The Post-office Girl

The Post-office Girl

eBook - 2011
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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 Girl . The 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."

2009 PEN Translation Prize Finalist

The logic of capitalism, boom and bust, is unremitting and unforgiving. But what happens to human feeling in a completely commodified world? In The Post-Office Girl , Stefan Zweig, a deep analyst of the human passions, lays bare the private life of capitalism.Christine toils in a provincial post office in post-World War I Austria, a country gripped by unemployment. Out of the blue, a telegram arrives from Christine's rich American aunt inviting her to a resort in the Swiss Alps. Christine is immediately swept up into a world of inconceivable wealth and unleashed desire. She feels herself utterly transformed: nothing is impossible. But then, abruptly, her aunt cuts her loose. Christine returns to the post office, where yes, nothing will ever be the same.

Christine meets Ferdinand, a bitter war veteran and disappointed architect, who works construction jobs when he can get them. They are drawn to each other, even as they are crushed by a sense of deprivation, of anger and shame. Work, politics, love, sex: everything is impossible for them. Life is meaningless, unless, through one desperate and decisive act, they can secretly remake their world from within.

Cinderella meets Bonnie and Clyde in Zweig's haunting and hard-as-nails novel, completed during the 1930s, as he was driven by the Nazis into exile, but left unpublished at the time of his death. The Post-Office Girl , available here for the first time in English, transforms our image of a modern master's achievement.
Publisher: New York : New York Review Books, 2011
ISBN: 9781590175903
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Rotenberg, Joel
OverDrive, Inc

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1
1aa
Jul 09, 2015

A fluidly narrated, briskly paced novel.
Whets one's appetite for even more Zweig.

l
lukasevansherman
Feb 24, 2015

The Austrian writer Stefan Zweig fled Europe when the Nazis took power and eventually killed himself. His life and work were an inspiration for Wes Anderson's deceptively whimsical "The Grand Budapest Hotel."
http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/02/how-grand-budapest-hotel-pays-tribute-to-the-holocaust/385264/

s
stewstealth
Nov 02, 2014

Translation from German ( the English prose is well done) set in 1920's Austria. The novel shows a dichotomy between the poor and rich of the time. The narrative is very well done and for a short novel the characterization is well conceived. A well done story. Worth reading.

h
horthhill
Apr 18, 2014

The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig is a long novella. Divided into two parts, the first concerns the post office girl and her introduction to the life of the idle rich at the invitation of her wealthy aunt and uncle who are staying at a luxurious Swiss resort hotel. The second part sees the post office girl return to her poor village and small post office. She becomes extremely embittered.
The novella does a pretty good job of giving us a bird's eye view of this girl's life. I'm not sure that we really get to "know" her, though. I'm also not convinced that she would have become morbidly embittered, as she does. Zweig seems, to me, to have gone to an extreme motivated by very little. Still, a very worthwhile read. The translation was good in that it read well. (I have no idea how faithful it was to the German. )

melwyk Apr 27, 2012

Reading this book is the perfect antidote to any La-Boheme-style romanticization of poverty. It reveals the ugliness, both physical and spiritual, that comes from constant want. It is shocking and yet, sadly, recognizable and relevant. Electrifying read about post WWI Germany.
Full review at Indextrious Reader http://indextrious.blogspot.ca/2009/01/zweigs-post-office-girl.html

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