“I summon up remembrance of things past.” WS

Stefan Zweig, writing in exile, is constrained to “summon up remembrance of things past”, from the only source the bastards cannot reach, his ever retentive mind. Deprived of all contact with the culture that he had helped to build, he and his wife took their own lives in Brazil shortly after Die Welt von gestern was completed.

I am reminded of these beautiful reflections of George Steiner, who perhaps also had Zweig in mind as he spoke. The chapter on Zweig in Clive James’s “Cultural Amnesia” is also worth reading. For a genuinely uplifting monograph, read Zweig’s “Erasmus von Rotterdam”. LJ


George Steiner

The great George Steiner reflects on the potency of memory for the preservation of culture and its survival in the human mind in defiance of the tentacular encroachment of tyranny. LJ