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Beware of Pity (New York Review Classics) by…
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Beware of Pity (New York Review Classics) (original 1939; edition 2006)

by Stefan Zweig (Author), Phyllis Blewitt (Translator), Trevor Blewitt (Translator), Joan Acocella (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,467419,776 (4.18)138
A poignant story in which the conflict between duty and loyalty mixed with desire is impressively conveyed.
Member:baruthcook
Title:Beware of Pity (New York Review Classics)
Authors:Stefan Zweig (Author)
Other authors:Phyllis Blewitt (Translator), Trevor Blewitt (Translator), Joan Acocella (Introduction)
Info:NYRB Classics (2006), Edition: 35112th, 392 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:to-read

Work Information

Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig (Author) (1939)

Recently added byprivate library, soyburger, HelgaG., ggoolloo, Library41, davidgmedina, marita_p, JonLP
Legacy LibrariesGraham Greene
  1. 00
    Passion by Igino Ugo Tarchetti (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: The outlines of these novels are so similar that I rather wonder if Zweig had the earlier novel in mind when writing his.
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» See also 138 mentions

English (22)  French (6)  Spanish (4)  Catalan (3)  German (3)  Norwegian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
9.5
Soldier in the Austro Hungarian Army in 1914 asks a wealthy girl to dance without realizing she is a paraplegic. He takes PITY on her and visits her daily. She falls in love with him. He has only PITY for her, and is very afraid what OTHERS will say. should he let PITY control his actions and he is very unhappy but she will be happy or should he let his true feelings be known, but she may commit suicide? what is our responsibility to others and to ourselves? ( )
  evatkaplan | Jul 19, 2021 |
For the first time in my life I began to realise that it is not evil and brutality, but nearly always weakness, that is to blame for the worst things that happen in this world.

A simple yet effective cautionary tale on the slippery slope from empathy to pity, the novel captures the emotional maturation of the protagonist and explores the difficult question of how much responsibility we should take for other people's happiness, how too much (as well as too little) of kindness can actually turn into cruelty. It reminded me of The prose is kept deft and light by the translators, Phyllis and Trevor Blewitt, complementing well with the overall narrative.

Recommended for those in the formative years of emotional maturity.

Aside: The main question posed by the story - what makes A Good Person - reminds me strongly of the Prince in . ( )
  kitzyl | Dec 31, 2018 |
Beware of Pity was first published in 1939 and looks back to the eve of another war, in 1914 on the borders of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It’s a simple story, about an act of kindness that goes horribly wrong – and Zweig’s percipient understanding of human nature means that it resonates strongly even today.

Our protagonist is Anton Hofmiller, a young lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian cavalry who finds himself stationed in a quiet garrison town. Living on a tight salary, Hofmiller is bored by a tedious round of mess dinners, trips to the cafe and unsatisfying flirtations with the local girls. Unsurprisingly, he leaps at the chance to be introduced to a local worthy, Herr von Kekesfalva, who is renowned for feting young officers and providing splendid dinners. A party at the nobleman’s estate gives Hofmiller a glimpse of the kind of elegant life he pines for. There’s excellent wine, good company and, most appealing of all, two young women: Kekesfalva’s radiant niece Ilona, and his frail daughter Edith...

For the rest of the review, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2018/01/17/beware-of-pity-stefan-zweig/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Jan 23, 2018 |
This is a brilliant page turner. Read Stefan Zweig, and be drawn into the web of great story telling.
  ivanfranko | Mar 31, 2017 |
I love this author and the book, as others have reviewed is rather depressing, but insightful. It forewarns of pity and gives constant examples; however, in this world of today I don't think we have to worry about that too much. ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (97 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zweig, StefanAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Acocella, JoanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bell, AntheaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blewitt, PhyllisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blewitt, TrevorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hirvensalo, LauriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Katz, JonathanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krogvig, UrsulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meulen, Janneke van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sterkenburg, Reinier P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vanhamme, GuyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"To him that hath, to him shall be given." (Introduction)
The whole affair began with a piece of ineptitude, of entirely accidental foolishness, a faux pas, as the French would say.
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A poignant story in which the conflict between duty and loyalty mixed with desire is impressively conveyed.

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