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Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman by…
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Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman (1927)

by Stefan Zweig

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Showing 5 of 5
Passion. It’s a word that gets bandied about a lot these days. People tell prospective employers that they’re passionate about their work; others say that they are passionate about their hobbies, their sport or their gardens. But true passion, as Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) shows in this neat little novella, is a kind of madness. If you’ve been lucky enough to fall passionately in love, you know what I mean. Nobody would want an employee who really was passionate about accounting, or teaching, or driving a train.

Once again a small pensione is the setting for strangers to come together; this time it’s on the Riviera, where an unusual incident triggers a confessional narrative from a very old lady. On the spur of the moment an otherwise respectably married woman with children runs away with a very recently arrived handsome young man, and amongst the guests there is indignation and outrage. They are convinced she must have known him beforehand and had been having a covert affair. The narrator, irritated by their judgementalism, plays devil’s advocate, and provokes consternation by saying that he thought that such a hasty passion was possible. This is the catalyst for the old lady to take him into her confidence, unburdening herself of a secret that has tormented her for most of her life.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2016/11/13/twenty-four-hours-in-the-life-of-a-woman-by-stefan-zweig-translated-by-anthea-bell/ ( )
  anzlitlovers | Nov 12, 2016 |
This story within a story begins at a guesthouse on the French Riviera, where a scandal has just erupted: two of the guests, a seemingly respectable wife and mother and an attractive young stranger have fled together after speaking together for just a few hours. There is a raging debate among the guests about the morality of the situation. Should the woman be seen as a pariah, or were her motives of the heart pardonable? In this early 20th century setting, most of the guests believe the woman has committed an unspeakable act, but the narrator, a single man, doesn't think so. Mrs C, a respectable, white-haired English woman in her 60s, after a brief exchange with him, decides she must come clean about her past and proceeds to tell him a story from her younger days, when, within a 24-hour period she let her carefully constructed world of proper widowhood fall to pieces for stranger with a death wish. She had met the stranger in question at a casino, where she spent the evening observing the hands of the players and was taken in by his in particular—the most expressive she'd ever seen. Fascinated, she watches the stranger lose a huge sum of money, then, when he gives every sign that he has decided to do away with himself, she comes to his rescue and falls into a vortex of passion for which her life as a proper English lady had not prepared her: "Perhaps only those who are strangers to passion know such sudden outbursts of emotion in their few passionate moments ... whole years fall from one's own breast with the fury of powers left unused." But can one really expect true love and dedication from an addict? Another very short novel (around 100 pages) by Zweig filled to the brim with timeless human drama. Strongly recommended. ( )
2 vote Smiler69 | May 1, 2012 |
Can a woman forget all her values and morals and throw herself into an affair without guilt or remorse? Can she go against her character and do something so incredibly spontaneous to which others question her actions and she questions her actions as well? It's the story of what can happen in 24 hours in the life of a woman.

Zweig takes us through an incredible and emotional journey in this novella. We are the ones debating in the hotel garden, we are the ones walking through the casino observing the hand movements of players, we are the ones under the rain. Because Zweig manages to make of us a character; the observer.

Truly marvelous and a great way to come back to Zweig after enjoying Pitie dangereuse (Beware of Pity) so long ago. I will not again let so much time pass before I read another Zweig. ( )
3 vote lilisin | Jan 15, 2009 |
Read... not among Zweig's best books. ( )
1 vote diosnel | Apr 12, 2008 |
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In der kleinen Pension an der Riviera, wo ich damals, zehn Jahre vor dem Kriege, wohnte, war eine heftige Diskussion an unserem Tische ausgebrochen, die unvermutet zu rabiater Auseinandersetzung, ja sogar zu Gehässigkeit und Beleidigung auszuarten drohte.
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Contains 8 stories: Angst, Leporella, Vierundzwanzig Stunden aus dem Leben einer Frau, Der Zwang, Buchmendel, Die unsichtbare Sammlung, Unvermutete Bekanntschaft mit einem Handwerk, Schachnovelle
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A woman who works to free herself from her chains is the focus of this psychological study.Una mujer que resuelve un da liberarse de las cadenas que la atan, es la base del profundo estudio psicolgico.

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