Welcome to Malvern Books’ Club: Reading Classics from New York Review Books, hosted (on most occasions) by Malvern’s own curmudgeon-in-chief, Dr. Joe. Everyone is invited to join us for what we’re sure will be a series of irreverent and insightful conversations.
Our September selection is Chess Story by Stefan Zweig, translated from the German by Joel Rotenberg. Also known as The Royal Game, this novella is the Austrian master’s final achievement, completed in Brazilian exile. It is the only story in which Zweig looks at Nazism, and he does so with characteristic emphasis on the psychological.
Travelers by ship from New York to Buenos Aires find that on board with them is the world champion of chess, an arrogant and unfriendly man. They come together to try their skills against him and are soundly defeated. Then a mysterious passenger steps forward to advise them and their fortunes change. How he came to possess his extraordinary grasp of the game of chess and at what cost lie at the heart of Zweig’s story.
The NYRB Classics series started in 1999 with the publication of A High Wind in Jamaica and by the end of this year over 400 titles will be in print—so we have plenty of excellent reading material to choose from. The series includes nineteenth-century and experimental novels, reportage and belles lettres, established classics and cult favorites, and literature high, low, unsuspected, and unheard of. Literature in translation also constitutes a major part of the NYRB Classics series, including new translations of canonical figures such as Euripides, Aeschylus, Dante, Balzac, Nietzsche, and Chekhov, as well as fresh translations of Stefan Zweig, Robert Walser, Alberto Moravia, and Curzio Malaparte, among others.
How it works:
Stop by Malvern Books to sign up and you’ll receive a 10% discount off the title! Read the book and then come to the meeting prepared with either a question or specific passage to discuss with the group. We’ll look forward to seeing you on September 2nd.