May 17, 2011

Midnight In Paris

Woddy Allen's latest masterpiece made me think of the book I'm reading these days, "Die Welt von Gestern" (The World Of Yesterday) by Stefan Zweig. Like the movie Midnight in Paris, this book also, for some time, introduces us to the Paris of the 1920s, and to famous artists, writers, and musicians, as if you'd really be there ... in a time that looks like a Golden Age today.

The tragic difference however is that while Woody Allen's movie concludes that the present is just as fascinating as a past Golden Age may have been, Zweig's book does the very contrary and shows how those times really were a Golden Age, and really stopped when the fascist regimes rolled over Europe to end them up in blood and hatred.

If there's anyone out there planning to travel back to 1942, I suggest you take a copy of Midnight in Paris, and show it to the Zweigs to ease their despair. They could almost be still alive today.

My drawing shows the shadow of the book on my night table.


Suzanne Bean said...

Thanks for the suggestion of the book. I studied that time period in a history of art class and truly loved it. Your drawing is interesting as the solid black form seems to recede into the page, I suppose like the past recedes in our minds. Very nice!!!!

Werner said...

Thanks Suzanne.
I'm not sure if the black form "recedes into" the page, but I accept the comparison of "the past" with a shadow: both are a certain trace of a reality, leaving a lot of space to different interpretations - and both are subject to quick changes and difficult to capture.
Anyway ... you'd love the book -
and the movie!