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vienna covervienna rear coverIn researching some of my favorite topics, I have been reading this book called Vienna’s Golden Autumn 1866-1938 written by Hilde Spiel and published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson in 1987. In my opinion, it describes the Viennese culture to a tee, and there are some passages I found interesting with some references to today’s contemporary culture. Somewhere I heard the saying, “there is nothing new under under the sun “!

The book is vivid in the description of the legendary literary figures of the time and takes us back in time to the creation of the myth of “eternal culture“.

vienna1vienna2 I found a reference to a not so obscure writer “Jacob Wasserman” whom I briefly touched upon in an earlier post. His book World’s Illusion was originally published under the German title of Christian Wahnschaffe and I have still trouble finishing it as it is written in a very much out of date style. My determination to finish this book grows stronger after reading the quotation in the book by Hilde where Thomas Mann describes Wasserman as having an “oriental gift for spinning yarn“.

By golly the guy was right, the book spins the story like a yarn. Every time I pick it up to read, I keep looking for the yarn afraid to loose the story. But on the whole, in my opinion, Wassermann was a great writer with or without Mann’s comment.