. She shares a damp and humid attic room with her sickly mother. Her youth and happiness has been stolen in the war, along with her father and brother. Suddenly a telegram from her Aunt Claire arrives. Years ago Claire and her husband went to America and become quite wealthy. They are now vacationing in Switzerland and invite Christine to join them. Christine discovers a new and exotic life filled with pleasure and wealth. She's dressed in beautiful clothes and receives attention from attractive and wealthy men. Then suddenly it's over. Aunt Claire fears the discovery of her own secrets and sends Christine back to her miserable life in the village. Now her life there seems intolerable and her anger and bitterness is palpable. Eventually she meets Ferdinand, another miserable war survivor who spent six years in a Siberian labor camp. In Ferdinand she's found her soul mate of misery. Their meeting and their developing relationship takes us through the second half of the book.

This is an beautifully written novel about what it's like to live without hope, and what happens when someone who has nothing is given a chance to see what the good life is like, and then have it taken away from them. It's an absorbing story that also captures the bleakness of life in Austria between the wars. I had some trouble getting into it in the beginning but I'm glad I stuck with it. Just when you think you have a handle on what Christine will do, the novel stops abruptly, but ultimately satisfying, at a place that almost leads you to believe there will be another part to the story.

The book is written in two parts, each totally different from the other. I understand Zweig wrote The Post-Office Girl in the early 1930s, working on it during years that Hitler rose to power. He appears to have considered the book finished, and yet he left it untitled. It was not published in Germany until 1982 and then translated into English in 2008. Zweig committed suicide in a pact with his second wife in Brazil in 1942. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
Another impossibly painful read from Zweig.

In post-WWI Austria, there is no time for living; poverty is the way of life, surviving the only mode. This is an Eliza Doolittle tale steeped in realism with no happy ending. Misery abounds (for the poor). Zweig places his characters in these complex situations where there are no easy answers, only insurmountable obstacles. You can only sympathise so much before getting angry at the inequality. Perhaps it's because I've been thinking more lately about money and capitalism and how to better support charities and those in need, but this book makes my frustrations overflow.

Don't get me wrong, this book is great at what it does, revealing and psychoanalysing the disillusionment faced by the people left behind after the war. But do not read it while feeling down, Zweig spares no mercy.

Aside: I've now read enough Zweig to watch Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson. ( )
  kitzyl | Feb 26, 2020 |
If you had the opportunity to realize a dream and get something you want but knowing that one day it will be taken back from you, would you still want to get it? Even for a limited time, to feel this happiness, or would you prefer not to know such joy because it is temporary?

In my opinion, this book is really about opportunities. This book does not describe a story as a plot instead of as an atmosphere and a state of mind.

Zweig describes a problematic, especially mental state, of his heroine - a poor girl and a day bow that manages to touch the rich's man life for a few weeks and of that moment and on, she will not be what she once was.

The descriptions in this book are deep and wide. Sometimes you feel that you no longer have the air to read the end of the sentence. There are no chapters at all, and everything is very, very compressed.

I think the book is not suitable for everyone and although I too had a hard time finishing it, I'm glad I did so. ( )
  AmandaParker | Jan 28, 2019 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (7 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Zweig, Stefanprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Deresiewicz, WilliamEfterordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Rotenberg, JoelÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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One village post office in Austria is much like another: seen one and you've seen them all.
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Memory is so corrupt that you remember only what you want to; if you want to forget about something, slowly but surely you do. [115]
Fear is a distorting mirror in which anything can appear as a distortion of itself, stretched to terrible proportions; once inflamed, the imagination pursues the craziest and most unlikely possibilities. [116]
"You wouldn't believe what a dead finger does to a living hand.
"The smell is suffocating. The smell of stale cigarette smoke, bad food, wet clothes, the smell of the old woman's dread and worry and wheezing."
"Poverty stinks, stinks like a ground-floor room off an air-shaft, or clothes that need changing. You smell it yourself, as though you were made of sewage."
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  Wes Anderson on Stefan Zweig:  "I had never heard of Zweig...when I just more or less by chance bought a copy of Beware of Pity. I loved this first book.  I also read the The Post-Office GirlThe Grand Budapest Hotel has elements that were sort of stolen from both these books. Two characters in our story are vaguely meant to represent Zweig himself -- our "Author" character, played by Tom Wilkinson, and the theoretically fictionalised version of himself, played by Jude Law. But, in fact, M. Gustave, the main character who is played by Ralph Fiennes, is modelled significantly on Zweig as well."  The post-office girl is Christine, who looks after her ailing mother and toils in a provincial Austrian post office in the years just after the Great War. One afternoon, as she is dozing among the official forms and stamps, a telegraph arrives addressed to her. It is from her rich aunt, who lives in America and writes requesting that Christine join her and her husband in a Swiss Alpine resort. After a dizzying train ride, Christine finds herself at the top of the world, enjoying a life of privilege that she had never imagined. But Christine's aunt drops her as abruptly as she picked her up, and soon the young woman is back at the provincial post office, consumed with disappointment and bitterness. Then she meets Ferdinand, a wounded but eloquent war veteran who is able to give voice to the disaffection of his generation. Christine's and Ferdinand's lives spiral downward, before Ferdinand comes up with a plan which will be either their salvation or their doom. Never before published in English, this extraordinary book is an unexpected and haunting foray into noir fiction by one of the masters of the psychological novel.

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