Literature & Stories

The Intoxication of Transformation

girl1.jpgOne of the more notable North American releases in the past few months (in my world) is Stefan Zweig’s The Post-Office Girl. I chanced upon his Chess Story (same translator) a few years ago when I indulged in one of my favourite activities: bibliomancy with the New York Review of Books Classics catalogue.

That was about two to three years ago and when I read it then…I didn’t quite get it. Why, I dunno, you read the synopsis on the site it sounds simple enough. Scenes from the book linger and crop up in my conscience from time to time: a Slavic yokel playing chess in a dingy tavern; a Nazi interrogator questioning someone in a (possibly red) hotel room; some odd, hostile confrontations on a ship. I didn’t dismiss because I concluded that neither the book nor I were quite ready for each other but could perhaps reunite in a few years; then I could decide if there was something to this Zweig. Continue reading