By Josef M. Bauer
Initially released in 1955, this has to be some of the most dramatic adventures of our time. Clemens Forell, a German soldier, was once sentenced to twenty-five years of compelled labour in a Siberian lead mine after the second one international conflict. Rebelling opposed to the brutality of the camp, Forell staged a bold break out, enduring an 8000-mile trip around the trackless wastes of Siberia, in one of the most treacherous and inhospitable stipulations in the world. Bauer's writing brilliantly inspires Forell's desperation within the felony camp, and his fight for survival and terror of recapture as he makes his manner in the direction of the Persian frontier and freedom.
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Additional resources for As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me
But however modern in his subject matter, Zweig was not what we call a modernist. Though he flourished in the Twenties and Thirties, his memoirs make no mention of T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Kafka, Picasso, Stravinsky. He knew Joyce, but he doesn’t seem to have read Ulysses. He went to a Schönberg première, but he doesn’t say he liked it. The frontier of modern art, in his mind, appears to have been Rilke and Richard Strauss. This fact — that in a period of formal experimentation, he was not an experimentalist — is part of the reason that he, together with other stylistically traditional moderns (Joseph Roth, for example), has been valued by later generations at less than his true worth.
So he descends ever deeper into hypocrisy. In the process, Zweig gives us a piercing analysis of the motives underlying pity. Gradually Hofmiller realizes how much he enjoys the attentions paid to him for his emotional services, how it pleases him that when he arrives at the Schloss his favorite cigarettes — and also the novel (its pages already cut) that he had said in passing that he wanted to read — are laid out on the tea table. Nor is it lost on him that his own sense of strength is magnified by Edith’s weakness and, above all, by his growing power over the Kekesfalvas, the fact that if he, a poor soldier, does not present himself at teatime, this great, rich household is thrown into a panic, and the chauffeur is dispatched to town to spy him out and see what he is doing in preference to waiting on Edith.
Whenever I was in the saddle I felt fine, and my thoughts did not travel far beyond my horse’s neck. In November, 1913, the year when my story opens, some order or other must have passed from one department to another, for before you could say Jack Robinson our squadron was transferred from Jaroslau to another small garrison town on the Hungarian frontier. It is of no importance whether I call the little town by its right name or not, for two buttons on a uniform could not more closely resemble each other than does one Austrian provincial garrison town another.