The Lost Library: The Autobiography of a Culture

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9781594161216: The Lost Library: The Autobiography of a Culture
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Born in Berlin at the end of the nineteenth century, Walter Mehring inherited both his father’s respect for the civilizing power of literature and his formidable library of thousands of books. Like his father, believed that books and reading were essential to progress, mutual understanding, and contentment. After having served in World War I, Mehring spent the years between the world wars as part of the exhilarating avant-garde coffeehouse culture of Europe’s capitals; he himself was a poet, cabaret lyricist, and founder of the Dadaist movement in Berlin. But with the rise of fascism, Europe became a dangerous place for free-thinking artists. Mehring never envisioned that the culture of books celebrated in his father’s library would be rejected by the sudden rise to prominence of the Nationalist Socialist Party. Soon, even his own books were burned by the Brownshirts and Mehring was forced to roam Europe as a literary fugitive. From a precarious exile in Vienna, he arranged for his father’s books to be smuggled out of Germany, but their fate would be worse than his—while Mehring managed to slip out of Austria and avoid capture, his library was confiscated and destroyed by the Nazis in 1938.

In The Lost Library: The Autobiography of a Culture, translated by Richard and Clara Winston and presented in paperback for the first time, Mehring takes the reader with him as he unpacks the crates of books in his mind, and in the process recalls what each book meant to him and his father. Writing with wit and insight, Mehring successfully compares the humanism of his father’s era with the chaos of Europe at war, using his father’s library as a metaphor for how the optimism of nineteenth-century progress gave way to the disorder and book-burning of the twentieth. 

“It is with love and not a little bitterness that the author touches on the various tomes of his father’s library [and through them] on the history of man’s ideas, on the magnificence of our cultural progress, . . . and on the eventual destruction of the beauty and ideals that man had been able to create. . . . Beautifully conceived and beautifully executed.”—The Atlantic

“Whoever cares for books will love this book about books.”—New York Times

The Lost Library cannot be read without profit.”—Times Literary Supplement

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L'autore:

WALTER MEHRING (1896–1981) was author of a number of books, including No Road Back, Merchant of Berlin, and Paris in Brand, as well as plays, poetry, and lyrics.

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Book by Mehring Walter

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Walter Mehring
Editore: Westholme Publishing (2010)
ISBN 10: 1594161216 ISBN 13: 9781594161216
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Descrizione libro Westholme Publishing, 2010. Paperback. Condizione: New. 2. Codice articolo DADAX1594161216

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Walter Mehring
Editore: Westholme Publishing, U.S., United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 1594161216 ISBN 13: 9781594161216
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Descrizione libro Westholme Publishing, U.S., United States, 2011. Paperback. Condizione: New. 2nd ed. Language: English. Brand new Book. Having inherited his father's large and varied library, Walter Mehring found solace in the walls of books around him--Cervantes, Keats, Goethe, Aristophanes, Moliere, and others. Born in Berlin at the end of the nineteenth century, Mehring, like his father, believed that books and reading were essential to progress, mutual understanding,and contentment. Himself a published writer, Mehring never envisioned that the culture of books celebrated in his father's library would be rejected by the sudden rise to prominence of the Nationalist Socialist Party. Soon, even his own books were burned by the new Reich and Mehring was forced to roam Europe as a literary fugitive. From his precarious exile in Vienna, the author arranged for his father's books to be smuggled out of wartime Berlin.In The Lost Library: The Autobiography of a Culture, translated by Richard and Clara Winston and presented in paperback for the first time, Mehring takes the reader with him as he thoughtfully unpacks crates of books, and in the process recalls what each book meant to him and his father.Writing with wit and insight, Mehring successfully juxtaposes the humanism of his father's era with the chaos of Europe, using his father's library as a metaphor for how the optimism of nineteenth-century progress gave way to the disorder and book-burning of the twentieth. Codice articolo BTE9781594161216

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Mehring, Walter
Editore: Westholme Publishing (2010)
ISBN 10: 1594161216 ISBN 13: 9781594161216
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Descrizione libro Westholme Publishing, 2010. Paperback. Condizione: New. Brand New!. Codice articolo VIB1594161216

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Mehring, Walter
Editore: Westholme Publishing (2010)
ISBN 10: 1594161216 ISBN 13: 9781594161216
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Descrizione libro Westholme Publishing, 2010. Paperback. Condizione: New. book. Codice articolo M1594161216

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