In the old park, in ice and snow caught fastTwo spectres walk, still searching for the past. (33)
I planned a review with all the things I did not like and quotes to back them up. However, after contemplating these pages for awhile, I realized I couldn't. It is not Zweig's fault. I cannot blame it on his writing, his idea and execution. I liked his lyrical prose and the psychological depth he gave to his characters, always haunted by their past. Past? “Nothing is lost, nothing is past” (20), he says, still accepting the fact that “it is not in human nature to live entirely on memories” (23). I also liked how the characters' pure feelings for each other contrasted with the dark and confusing social context of those times.
In conclusion, what I liked, I really liked. As for the rest, I didn't hate it, I was kind of indifferent to it. It was okay. This is an unfinished work and yet, it is not a fair reason for me. So, this rating is based on what I felt while reading this novella. By all means, read it yourself and form your opinion. Do not be afraid of this translation, Bell has done a superb job, again.
But I would like to keep playing chess for a little while longer, if you don't mind.
When you cannot connect with a story about a passionate love and soul mates resisting the power of time, then your heart must be in some sort of lethargic limbo, detachedly mourning the loss of something, the absence of something; cynically avoiding everything. I am just guessing; you might even do not know the cause. It is only temporary, to the lucky ones. The lucky ones. An ephemeral tragedy. But a tragedy, after all.