The Billionaires Arranged Baby 3 jAre interesting details about the migr authors and the build up to the impending war You get a feel for the threatening atmosphere of the time Just as there were English speaking authors gathered in Paris there were German and Austrian authors gathered in OstendWhat is written here is interesting but it reads as an essay than a full book It is for this reason alone I give it no than three stars I like it but it is short It gives only a glimpse Basically you are looking only at the migr community and the relationship between Zweig and Roth the summer of 1936 in OstendThe audiobook I listened to is clearly read by Dennis Kleinman Four stars for the narration What moved me most about this book was the sense it conveyed of European civilization hurtling towards its doom as exemplified in the fates of the exiled writers Stefan Zweig Joseph Roth and Irmgard Keun as they try to resurrect happier times at Ostend in the summer of 1936 Roth and Keun spiral deeper into alcoholic self destruction while Zweig can no save himself from self destruction than he can save his friend Roth Written in a dispassionateournalistic style this novella length book tells the story of a group of migr writers meeting in the genteel resort of Ostend in 1936 The book revolves around the friendship of the urbane wealthy and successful Stefan Zweig and the garrulous alcoholic and truculent Joseph Roth Zweig was in Ostend when the Great War unfolded and recalled his excitement at the thought of such world changing events However that initial exuberant thrill had eventually changed and now with another conflict looming the author feels deep unease With all of those assembled struggling not least financially with many having books burned and banned the group are refugees in vacationland They talk and plot and plan but remain exiles powerless vacationland They talk and plot and plan but remain exiles powerless in retreat Even those like Zweig who have managed to maintain some literary presence in Germany are looked at askance by the others Roth in particular seeing it as a kind of betrayal and congratulating the author when he is finally bannedThis is not only an interesting portrait of a historical and literary period but of the sometimes difficult relationship between Zweig and Roth Roth was from Eastern Europe and to the assimilated Western Zweig those from the East were seen as embarrassing relatives Roth who looked
UP TO ZWEIG AND RELIED UPON to Zweig and "Relied Upon For Financial "upon for financial and grudgingly accepted his concern but was unable to curb his drinking Both men had lovers that summer Zweig accompanied by his secretary Lotte Altmann while Roth embarked on a relationship with author Irmgard Keun However hanging over them all is the thought of what will happen when the summer ends This is a thought provoking and interesting read set around the dark days before war descended over Europe This is a short but very interesting reconstruction of the meeting of several ex patriots from the Nazi regimes in Europe in the late 1930s and their life in Ostend Belgium The relationship between the well known author Stefan Zweig with his less well known and hardcore alcoholic friend Joseph Roth is touching one if somewhat inconclusive The mood of the book is brooding and one feels the 20 degree temperature drop in these castaways as the shadow of the Nazis draws and of Europe into the dark An important book about a period that has echoes for today but does not provide any set answers and only a glimmer of hope From BBC Radio 4 Book of the WeekVolker Weidermann s account of the charming resort of Ostend and in 1936 it s a haven for Middle Europe A flowing narration of the brief lives of two Austrian Jewish authors and their last flash before darkness descended upon EuropeI think people should read the past We want comfortable successful lives We ust want to live in peace But things forces other people have different agendas Their lust for power makes them indifferent to the suffering and destruction they incurThis happened and is still happening in Europe it is happening in Asian and African countries and it s even happening in certain riot wrecked cities in the USDo we hope for a higher existence Or do we commit suicide like Zweig and Roth through drink This life is short regardless of how history transpires I will live the time appointed to me and then eternity Revelation 214. Of artists intellectuals drunks revolutionaries and madmen found themselves in limbo while Europe teetered on the edge of fascism and total war Ostend is the true story of two of the twentieth century’s great writers written with a novelist’s eye for pacing chronology and language a dazzling work of historical nonfiction Translated from the German by Carol Brown Janewa.
Volker Weidermann ✓ 3 free read
In 1936 It Starts With1936 It starts with recalling his stay in Ostend in 1914 before WWI when he was young and unknown 22 years later he is successful but finds himself in the same state of exile and nostalgia for his home Now in 1936 many writers are gathered awaiting news of war fearing the worst I found it fascinating to have a first hand account of these emigres and their personalities and I could feel their anxiety as they wait not knowing when and if their former world will become open to them again or closed forcing them to live indeterminately in exile The main story revolves around the friendship of the wealthy and successful Stefan Zweig and the alcoholic though brilliant writer Joseph Roth Other important exiled writers include the lively and brilliant Irmgard Keun who falls in love with Roth Egon Erwin Kisch Ernst Toller whom we are told goes nowhere without a rope with a noose at the end of it Arthur Koestler and Hermann Kesten All of these writers are spending a last summer together before they get scattered all over the world They are in a paradise of a beach resort which they try to enjoy as much as possible Though they sense that the worst is to come they want to be happy together in the sun at the beach in the cafes one last time before everything falls apart They laugh together reminisce argue and try to help one another Each of them is struggling in one way or another not least financially with many having books burned and banned Even those like Zweig who have managed to maintain some literary presence in Germany are looked at askance by the others Roth in particular seeing it as a kind of betrayal and congratulating the author when he is finally bannedZweig and Roth both of them Jewish had a very close but also complicated friendship as Roth was a heavy drinker and as much as Zweig tried to help his friend emotionally and financially nothing he does helps Roth in the end became too much of a burden to both Zweig and to Keun both feeling great relief after unburdening themselves of him after the summer together At the end of the summer all the exiles go their own way Zweig enroute to Spain and then Brazil meets a man on the ship who cannot read He feels great pity for this man who cannot transcend his own experience through that of others He remembers the countless blessings he has received from books nights of love with books staying up all night reading as you would with a lover Without books the world remains closed In Brazil with his young wife Lotte he is lauded and feels loved He takes a trip up to the mountains where he briefly lives He feels that he cannot stay in town with all the demands on him as in NY he feels the wretchedness of people who are poor and it depresses him greatly He resolved early to love this country Ignoring the antisemitism and the restrictive immigration laws He has a will to see his old world here in the mountains but it s not there He tries to believe it is possible to find it Zweig finished World of Yesterday and writes Chess Story He then writes his farewell to the world He doesn t mention Lotte Shortly thereafter he kills himself and Lotte followsKeun eventually returns to Germany living with friends in hiding The nazis announce her suicide but she lived there secretly She lived to see her works rediscovered in the 70s and died announce her suicide but she lived there secretly She lived to see her works rediscovered in the 70s and died Roth died of his alcoholism in Paris Toller hung himself in New York Koestler killed himself in London in a double suicide with his wife During the war Ostend was almost completely destroyed BOTWhttpwwwbbccoukprogrammesb06ybg7kDescription Volker Weidermann s account of the charming "Resort Of Ostend And In "of Ostend and in it s a haven for Middle Europe emigres Reader Peter Firth Producer Duncan Minshull Episode 1 Stefan Zweig strolls the seafront visits a cafe and waits for his friend Joseph Roth to arrive Also in town are other writers wives and mistresses as storm clouds gather over the rest of Europe25 Joseph Roth will be meeting Stefan Zweig here But first some background into their need to escape Austria and its encroaching dangers35 Joseph Roth is off the train at Ostend about to meet Stefan Zweig for the hotels and bistro life But his head will soon be turned by ano. It’s the summer of 1936 and the writer Stefan Zweig is in crisis His German publisher no longer wants him his marriage is collapsing and his house in Austria searched by the police two years earlier no longer feels like home He’s been dreaming of Ostend the Belgian beach town that is a paradise of promenades parasols and old friends So he ourneys there with his lover Lotte. Ther writer who s newly arrived herself45 Joseph Roth is in Ostend to meet his old friend Stafan Zweig But he s uickly distracted by another writer Irmgard Keun Life is short so they will move to the Hotel Couronne together55 Swimming promenading drinkingThe pleasures of Ostend linger in the face of storm clouds gathering over Europe but even seasoned vacationers know they have to move on Very fascinating English Edition Ostend Stefan Zweig Joseph Roth and the Summer Before the DarkHow does it feel if you have to leave your home country and you are forced to watch it disappear from the exile "For many authors who fled the Nazis their home had disappeared long "many authors who fled the Nazis their home had disappeared LONG THE WAR STARTED THEY SAW the war started they saw spiritual destruction the moral decline and the rise of barbarity as the end of Germany as they knew it Many of them later killed themselves or drank themselves to death because their belief in humanity was shattered because the fact that their native land had aimed to destroy them and they were outcasts wherever they went was too much to bear Some like Thomas Mann started to agitate against Hitler from their exile ust this week German President Steinmeier re opened Mann s home in Los Angeles which was an important meeting place for exiled writers and shall now become a meeting ground again In his book Weidermann tells the story of exiled writers spending a last summer together at the Belgian coast in 1936 before they get scattered all over the world and Europe starts to burn The story centers around the friends Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth but also features many other important writers like Irmgard Keun Egon Erwin Kisch Ernst Toller Arthur Koestler and Hermann Kesten Zweig and Roth both of them Jewish had a very close but
also complicated friendship as Roth was a heavy drinker obviously rooted in depression and as much ascomplicated friendship as Roth was a heavy drinker obviously rooted in depression and as much as wanted to help his friend he could not find a way The genius of the book is how Weidermann shows that although or because the writers sense that the worst is still to come they want to be happy together in the sun at the beach one last time before everything falls apart Weidermann uxtaposes their fascinating personalities the dynamics of friendship and the lightness of Ostend with the rise of fascism and how it impacted the writers situation At the end of course everthing will be lost Ostend was almost completely destroyed during the war Zweig killed himself in Brazil Roth died of his alcoholism in Paris Toller killed himself in New York Koestler killed himself in London Full disclosure I picked up the book because I love the Belgian coast and because I wanted to learn about the writers the story portrays and although it is written by Weidermann he is one of the hosts of an important TV show about literature in Germany and I often find him a little boring tbh But this book is a great I did not expect this Weidermann shame on me So go and read this book and then drive to Ostend and visit the house of James Ensor This book goes by several titles Summer Before the Dark Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth Ostend 1936 gives a reader the best idea of the book s content The darkness spoken of refers to the coming war Joseph Roth s death in 1939 and Stefan Zweig s in 1942 by suicide It is about the summer they spent together in Ostend Belgium 1936 Zweig s earlier time in Ostend in 1914 before the First Word War and the time after the shared summer are briefly covered Their close relationship is the central focus That summer in 1936 they were two of the Austrian and German migr community gathered in Ostend authors having fled from the fascist threat they saw to be gaining strength in their native lands For some their books had already been banned their means of support threatened and war loomed menacingly Other migr authors mentioned are Otto Katz Willi M nzenberg Arthur Koestler Egon Erwin Kisch Hermann Kesten and Ernst Toller Their writing and political views are covered but rudimentarilyZweig and Roth both had failing marriages Both had mistresses by their side Lotte Altmann Zweig s secretary and mistress and author Irmgard Keun Joseph Roth s lover and sharer of booze Roth had a serious drinking problem it was killing him The book focuses on the two men s writing their friendship and interdependence their political financial and marital woes There. Altmann and reunites with fellow writer and semi estranged close friend Joseph Roth who is himself about to fall in love For a moment they create a fragile haven But as Europe begins to crumble around them the writers find themselves trapped on vacation in exile watching the world burn In Ostend Volker Weidermann lyrically recounts “the summer before the dark” when a coterie.